JoNova

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Peter Ridd case: JCU appeals for their right to threaten and scare staff and ignore potential fraud

Today and tomorrow are the Appeal Days for James Cook University. They sacked Professor Peter Ridd for daring to say that some of our reef expert institutions “could not be trusted” then wasted $600,000 in court defending their work only to lose on every single count. James Cook Uni was ordered to pay $1.2m to Peter Ridd. Judge Vasta was scathing. Yet JCU barrelled on to waste more taxpayer money on an appeal.

Think about how pointless this JCU appeal is — even if they were to win the legal war, they lose the scientific, academic and educational one — they prove that they are not the kind of institute taxpayers should be funding.

Peter Ridd was JCU’s best asset until they sacked him. He helped expose manipulated photos of reef fish by a JCU researcher, Oona Lönnstedt, who had already been caught fabricating data in Sweden, and yet JCU “investigated” and sacked Ridd faster than it investigated her suspicious lionfish shots. Other  JCU researchers claimed that “acidification” would make reef fish act strangely. But, Peter Ridd warned a lot of research could not be replicated, and so it was with the odd fish. In January a new paper tried to repeat eight JCU experiments and every one of them failed. Reef fish will be fine, but JCU’s reputation may never recover.

JCU management have learnt nothing. Since losing the case JCU has changed its employment contracts, not to give their academics the unequivocal right to speak freely, but to make sure they can’t. Enough is enough — all universities need to guarantee free speech in employment contracts or no more government funds.

Every JCU employee’s work is tainted by this. Even the honest ones. We will never know what any JCU researchers really believe, or which results were filed in the bin, no matter what they say, because we know employees of JCU have to hide unfashionable opinions. Staff admitted they were too afraid to use their uni emails. So much for academic freedom. Their quality assurance is terminally flawed. This makes the entire institution useless as a research body, and with standards so low, also useless for teaching. The government could fix this entire embarrassing debacle in five minutes. They just need to withhold JCU funding til the uni gets new management, investigates potential fraud, stops wasting funds in legal battles, and demonstrate that they support free speech — rehire Ridd, sack the VC Sandra Harding AO who earnt was paid $975,000 in 2018, and enshrine free speech in employment contracts.

The IPA has also released a podcast on the whole sorry affair https://ipa.org.au/theheretic

It may be possible to view the lawsuit via videolink but submissions must be in before that date (so it may be too late now unless they accept submissions for tomorrow’s viewing. The relevant information is at Peter’s GoFundMe page.

 It’s easy to stop JCU from behaving like this. Where is Scott Morrison?

When will conservative leaders learn that government funded institutions vote left and the more you pay them, the worse their bias gets?

Education Minister Dan Tehan or PM Scott Morrison could fix this in five minutes. All they have to do is tell JCU they’ll get no more grant money until the institute guarantees free speech and shows accountability for the people who flagrantly wasted over half a million dollars.

JCU grant money is better spent elsewhere. All the research they produce is now tainted and effectively worthless– no matter what any Professor says, everyone knows they are not free to criticize other staff, or procedures, or point out flaws. They’re scared to use their email addresses. We’ll never know what any JCU researcher is holding back.

JCU is the text-book example of what happens when government funding strangles science. The people in charge of JCU’s “science” department — deciding what “the consensus will be” are the administrators, not the academics.

This is not a one off. JCU has a pattern of evicting, blackbanning, and ousting people who disagree with the bureaucrats pet fashions (vale, Bob Carter!). In this culture, more funding means more strangling. So just stop.

Peter Ridd has two GoFundMe accounts. Both have raised their targets and are closed, but have updates there anyone can read.

The Peter Ridd story:

 

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Rating: 9.5/10 (95 votes cast)
Peter Ridd case: JCU appeals for their right to threaten and scare staff and ignore potential fraud, 9.5 out of 10 based on 95 ratings

70 comments to Peter Ridd case: JCU appeals for their right to threaten and scare staff and ignore potential fraud

  • #
    nb

    ABC, UQ, JCU, China’s ALP.
    Why bother?
    Only lying gets them what they want.

    230

    • #
      PeterS

      Only lying gets them what they want.

      Politicians have been doing that for a long time now to the point of being masters at it. So, what does one expect? Others will follow the same practice and get what they want. It is time to make it law that any politician caught telling fibs is put behind bars for a while. That would clean up things a tad.

      230

    • #
      bobl

      Government funding of Pure research used to work mainly because there was no financial incentive from the research, but Dawkins from the Hawke government destroyed all that, mostly be demanding that universities become self funding. Research understandably became aimed at making money. From then on nearly all money (Government or Private) came with strings attached that were/are politically or commercially motivated. It’s the strings that need to go.

