Dr. Peter Ridd vs. James Cook University – Day1 in Court

Dr. Peter Ridd updates his GoFundMe page with this update after his first day in court:

We have just finished the first of the three days of the court hearing. Things went quite well and our Queens Counsel (Stuart Wood QC) spoke for most of the day. I have to say that he was absolutely brilliant. It was also nice to have quite a few of my friends sitting at the back of the court – many of whom had donated to this gofundme. Special thanks to them for coming.

Tomorrow will be the JCU QC’s turn and it will be interesting to see how it goes. 

Dr. Jennifer Marohasy adds:

A good first day in court for Peter Ridd.  There is already an article at The Australian newspaper online with the headline:

‘Professor Peter Ridd challenges James Cook University Sacking’ 

Journalist Charlie Peel writes: “Barrister Stuart Wood said his client had every right to criticise his colleagues and the university’s perceived lack of quality assurance processes.

“The first alleged breach of the code occurred in April 2016, when Professor Ridd emailed a journalist to allege that images given to the media by the Australian Institute of Marine Science and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority were misleading.

“Professor Ridd said the images of bleached coral reefs near Stone Island, off the coast of Bowen in north Queensland, were misleading because they showed poorly affected corals, which were selected over nearby healthy coral …”

Two days ago, I published detail on the specifics of how Peter Ridd was betrayed when he tried to blow the whistle on the fake photographs by showing photographs of healthy coral off Stone Island. 

Read the full story at my blog:


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Bloke down the pub
March 26, 2019 6:29 am

Will no-one Ridd me of these turbulent priests.

It doesn't add up...
March 26, 2019 6:31 am

Thanks for your report. We can only hope that the court is impartial.

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 26, 2019 7:06 am

Don’t hold your breath.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 26, 2019 8:09 am

In Australia, you are joking?

Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 26, 2019 1:44 pm

Invested? Yes. Impartial? Not so much.

March 26, 2019 6:40 am

Corals are amazing…..high and dry at low tide….exposed to direct sun…rain…wind

…and a less than 1 degree increase in water temp kills them all

Reply to  Latitude
March 26, 2019 7:29 am

Yes, and somehow they’ve lived through literal epochs of geologic time exposed to a dozen degrees higher temperatures than today and over 10 times as much atmospheric CO2.

Somewhere around a quarter of a quadrillion tons of CO2 from corals is sequestered in cabonaceous formations in earth’s crust.

They’ve seen it all. But I guess they’ve finally met their match with this last 0.01% of atmospheric CO2.

Reply to  Latitude
March 26, 2019 7:56 am

“They found that in Bermuda, coral calcification was relatively insensitive to changes in the seawater pH, but very sensitive to changes in temperature. And the observed relationship between temperature and calcification was a positive one—as the seawater got warmer, coral growth sped up.”



“”The study showed that this species of coral (Siderastrea siderea) exhibited a peaked or parabolic response to both warming and acidification, that is, moderate acidification and warming actually enhanced coral calcification,


Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Latitude
March 26, 2019 11:02 am

I suspect that all calcifiers have optimal pH and temperature ranges, beyond which they have to expend more energy to grow. That should be self evident, at least for temperature, because of latitudinal constraints on where they are found. Further, I suspect that those optimal ranges are determined by the extant conditions when and where they first evolved.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 26, 2019 11:54 am

you know…to put down calcium deposits…first they have to make them soluble

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Latitude
March 26, 2019 9:04 am

Yes, warmunists even use the coelacanth as an example of an animal that will be totally, utterly obliterated by the UNPRECEDENTED warming (that its lived through before – maybe that word doesn’t mean what they think it means…)

As I’ve said, if more people had better math skills….hell ANY math skills, they’d be less afraid of what the scare-mongering MSM and its priesthood of rent-seekers hype…and maybe more afraid of other things.

Reply to  Latitude
March 26, 2019 9:37 am

The GBR is over 1 million years old which means it spends most of its time 100 metres above sea level in fact, and mostly when its 6 or7 degrees K colder and you can go walk about to New Guineau or from Cairns to the white cliffs of the GBR. Corals also adapt by changing the coral type they support with temperature, and recover quickly from local changes, etc. It’s easy to do as the they are profligate propagators and will colonise ocean structures wherever conditions are right, even keep up with sea level change in the case of coral atolls formed on eroding volcanoes, die off in one place and startup in another as we go through ice age cycles. Everything changes, but its still the same thing.