      Even ARC grants have strings attached, the behaviours there are driven by the review process – finding Merit, because the committee find more merit in research that can make money or fame. ARC also heavily favour researchers they have funded before, it’s near impossible to get an ARC grant without 10 or more papers to your name. Hence old thought (Group-Think) dominates and new ideas hardly get a look in. You couldn’t get a worse system if you had designed it that way!.

      Fix ARC or supplement it with a new research directions fund where new ideas and new researchers can get funding. PS has anyone noticed that the so called “Dangerous Ideas” are all left extremes of the lefts dogma – IE Not new and not dangerous at all (more like ludicrous than dangerous).

      120

      • #
        AbysmalSpectator

        Having been at a university before, during and after the Dawkins revolution I can confirm that the change happened, and it happened overnight. Very sad. Being young I didn’t quite understand how deep and far reaching the changes were, but the power shifts in departments was extreme.

        80

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Nothing can change if we can’t or won’t see the problem.

    Thanks Jo, you’ve outlined the whole sorry mess so clearly that Van Gogh would be envious of the picture you’ve painted.

    But how to change this mess.

    My personal observation is that the post world war two Australia was one of essential honesty and integrity.
    Sure, there was a bit of corruption and self interest but it seemed like we were a very positive nation.

    Moving on seventy years and we seem to have fallen into an ugly cesspool where ethics and community interest are dismissed in favour of immediate personal gain for those in leadership.

    Peter Ridd’s case has given me some hope but the issues you raise need serious attention.

    It took us fifty years to create this mess and at the moment I can’t see a possible path out of it.

    Ending on a positive note, Peter at least knows that the public is behind him and that’s evident from the financial support he’s drawn.

    KK

    320

    • #
      Richard Ilfeld

      Keith, its the growth of government.
      The incentives of government are all wrong.
      They are almost wrong by design.
      Once there is a permanent government, its incentive become self preservation, then self aggrandizement.
      It wishes to grow, and does so, at the expense of the private sector. Government, like any other enterprise, cannot resist
      the impulse to grow, become bigger and grander, and better reward its functionaries.

      But government is the only business whose essence is force. Any dispute with the government, not matter how trivial, nor on
      what topic, results in one party, the government, using force to cause the other party, the citizen, to subnit.

      And this is why education of the public is good, but public education….that socialism that is the public schools or a level of grant support
      sufficient that private schools may as well be public, is so bad. Education will necessarily result in ideas in conflict. With equal parties,
      these ideas can remain in conflict until reality resolves them, or indeed remain unresolved for a very long time without damage…is light a waave
      or a particle?

      But when ideas are in conflict and one of the parties is the government, the outcome is no longer in doubt, even if the government, as is so often the case,
      is horribly, tragically, misguided. And stupid, And stubborn. And Expensive. One can go on.

      Because in the final analysis, right or wrong, the government can bring force to the conflict, and you can’t.

      One can design a system with structural constraints that will work for a little while, until those who go into government find ways to bypass the constraints.
      Arming the public is messy, but provide a modicum of restraint at the extremes.

      I always thought tar and feathers was a salutory solution; the point was made and nothing suffered permanent damage but a reputation.

      251

      • #

        Thx, Richard. An essay on the essence of government force in just eighteen lines…’government is the only business whose essence is force. Any dispute with the government, not matter how trivial, nor on what topic, results in one party, the government, using force to cause the other party, the citizen, to submit.’… Divine right of kings, Brussels’ men, bureaucrats of the U.N.

        20

    • #
      Komrade Kuma

      Totally agree but lets just let the legal system get through to the end. Let JCU take it to the High Court if they want. If they do and lose then the Government has no reason to not act and also it has as solid legal basis to act decisively. ScoMo has enough on his plate right now to keep him busy. These things can take time, unfortunately.

      50

  • #
    Sean

    There is no greater sin in academia than interfering with an institution’s source of funding. The administrators must be paid!

    190

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Excellent. Withold their funding then.

      Sacred cows and burgers and all……

      If they dont work, its open to question whether the academic world would notice if JCU ceased academic output….

      140

  • #
    FijiDave

    ..sack the VC Sandra Harding AO who earnt was paid $975,000 in 2018,

    450

  • #
    Don B

    May 26 is publication day for “Climate Change, The Facts – 2020.”
    Has Peter Ridd authored a chapter?

    https://ipa.org.au/cctf2020

    110

  • #
    Yonniestone

    The writings of Marx was essentially a blueprint to place people in power that embraced his ideology regardless of merit, today we see JCU epitomising this nightmare.

    150

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Coral puts on dazzling neon show to fight back against warmer seas

    Some corals affected by the process undergo a previously unexplained transformation in which they emit a range of different bright neon colours.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/coral-puts-on-dazzling-neon-show-to-fight-back-against-warmer-seas-d0c5pr730

    >> That’s something you won’t learn at JCU.

    40

  • #
    PeterS

    Yes, where is PM Morrison? Missing in action as usual on several key issues I’m afraid. In fact he is still a great advocate of reducing our emissions so perhaps he is actually a closet CAGW believer. Even if he isn’t, it’s no excuse for his lack of interest in the outrageous attacks on Rudd’s integrity and honesty in conducting real scientific research. It’s a sad reflection of the state of affairs in our Universities that they prefer to cover up a scam and a cult, rather than to debate and discuss the real merits or otherwise of climate change. If anything, what the Universities are doing is actually against their charter. Then again that’s not unlike what the ABC is doing. Our government is letting a lot through the keeper and it’s a sad indictment on their integrity and honesty, far beyond what Ridd has allegedly done. In fact it is the ABC and the Universities who should be in the courts defending their reputations (and failing) not Ridd. The world is up-side-down as many of us are witnessing with much amazement. What next? Greed is good? Oh, that’s already being taken care of in spades for some time now. Not much left to turn up-side-down.

    170

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      I have a suspicion Morrisons minders are swamp creatures. As such he may be steered to make the “right” decisions for them when needed.

      It would be interesting to see who is who in the zoo inside the govt…

      120

      • #
        PeterS

        Yes it was so obvious when Turnbull was PM. Now it’s harder to tell, possibly even deliberately so. As you have noted the internal “swamp creatures” are a problem. To be blunt neither major party deserves to be in power but we don’t have much of a choice so the circus continues until the tent comes crashing down.

        110

    • #
      Dennis

      Recently Andrew Bolt (Sky News Bolt Report) interviewed Minister Angus Taylor and asked him what difference to projected global warming Australia meeting its Paris Agreement emissions targets would make. Andrew suggested, when Angus hesitated, a tiny fraction of one per cent, maybe.

      Angus Taylor did admit that Australia’s emissions pale into insignificance when compared to global emissions, particularly China’s emissions, but when Andrew Bolt asked what was the point the response was weak, something to do with Australia doing the right thing.

      Meanwhile, as Andrew Bolt pointed out, China sells solar equipment and wind turbines to Australia while China continues to build coal fired power stations to support economic growth in China. And with approval from the UN IPCC.

      Frankly, I do not believe the politicians who now claim to have realised the need for new manufacturing industry, to secure national security with oil stocks and refineries, etc., lessons learnt from the pandemic and shutting down the economy temporarily. I suspect that their rhetoric is more diversionary tactic than substance. UN Agreements and Agendas blue tape would need to be rejected including our government legislation and regulations created to implement UN demands, red, green and black tape. Defunding UN associates non-government organisations.

      Christina Figueres is one UN Official who admitted that IPCC climate change is a political agenda, an attack on free market capitalism, redistribution of developed nation’s wealth created by capitalism, and promotion of globalism socialism: “socialism masquerading as environmentalism” – Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia.

      190

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Lots of good points there Dennis.

        71

      • #
        PeterS

        So in effect Angus Taylor admitted that he is a doing the right thing to continue the handicap we are suffering while countries like Japan, China and India go full steam ahead building hundreds of new coal fired power stations to provide cheap and reliable energy. I’m not sure whether to call him an idiot, a fool or a an ignoramus. Perhaps all three would do. Why do we even bother to fight it here. We might as well wait for the crash and burn and then say to the LNP and ALP “we told you so”.

        100

        • #
          Serp

          We should simply outlaw all this RE stuff and watch the caravan head off to frontiers new, more than likely led by our chief scientist who has form in that area.

          70

  • #
    Boambee John

    A minor correction.

    Sandra Harding was paid $975,000 in 2018. She did not earn it.

    170

  • #

    I doubt the government can legally do what you are asking it to, especially until the case is settled. Even then if there is no misuse of federal funds the govt has no basis for action. They can’t roll a uni just because they do not like what management does.

    73

    • #

      Nor would I want the government to have this power.

      41

    • #
      Reed Coray

      David, What exactly do you mean by “roll a uni(versity)?” If you mean “tell them what to do,” then I agree with you. If you mean “terminate their public funding if in the opinion of elected officials the university is NOT acting in the best interests of the public,” then I disagree. IMO, deciding to give/withhold public funds to/from a university IS both a legitimate and required responsibility of elected officials.