Ron Long
March 26, 2019 6:40 am

Dr. Peter Ridd is fighting the good fight, and all scientists should welcome his efforts. It is a shame it costs so much, but here’s hoping justice prevails and he scores a just compensation. Hard to imagine his fellow Professors will welcome his win, however.

UK Sceptic
March 26, 2019 6:57 am

If Dr. Ridd wins this case – and if there’s any justice he should – then he’ll be a rock star in the world of true science.

Go get ’em Dr Ridd.

Tom Abbott
March 26, 2019 7:00 am

How does this hearing work? Does each side get a day to make their case? And then what?

Ron Long
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 26, 2019 8:08 am

I’m afraid on the third day the judge calls up Bill Nye, the Non-Science Guy, and asks him who is right.

Reply to  Ron Long
March 26, 2019 9:53 am

It doesn’t actually matter who’s right. Even if Ridd is wrong, he still has the right and obligation to call BS if that’s what he thinks he sees. If Ridd himself is wrong, then it is the duty of other scientists to point that out.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Ron Long
March 26, 2019 10:02 am

Could be worse the judge might has called up Mike the Mann and asked for his hockey stick logic to be tabled as evidence, proving how dedicated to the cause the climate alarm fraternity are.
Oh, sorry I forgot, he has to have many, many. years notice of impending court appearances in case it puts a Steyn on his reputation…

Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 26, 2019 9:52 am

Both sides present there arguments as they see it about the sacking incidents. Each side takes turns giving counter to points made. Finally the judge gets involved asking specifics to both parties about arguments. Once the judge is happy he understands both sides arguments he will either make a ruling or give a time he will make a ruling (he may want to do some homework).

Bryan A
March 26, 2019 7:09 am

Time to create the Ridd Prize for Outstanding Ethics in Science

March 26, 2019 7:12 am

Wasn’t it a scientist in Australia who took on the “Stomach Acid Mafia” and won against all odds. There must be something in Fosters lager that promotes integrity and courage. To paraphrase a famous American general “This is the remedy our opponents have chosen, I say let us give them all they want”

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  troe
March 26, 2019 7:41 am

That was in Western Australia so Fosters ( a Victorian based brand) would be an unlikely contributor. Swan Lager, Emu Export or even one of the excellent craft beers in WA would be the go.

Aussies are very parochial about their beers.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
March 26, 2019 8:11 am

And they are all sh!t.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 26, 2019 8:43 am

I’ll see if I can find the brands you mentioned. They are probably very good.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  troe
March 26, 2019 9:20 am

I’ll drink anything, even 4 star, but I won’t drink a 4 X!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 26, 2019 11:06 am

Patrick MJD
Is “beer snob” an oxymoron? Just asking. 🙂

Bruce Clark
Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 26, 2019 2:39 pm

Fair go mate. Do you have evidence for that?

Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 26, 2019 9:28 pm

As a resident Sandgroper, have to agree with you regarding Swan and Emu. But our craft beers are very good. Nobody in their right mind drinks Fosters in Oz.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Graeme#4
March 27, 2019 6:14 am

Just like in Canada, nobody drinks Molsons or Labatts (but Americans think we do).

Well, except for my dad, but he’s 88 and will drink whatever the @#$% he wants (and deserves to).

Now, if I could only get our local craft brewers to produce a decent lager or pilsner, as opposed to that gawdawful over-hopped frankenbeer. I mean, what the hell is a raspberry and hibiscus gose?

Does a grown man actually drink something “bursting with plump, fresh raspberries, tart lemony hibiscus, and a gentle saltiness?”

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
March 27, 2019 6:54 am

It’s not beers, it’s be-ayes.

R Moore
Reply to  troe
March 26, 2019 8:19 am

Dr Barry Marshall, Nobel Laureate 2005.
From Western Australia.

Matthew Bergin
March 26, 2019 7:25 am

Good point. What is the temp change when the coral gets exposed to the air at low tide particularly since the rate of change could be almost instantaneous depending on the tidal area.

Reply to  Matthew Bergin
March 26, 2019 8:03 am

in the sun…way over 100 degrees

and twice a day

Alastair Gray
March 26, 2019 7:47 am

Anyone heard about an outfit called sense about science. I had an email from them asking me to join an organisation supposedly devoted to challenging issuers of theories to put up their evidence for proper scrutiny. Very laudable and would that the AGW lot would oblige. The email is shown below.