      90

  • #
    bobl

    I agree Jo and as I said on a previous thread Morrison should take it on and reverse the damage done by Dawkins in the Hawke government. Leave outcome based applied science to industry to fund (except where the government itself needs to invent something) and start funding science on merit independent of outcome. If it’s interesting study it for knowledge not for money. Institute universal rules around academic freedom as conditions of licensing (accreditation) for universities. Authorise Fair Work to adjudicate cases like Ridds which should never have escaped to the courts.

    Definitely the VC needs to go at this institution, without academic freedom you can’t get honesty, and without honesty you can’t get science. Group-think can dominate your institution. It absolutely disgusting that the the Fakery (in the hockey stick sense), the group-think and censorship of Climate Change has been allowed to infest other science. What now? Perhaps E=mC^2 is too C-ist – calling C squared is offensive to people who’s names start or end with C so we must change it to E=mC to save offending the Cs of the world? Maybe being cubic is the fashionable mathematical gender this month and it should be E=mC^3 This is the post modernist virtual view of the world.

    People, in a computer simulation, a virtual world, I can invent any physics I like, I invent fake math to describe it, I can have gravity acting upwards, or teleportation, or heat that flows from cold to hot, or wind that blows from low to high pressure, or surfaces that emit more energy than they receive. I can even model a virus that kills everything it touches or turns (virtual) people into zombies. Inside a computer I can make anything happen, I can make the simulation show anything I want it to show.

    On the Ridd appeal
    The appeal will probably fail because you can only argue on points of law (errors the judge made) and perhaps the amount of compensation awarded, you can’t introduce new facts into an appeal in Australia, but even if it succeeds it is probably more likely to be sent back to the lower court than decided then and there. Chances are they’ll still lose even if they win their appeal. I think JCUs strategy all along has been to outspend and financially break Peter. Good on him for persevering and thanks to all his donors

    170

  • #
  • #
    ianl

    > “… rehire Ridd, sack the VC Sandra Harding AO who earnt $975,000 in 2018, and enshrine free speech in employment contracts …”

    Pollyanna to the rescue yet again.

    Removing Harding (yes, I would love to watch that) won’t help Ridd because the people who rely on Govt funding for poorly controlled GBR research are still there. Peter Ridd will not want to return to that toxicity.

    Most unis are now “renovating” their academic employment contracts to remove academic freedoms. Freedom of speech is now considered quaint, if not downright offensive. Withholding all of the funding from all of them is Pollyanna time.

    The Enlightenment is well and truly done for – generations now. It is now the period of Disenlightenment. Policed by the malignant social media.

    120

  • #
    Steve of Cornubia

    It is worth considering what the process would have been to permit JCU to do this, what looks to most people like a waste of money and a VERY bad look for JCU – essentially using the legal and financial might of a multi-million dollar organisation to target, harass and potentially ruin an individual.

    I would assume that the JCU Board and all significant stakeholders must have been consulted and their agreement secured. I don’t believe something as big and risky as this could go ahead simply on the whim ore demand of the VC alone. Those people would, if they are worthy of their positions, have demanded a thorough due diligence process. That would have highlighted the enormous reputational risks involved, as well as the financial and legal.

    So what are we to conclude? That this folly is going ahead in spite of the risks is enlightening, suggesting that either the Univ. governors have no say, are weak, or actually agree that univ. funds should be spent on this circus, that silencing one voice is so important, these risks are worth it.

    It speaks of a very worrying culture that I suspect infects all our universities, not just of leftist control (which happened a long time ago) but that the leftists in power have become obsessed with destroying any and all resistance to their control, however minor.

    In other words, the rot goes all the way through and absolute power has corrupted absolutely.

    100

  • #
    Ruairi

    Universities who research and who teach,
    While actively curbing free speech,
    With their staffs locked in fear,
    Should be made to pay dear,
    For the academic freedoms they breach.

    220

  • #
    Evidence Please

    The real sorry affair is Peter’s inability to submit his evidence, assertions to lay people are no replacement for scientific procedure.

    215

    • #
      AndyG55

      Again, all you make is empty Evidence-Free comments.

      Peter Ridd has submitted plenty of evidence and been proven correct.

      You have proven you know nothing about scientific procedure.

      140

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        In fact Peter Ridd submitted a negative argument which he could not prove ir he tried — no one has submitted any evidence supporting the supposed fact that the GBR is dying. You can’t get a better case than that.

        Thank you to Giddion Rosner for issuing email updates on the status of this case. I presume to everyone on the Heartland mailing list.

        =======================================

        There, I’ve agreed with you twice Andy.

        11

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          You can send some of that famous Aussie beer to me through Jo.

          Nice thought but don’t bother. Beer would be vinegar by the time I got it.

          10

    • #
      Evidence Please

      Oh, so sorry Andy, I missed all those peer reviewed articles supporting him and disproving AGW, can you provide a link please ?, Ta

      117

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Ta Ta.

        50

      • #
        AndyG55

        So, still zero empirical evidence of warming by atmospheric CO2..

        Remain empty.. it is all you have.

        70

      • #
        AndyG55

        Waiting for your evidence that Goldilocks never existed.

        Fantasies and fairy tales, like climate change, don’t need proof to “believe” !

        50

        • #
          Evidence Please

          ‘Don’t need proof to believe’
          Well done Andy

          12

          • #
            AndyG55

            Good thing for you

            You can just “believe”.

            No need to produce any proof at all

            You remain, as always, Evidence-Free

            10

      • #
        AndyG55

        Didn’t you see where several studies could not be replicated.

        So.. not science

        You think copying the same fish in different aspects is “science” and shouldn’t be exposed?

        I do understand why you would continually back this sort of F***D….. its all you have.

        60

        • #
          Evidence Please

          All very convincing until you listen to the scientists.
          But what would the experts know?.

          13

          • #
            AndyG55

            “But what would the experts know?.

            No way you would ever know. !

            Dyson, Happer, Lindzen, Soon, Connelly father and son

            You have nothing.

            You remain Evidence-Free

            40

  • #
    Reed Coray

    I’m not a lawyer, but my father was. As I recall, he told me that when it was deemed that potential legislation might not pass judicial review, occasionally those both “for” and “against” the legislation would agree to and equally fund a “test case.” That is, somehow, and I don’t know how, before the law was passed a test case would be brought before a court to determine if the legislation would pass judicial muster. The idea was to equally share in the determination of the legality of the legislation. JCU’s actions are the antitheses of this approach. Not only does JCU not share in the cost of determining the legality of the Peter Ridd issue, JCU makes it difficult for Peter to financially get in the fight. Shame on JCU.

    90

  • #
    Dennis

    Peter Ridd’s case highlights what has been worrying me for a long time, I thought it was on the way to recovery when Prime Minister Scott Morrison was appointed and many of the left faction MPs of the Liberal Party in Parliament were no longer in office. The PM and Ministers have taken a new encouraging direction on several issues but I remain wary that behind the scenes the political agenda continues but less obviously.

    For example, the Liberal candidate for the Eden-Monaro by election states that she is a scientist, farmer and climate change believer, in other words hoax supporter?

    Another example is the evidence given by the BoM at the Royal Commission into bushfires, more BoM deceptive data presented and claims that should not be allowed, but then BoM should have been redirected when Jennifer Marohasy and colleagues first revealed the problems in 2013/14.

    Yesterday the Hazlewood brown coal fired Power Station was demolished by VicGov.

    Maybe the above and much more explains why the Morrison Government has not dealt with JCU and the Ridd matter?

    110

  • #
    TdeF

    In the 2019 annual report of JCU

    “JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY
    Notes to the financial statements
    for the year ended 31 December 2019 Note 20: Contingencies
    Contingent liability Ongoing proceedings in the Federal Court regarding unfair dismissal alleged by a former employee.
    Award of $1.219m made at first hearing and pending appeal.”

    In a $570Million a year business, Professor Ridd is a frog on the freeway and is only a former employee who failed to lose at the ‘first hearing’.

    Australian Government financial assistance is around $320Million.

    Fees around $181 million.
    Consultancy and contracts $26million.
    Investment income $14 million.

    So it’s a really big business involving 15,000 staff and students and multiple campuses. However around Australia the flow of funds from Fees is crashing with international travel stopped. Universities are starting to fire staff and JCU will start soon.

    In that context appealing a very fair $1.2Million settlement on wages lost awarded by a court might be a very bad look when they want to apply for more Federal and State assistance to keep staff jobs. And that little $26 million in consultancies for staff, say on the Great Barrier Reef.

    My guess is that they will withdraw, for all the wrong reasons. And the persecution of ‘a former employee’ who just happened to be the lifelong head of the School of Physics will stop so they can play the victim.

    101

    • #
      TdeF

      For JCU, the financial climate has changed. And no mention of the enormous damage done Australia wide to the reputation of the University and that tens of thousands of people contributed to the fight for the rights of this ‘former employee’ or that he accused the University management of reprehensible and illegal conduct. And they have been found guilty. And not a ‘first hearing’ but a full trial in the Federal Court costing $600,000 to lose. Over a simple matter of unfair dismissal. Oops.