What somewhat turned me off and made me think it was an invitation to join a Gorebal chorus was their award of the John Maddox price for Professor Terry Hughes, ” who exposed the extent of coral reef damage caused by rising water temperatures, and Britt Hermes, who publicised her research and subsequent rejection of her practice in natural therapies, have each been awarded the 2018 John Maddox Prize for their courage in promoting science and evidence on matters of public interest, despite smears, threats and attempted lawsuits.” Miss Hermes sounds OK but TErry Hughes sounds kind of shakey.
John Maddox is a former editor of Nature and the prize is awarded jointly by nature and this https://www.senseaboutscience.org outfit

More about the 2018 Maddox prize at https://senseaboutscience.org/activities/maddox-prize-2018/

“And this year’s prize for promoting infant welfare goes to . . . . . .King Herod! ”
This should give Peter Ridd a laugh
The email invitation is quoted below
Alex Clegg
Mr Alastair Gray

Feb 20 at 1:50 PM

Dear friends

Some exciting news: we’re expanding the Ask for Evidence campaign by recruiting 20 Ask for Evidence Ambassadors from around the UK. If you care about evidence, and want to hold the powerful to account, you could well be one of the newest ambassadors.

As many of you will know, Ask for Evidence helps people request evidence for claims they come across – in news stories, adverts and policy statements. It’s about making sure a discussion on the evidence happens when it really matters. That might be when our health or safety is at stake, or a public figure or authority makes a claim or decision on our behalf.

Our current crop of ambassadors have been a resounding success – reaching over 50,000 people and encouraging more than 1,500 people to Ask for Evidence. Now, we’re looking to build on that success by recruiting 20 more people from all walks of life and from across the UK.

Successful applicants will receive expert training in public speaking, insights into campaigning and communications and opportunities to organise and give talks in their region.

This position is open to anyone who cares about, uses or advocates for evidence in their lives and communities. It is unpaid but reasonable expenses will be covered.

If you’re keen to take part, please do get in touch. Please do also share our announcement with as many people as you can.

Applicants will need to be available to attend a training day in London on Friday 10th May 2019 (travel expenses will be covered).

To apply please send a short CV and a note explaining why you would like to be an ambassador and how you’ll bring the issues you care about to the campaign. Please send all applications to alex@senseaboutscience.org by 5pm Friday 22nd March.

Kind regards


Alex Clegg
Coordinator, Campaigns and Communications

Sense about Science
Because evidence matters

Alex Clegg
Coordinator, Campaigns and Communications

Sense about Science
Because evidence matters

Reply to  Alastair Gray
March 26, 2019 9:40 am

This email would turn my skepticism dial up to 11.
(Skepticism about the motives & objectives of SaS, that is)

March 26, 2019 8:41 am

The Climate/Energy field should keep these folks busy for generations should they decide to look at it scientifically. There’s plenty of cow paddies to keep them shoveling forever.

Kevin McNeill
March 26, 2019 10:04 am

I was taken by a line in Dr. Ridd’s email to the journalist that the sea level around the GBR had fallen by a metre in the last 5000 years. How does that tally with the more recent notion of dangerous sea level rise?

Dr Bob
Reply to  Kevin McNeill
March 26, 2019 10:42 am

That’s true, sea level is one to three metres lower around Australia than it was at the Holocene Optimum. Current sea level rise is off the back of the Little Ice Age, and is background noise on the Holocene scale. The warmists have no sense of geological time, nor of scale, so they worry about background noise.

By the way, temporary coral bleaching is caused by solar UV radiation, not slightly warmer sea water. Go Peter Ridd!!

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Dr Bob
March 26, 2019 11:07 am

“The warmists have no sense of geological time, nor of scale, so they worry about background noise.”

Indeed. That’s why I blunt any criticism that I am a “climate denier” (they mean CAWG denier of course, but close enough for warmunists) by saying that I more or less agree with the science that says the majority of recent warming is caused by man.

And by that I mean maybe 60% of a few tenths of degree of “warming” of the last few decades may be attributed to something man is doing.

Of course, that lulls them into a false sense of emotional security before I hit them with things like scientific uncertainty, warming could in fact be “less colding”, a few decades (or centuries or millennia) means nothing to the climatic record and that man also does stuff like build cities, roads and other infrastructure that affects the ecology.

Then I ask them how their latest cupping went at the chiropractor and how many candles they are going to use for Earth Hour.