      81

  • #
    Strop

    In January a new paper tried to repeat eight JCU experiments and every one of them failed.

    JCU released a statement saying something like the replication attempts by Clark et al were not a true replication of the original study. That there were differences sufficient to suggest it didn’t disprove the original study, including using a different species of fish.

    Anyone know if that’s true? Or was the Clark et al replication attempt a fair replication?

    21

    • #

      It is not really the role of the university to make that judgement unless they were quoting someone with knowledge of the studies and then broke down the argument with specifics. At that point “a true replication” becomes an opinion based on how you define “true”

      41

    • #
      Steve of Cornubia

      The point is that JCU presented all its arguments and any such evidence in court, and lost on every single count.

      The time has passed for any, “Ah, but … ” nonsense.

      60

      • #
        Strop

        The court case is about an employment contract and nothing to do with proving or disproving the quality of science at the University. The replication problem Jo referred to has nothing to do with the court case. Completely separate matter.

        21

    • #
      Serp

      In the spirit of the ancient Heraclitus who maintained that you could not step in the same river twice this original study may not be replicated. Amen.

      10

  • #
    Jonas

    I am surprised to see the name Oona Lönnstedt (and a bit ashamed since I am Swedish). Her work was a big scandal here in Sweden. She deliberatly fabricated data. She was fired due to this, and the University (of Uppsala) had to make an official applogy for not checking her work before publication.

    Her work was about young fishes eating micro plastics (which they did not – they only did that in her confused brain).

    How on earth could she work at JCU in Australia ? I was 100% sure that she was “dead” in the academic world after her [Snip]work in Sweden.

    [Happy to be wrong but don't think there was ever a conviction recorded for that .]AD

    70

  • #
    Serp

    The evil of covid19 will have some upsides not the least of which good outcomes will be the collapse of the racket distributing degrees to foreign students incapable of reading an english language document. Presumably the core G8 will survive but those on the far queue, such as JCU, may not.

    40

  • #
    John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia

    One of my geological heroes was the great Sam Carey (graduate of Uni of Sydney- my alma mater & founding Professor of Geology at the Uni of Tasmania (1946-1976) and also a pioneer of the continental drift theory), who I first met in 1975 while our company (UNOCAL) was trying to figure out the tectonics of Indonesia and SE Asia. He had this quote:
    “Really new trails are rarely blazed in the great academies. The confining walls of conformist dogma are too dominating. To think originally, you must go forth into the wilderness.”
    Not that JCU is a great academy. I wonder what the great man would have thought of JCU’s behaviour in this case. Incidentally, Sam Carey was a Captain in Z Force during WWII.

    80

    • #
      James

      #22: Great quote from a great geologist John. Too easy to say that they don’t make free thinking geologists like Sam Carey, Douglas Mawson and Alfred Wegener anymore but I suspect they do, in spite of the suffocating political correctness at institutions like JCU.

      50

    • #
      Strop

      Sounds like we were very lucky to have Sam Carey, and you were to meet him.

      30

  • #
    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    JCU’s idea of Science appears to be based on grant driven Political Science. This is the antithesis of true Science which espouses The Scientific Method which is based on the tools of scepticism and deniability.

    30

  • #
    Jonas

    About Oona Lönnstedt – sure there was formal conviction issued by the University head master. The accusation and conviction of reasearch fraud is formally documented at Uppsalla Univeristy.

    The university made thorough work to actually find out what happened. Based on that work (done by a team) Oona was convicted.

    This must be vey easy for JCU to get this information from Uppsala Univeristy (one mail).

    70

  • #
    Bob Radley

    I wrote to Education Minister Dan Tehan about this months ago.
    I never even received so much as an automated reply.
    They’re cowards, and cowardice is a more deadly enemy to Western Civilisation than the coronavirus.
    I urge everyone to flood that minister’s email with urging to turn JCU’s lights out – and cc the PM.
    Once they sense a groundswell of outrage they won’t be able to ignore this any longer.

    50

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    Simon Phipps

    Laws do not define was is right, only what is legal. Laws that successfully protect what is regarded by a society as fair and just are good laws. Laws that fail in this duty are bad laws. Bad laws can be the result of deliberate intent or an unforeseen consequence of good intentions. In our world today there is an abundance of good and bad laws. In a free and just society, a democratic society, there is a general drive to weed out bad laws and introduce new laws to cover new and changing needs. It is not a perfect process. Whatever the level of success, the laws themselves are not the thing they aim to protect. Justice and fairness are the purpose. Our legal framework is simply the means.

    The same can be said for contracts; in this case employment contracts. Such contracts set out to define only what is wanted. It does not follow that they define in absolute terms what is right, fair or just. For an organisation such as JCU to argue the justice of their actions in terms of a contract may be a necessary defence of their actions; but it is not a sufficient defence for what is right or just. When it can be shown that an employment contract is not objectively fair, just it must be cast aside.

    For these reasons the question of what a society considers the desired fair and just purpose of an organisation and the people it employs should be the ruling consideration over and above the detail in a contract.

    JCU may elect to hide behind a curtain of contracts and a highly selective set of expectations coming from an especially narrow cluster of social relationships, what one might call doing favours for those pulling the strings. But in doing so they are not providing an objective defence on the first principals of justice and fair play. The real test for JCU is whether or not they can defend their position from the standpoint of what our society considers right and just. An entertaining example of what I mean is aptly demonstrated in the Australian movie “The Castle”.

    JCU is behaving like a petulant child and a sore looser. As an Australian and a university graduate I am appalled and disgusted at the way they are conducting themselves.

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      Strop

      For these reasons the question of what a society considers the desired fair and just purpose of an organisation and the people it employs should be the ruling consideration over and above the detail in a contract.

      There are laws and rulings around contracts that don’t comply with the law. But when a contract complies with the law then what portion of society consensus is required to determine

      what a society considers the desired fair and just purpose

      ? 50.1% or 99.9% Would that suggest contract disputes be decided by whether it passes the pub test?

      The case in question is a clear case of a well negotiated contract by two organisations or groups. A large professional employer and a group of employees with a union. They’ll have an opinion on whether the EBA met the intention and whether the associated code of conduct was intended to or is allowed to restrict the EBA. We know what the judge thought.

      Regardless of whether the contract as appropriately carried out, there is a proper means of executing it and the treatment of the employee is where the pub test comes in. Hopefully that wouldn’t be coloured by whether you drink in the pub of Climate Alarmism or in the pub of Science QA. Might have to have it in the pub of Free Speech or Common Decency which hopefully all patrons are willing to drink in.

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    Simon Phipps

    Hey Strop, in plumbing the depths of this issue you clearly demonstrate there is much more to it than what first appears. The way a fellow human is treated goes beyond what is written down. The level of awareness displayed in action is a barometer of the values underpinning the people and organisations concerned. The barometer here is registering in the red zone (in my opinion).

    20

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    UK-Weather Lass

    The advertising blurb says ‘We embrace collaboration and connection which prepares you for tomorrow’s world of work’. Perhaps these words are intended to inspire a feeling of togetherness even when thoughts or deeds involve original work rather than a blind acceptance of the narrative of the party line or consensus rather than a warning to anybody thinking outside the box to pick up their tools and go somewhere else. The educational facility using this slogan is based in Sydney and has some form when it comes to issues surrounding the party line of consensus opinion and controlling those who may have been to seen to upset the balance.

    When I started to following the Murry Salby story I was surprised how quickly stuff disappeared from once reliable search engines. His work hadn’t been that controversial and he was simply producing reliable evidence and attaching significance to it from his perspective as a scientist, but apparently he was paying far too much attention to fighting global warming alarm than teaching his students and so he had to go. And in keeping with a trend that started sometime during the 1970s to 1980s it is necessary to protect naïve and innocent minds from ‘deception’.

    The Peter Ridd story shows how much worse things have become for those who refuse to be hounded into not telling scientific truth. The methods used to pressurise him and his family were especially unpleasant for an academic whose work had been exceptional both in the field and on the campus as described by his many students.

    These incidents are cautionary warnings about the extremities people will go to when folklore is rewritten on a daily basis just in case somebody may be thinking the reality is something else entirely. A prison sentence is really too good for those who wish to smother good science and the freedom to practice it. Just how have we allowed this to happen and no, I do not believe this is a right versus left matter. It is far, far worse than that and stretches much, much further than climate science, this epidemic and much of the way our media is organised. It has poisoned the brains of far too many people already, IMO.

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    Steve Borodin

    And my vote for the most universally sick university in the universe goes to … You got it! But there are plenty of others aspiring to this title.