You know, keeping it sciency and stuff.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Kevin McNeill
March 26, 2019 6:53 pm

Kevin, there is a notch in the cliffs and headlands all around the Caribbean marking the higher sea levels of the Holocene Optimum. Also, there are well developed beaches with driftwood dating ~5000-8000 yrs ago on what is now an ice-locked shoreline on the north coast of Greenland.

J Mac
March 26, 2019 10:25 am

Wishing Dr. Ridd maximum success in this endeavor!

March 26, 2019 10:45 am

Good Luck Peter, anybody that has so much experience should be considered an asset and not an inconvenience. Shame on those who refuse to acknowledge this and want to propagate their own agenda.

Robert B
March 26, 2019 2:05 pm

QC in academia is criticism. Hence, tenure that is free from interference. Change to government committees and you get Lysenkoism.

March 26, 2019 8:44 pm

The problem as usual is all about money. Aussie politicians are very sensitive about the GBR, so James Cook Uni. cry “Danger to the reef” and expect lots of money to come their way . But what do we see, a fellow member of the faculty says there is no danger to the GBR. Can’t have that sort of thing can we..


Former JCU Academic
Reply to  Michael
March 26, 2019 10:57 pm

Exactly. The Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Research is simply JCUs gravy train of research funding. There is to say the least a lot of questionable science and repeated science (repeating studies done in 60s or 70s with a climate change spin) pumping out the of Centre. The ‘research’ will never lead to anything applied. A waste of funding. However the linkages between AIMS-JCU-GBRMPA are far too strong.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Former JCU Academic
March 27, 2019 8:23 am

“gravy train of research funding”

And gravy trains can derail (funny how this hasn’t hit the MSM according to Der Google…):


Reply to  Michael
March 27, 2019 3:33 am

especially after turncoat handed the GBR scammers 4mil without any control over its use.

March 26, 2019 10:47 pm

As an Australian, I wish I could have more confidence in our system. But I don’t.

I fear that they won’t allow a dissenter to interfere with their careers, political ambitions and world view. Their view is that it is about the “Greater Good…. Yet they decide the Greater Good. Which they already have. “Climate Change” is government policy. Queensland is a socialist, Labor Party state. They are ecofascists and quite unashamably so.

Peter Ridd has committed the ultimate offence in a Socialist system. He, as a Taxpool paid, ticket holding part of the “System”, has used his position to dissent. Peter Ridd is guilty of dissenting the Political Orthodoxy. An unforgivable crime in Socialism…… I just can’t see the incumbent system ruling in his favor.

… I just wish I had more faith that our system will work despite the people who inhabit it, perhaps it is my failing, not theirs?

But we shall see soon enough.

March 27, 2019 1:50 am

The thing I don’t understand is how the university can compel a gag order on Dr. Ridd.
I can understand that a legally constituted court can gag everybody, but the university gagging the person they are attacking?

Bill in Oz
March 27, 2019 3:23 am

How curious !

The James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, says “Professor Ridd ……was found guilty of “failing to act in a collegial way and in the academic spirit of the institution”.

So they sacked him – a professor who had done research about the Great Barrier Reef since 1989.

Bugger me !

And here I always thought that our Australian scientists were provided with tenure and funding so they could do SCIENCE that has integrity and is honest..

If James Cook University wants to promote a ‘collegial academic spirit’ – code for dictatorial ‘don’t rock the boat’ – they are very welcome to do so.

But the price of such collegial stupidity is simple : NO TAXPAYER MONEY AT ALL !!

There are other universities that are wiling to put scientific integrity & honesty first, second & third !

As far as I am concerned JCU can wither & die !

March 27, 2019 6:13 am

It went very well for Peter Ridd today in court according to Peter Ridd supporters who were there.

The moment the Barrister for JCU went after Dr. Ridd during cross examination about statements he had made on a radio program, Judge Vasta intervened pointing out that in light of the criticisms by Dr. Ridd of quality assurance and lack of reproducibility of scientific research at JCU, that it would be more appropriate for JCU to make submissions addressing those issues and was a quite astonished that JCU had offered nothing to answer Dr Ridd’s criticisms.

….. in other words Judge Vasta is not going to buy into the “Code of Conduct” issues without first knowing the validity of Dr Ridd’s criticisms.

The Judge wants the Scientific research matters to tell the story….. I’m relieved. Dr Ridd will be allowed to present his case and JCU will have to comply…. The GBR research is garbage. Dr Ridd will be able to show that.

I was so worried that Politics would rule the day…. It may still, but Judge Vasta’s comments were telling.

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