    20

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    PETER

    While we are rightly scandalized by what has happened to Peter Ridd and the destruction over the last decades of trust in academics honesty accuracy and integrity, and university’s ability to ensure adequate replication of results in the output of their academics research to underpin the university’s reputation as a center of accurate scholarship, this situation we find ourselves in is nothing new.
    In fact where we are currently has been occurring with increasing frequency since at least 1913 in the united states
    (i would not be surprised if research found something similar in the uk).
    In the mid 1950s there was a brief congressional investigation into the activities of the large tax free foundations, after a preliminary report tabled its results to congress it was quickly squashed by the Eisenhower administration and unable to undertake a wide ranging investigation with real teeth.
    However the results of the investigation were made public in at least one book i think published in the late 1950s by those involved in the investigation.
    At least one book on the subject is still available, and i recommend it to all who are horrified by where we find ourselves now.
    Amongst other things the foundations were found to be buying (my words) academic support for the pre conceived research outcomes required by the foundations.
    This was achieved by funding research into specific issues decided by the foundations with the outcome of the research, nudge nudge wink wink deciding further research funding for the academic/s concerned.
    In addition the university,s were receiving generous funding from the foundations which included the funding of chairs at the university,s for favored academics who did research which produced results in line with the foundations preferred outcomes.
    It was also revealed that the foundations were co-ordinating their activities to achieve influence/control over key policies in government institutions, Dept Education, Dept Trade, Dept State etc (for those whose response to these words is CONSPIRACY THEORY, i remind you this investigation and its results is a matter of U.S Congressional record).
    Now as i recall the research discussed was mainly in the social sciences (or social non sciences as i prefer to term them) but this seems to have spread widely to the real sciences over past decades,the modus operandi appears to be the same.
    When you read this book you may think it strange that the private foundations set up by the wealthiest and most powerful capitalists in the U.S were deliberately promoting and funding academic research outcomes that were wholly in line with socialist political goals (to put my personal cards on the table i am neither a progressive or a conservative “just the facts maam just the facts”), the observed realities of who benefits financially and politically from the current climate panic will reveal some of the same players at work.
    It is no surprise to me that this disaster was facilitated in Australia by changes implemented by the Labour party
    (then continued by the Howard government as were a number of other disastrous policy’s), one is forced to wonder was it coincidence ? or were influential advisers promoting such changes knowing what the end result here be ? we will probably never know.
    Still much about how we got here now is to be revealed by research into the political activities of those foundations
    starting more than a hundred years ago.

    Pete

    00

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    PETER

    While we are rightly scandalized by what has happened to Peter Ridd and the destruction over the last decades of trust in academics honesty accuracy and integrity, and university’s ability to ensure adequate replication of results in the output of their academics research to underpin the university’s reputation as a center of accurate scholarship, this situation we find ourselves in is nothing new.
    In fact where we are currently has been occurring with increasing frequency since at least 1913 in the united states
    (i would not be surprised if research found something similar in the uk).
    In the mid 1950s there was a brief congressional investigation into the activities of the large tax free foundations, after a preliminary report tabled its results to congress it was quickly squashed by the Eisenhower administration and unable to undertake a wide ranging investigation with real teeth.
    However the results of the investigation were made public in at least one book i think published in the late 1950s by those involved in the investigation.
    At least one book on the subject is still available, and i recommend it to all who are horrified by where we find ourselves now.
    Amongst other things the foundations were found to be buying (my words) academic support for the pre conceived research outcomes required by the foundations.
    This was achieved by funding research into specific issues decided by the foundations with the outcome of the research, nudge nudge wink wink deciding further research funding for the academic/s concerned.
    In addition the university,s were receiving generous funding from the foundations which included the funding of chairs at the university,s for favored academics who did research which produced results in line with the foundations preferred outcomes.
    The published outcomes of the directed research were used by those working within various government departments (functioning as agents of influence for the foundations) to justify the implementation of changes to government policys or systems in line with the foundations long term political goals.
    Does this sound familiar to anyone interested in climate?
    It was also revealed that the foundations were co-ordinating their activities to achieve influence/control over key policies in government institutions, Dept Education, Dept Trade, Dept State etc (for those whose response to these words is CONSPIRACY THEORY, i remind you this investigation and its results is a matter of U.S Congressional record).
    Now as i recall the research discussed was mainly in the social sciences (or social non sciences as i prefer to term them) but this seems to have spread widely to the real sciences over past decades,the modus operandi appears to be the same.
    When you read this book you may think it strange that the private foundations set up by the wealthiest and most powerful capitalists in the U.S were deliberately promoting and funding academic research outcomes that were wholly in line with socialist political goals (to put my personal cards on the table i am neither a progressive or a conservative “just the facts maam just the facts”), the observed realities of who benefits financially and politically from the current climate panic will reveal some of the same players at work.
    It is no surprise to me that this disaster was facilitated in Australia by changes implemented by the Labour party
    (then continued by the Howard government as were a number of other disastrous policy’s), one is forced to wonder was it coincidence ? or were influential advisers promoting such changes knowing what the end result here be ? we will probably never know.
    Still much about how we got here now is to be revealed by research into the political activities of those foundations
    starting more than a hundred years ago.

    Pete

    00