Day3 – Peter Ridd versus James Cook University -Uni and State-sponsored Media Stuck in Denial

Dr. Jennifer Marohasy writes:

Professor Peter Ridd’s trial in the Brisbane Federal Circuit Court has just wrapped-up after three days. With Judge Salvadore Vasta presiding, Stuart Wood QC acting for Peter Ridd (the applicant) argued the case with great skill. However, on the most critical of issues the university (the defendant), and important media, refused to engage at all. Specifically, Chris Murdoch QC, acting for James Cook University, refused to outline to Judge Vasta what processes it has in place for quality assurance of scientific research, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the ABC) simply didn’t attend or report.

At the heart of this court case is the matter of Peter Ridd disputing media’s reporting of the health of the Great Barrier Reef back in 2015 and 2016. Specifically, Peter Ridd was first censured for proposing to a journalist in April 2016 that he investigate the state of the fringing coral reefs around Stone Island, which is part of the Great Barrier Reef. 

Instead of investigating, the journalist sent Dr Ridd’s evidence that the reefs were in good health with spectacular coral, to his arch adversary at the university, Terry Hughes, who was claiming the exact opposite, and who promptly forwarded the evidence from Dr Ridd to university management. This began a disciplinary procedure that would eventually result in Peter Ridd’s sacking. 

The trial opened on Tuesday with Mr Wood QC outlining Dr Ridd’s honestly held expert opinion that the Great Barrier Reef is in good health, but that many of his colleagues, particularly Professor Hughes, suggest otherwise, that their research is “untrustworthy” and is not subject to any “quality assurance”. 

The Judge seemed genuinely interested in this issue of “quality assurance” of the research. Towards the end of Day 2 he specifically requested that Mr Murdoch QC explain to the court what quality assurance procedures were in place. 

I had assumed that Mr Murdoch QC, the Barrister acting for the University, would thus begin Day 3 with some explanation of this – but he didn’t. The University continued to refuse to engage on any matters of science, particularly the issue of quality assurance. Rather the University simply argued that because there is a code of conduct that expects professors to be collegial – they thus had a right to sack Peter Ridd because he had become disrespectful of his colleagues and also had broken confidentiality. 

At the beginning of Day 2 Peter Ridd clearly explained that he was concerned about the trustworthiness of the science, and the lack of quality assurance because it was having a significant negative economic impact on rural and regional economies – because of the bad publicity for tourism and increasing government regulation of farming. 

It is generally agreed that modern, cohesive democracies work because there is an independent judiciary (legal system), impartial media, and a government that makes public-policy based on evidence. The judiciary and the media are generally educated university-graduates. Universities are expected to be dominated by intellectuals, who are curious and dispassionately seek out the truth. 

Mr Wood QC, acting for Dr Ridd, emphasized the importance of intellectual freedom in his closing remarks today – that it is integral to a university. 

Universities are expected to be places where there is vigorous discussion of contentious issues. It would be expected that where there is disagreement – for example about the condition of the fringing coral reefs at Stone Island – there could be a debate that followed rules of logic and considers evidence in an attempt to arrive at the truth. 

This requires both sides to engage. 

Back in 2016, and again today, instead of considering Dr Ridd’s evidence and concerns, the University choose to look away. It showed no interest in finding out about the real state of the corals surrounding Stone Island, or at the Great Barrier Reef in general. 

There is a crisis in our democracy and as clearly illustrated by this court case, it is at least in part because the mainstream media, and our universities, too often refuse to engage in any real discussion with those who hold an opinion contradicting their own. 


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153 thoughts on “Day3 – Peter Ridd versus James Cook University -Uni and State-sponsored Media Stuck in Denial

  1. “It is generally agreed that modern, cohesive democracies work because there is an independent judiciary (legal system), impartial media, and a government that makes public-policy based on evidence.”

    What I find interesting is that JCU decided it was better to fire Peter Ridd and risk the public exposure that the message Peter was making would actually hit home and expose the academic feud/fraud of JCU et al and the GBR. Had they just left Peter Ridd alone, no one would be hearing about how powerful monied influences in academia and media were corrupting real science. While Peter may wind up being crucified for his public statement about the state of science on the GBR, there is no doubt that the ‘advertising’ that JCU has given the debate may wind up sinking it in the long run. Generally, the truth does finally surface in advanced democracies…assuming we stay advanced democracies and not wind up corrupted by the state and its tentacles in academia and justice.

    • You are assuming they approached this logically. I think it more likely they were emotional in their decision and simply wanted to “hurt” Professor Ridd at any cost. This publicity is their cost.

      I have met people in the work place who are determined to pursue a course because they think it is the right course. As a manager of such people, it could be difficult not to become angry at them. In my case it was a business trying to make a profit, not a University, so the idea of “Right and Wrong” was more about making a profit and staying in business (most people, but not all that I knew were moral people). In cases where I could not change their behavior, I tried to minimize the damage (to themselves and their organization) as long as they were providing value to the company.

      In a University environment, you would be judging value and damage to the Reputation of the organization, and the stress that individual was putting on others – versus the value of their research. If you place no value on their research – well, there you are. Stress on others IS important – you can cause many people to be less productive in total versus the value of your own research. The moral aspect is much more difficult – you would have to be very careful not to overlay your bias on the research topic versus the results being published – this can be difficult to do and it’s why one person SHOULD NEVER be in a position to make this decision. Of course, when everyone has the same opinion as you because of biased screening, well again – there you go.

      Universities should welcome diversity of opinion, but they no longer do. They should encourage debate, but they don’t. Researcher’s need to be less emotional about their own research and learn to tolerate skeptical opposing research – yeah, good luck with that. Tolerance is no longer taught in schools as far as intellectual matters are concerned – its all dogma. I honestly do not think liberals even understand what the word “tolerance” means.

      • Universities should welcome diversity of opinion, but they no longer do. They should encourage debate, but they don’t. etc., etc.

        The big question is, ….. which of the following definitions best describes James Cook University?

        1. An educational institution that instructs students in many branches of advanced learning,

        2. An educational institution that prepares students to be priests, ministers or rabbis.

        In other words, …. a university or a seminary?

        Has not many (most) public schools, colleges and universities morphed into becoming pseudo-seminaries?

        • I took a few courses at a seminary and they fit in to your definition #1 much better than many of the courses I took at the University of Maryland.

        • Has not many (most) public schools, colleges and universities morphed into becoming pseudo-seminaries?

          Yes, occasional cortex is a perfect example, and the “education systems” are churning them out like production-lines. The disciples are called “SWJs”, and the gods they worship are marxism and Mother Gaia.

      • Robert said;

        “In my case it was a business trying to make a profit, not a University, so the idea of “Right and Wrong” was more about making a profit and staying in business…”

        Here lays the flaw in most people’s logic and understanding. Universities are businesses. The sell parchments to 19 year olds (with a 3 to 4 year waiting period) and reports to people named Grant. The expansion of knowledge is a by product, not an objective.

        This is why higher education has become increasingly masculine bovine mammary over the generations. Knowledge is not important. Maintaining their existence is important. If shutting down everything that threatens to upset the smooth running of their day jobs is the quickest and cheapest way of operating, then that is what they do and knowledge be damned.

        (How much a business? In my little Australian town on of the three universities has secured naming rights for a one of our domestic sporting stadiums. Projecting their brand… just like business.)

      • I was told that the escalation began at the direction of a HR manager who was a recent import from the UK where protections for academic freedom are anecdotally much weaker than in Australia – a manager who didn’t understand the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement and who has since moved on. Why JCU *kept* going down this path as it snowballed into a global public relations nightmare, that I don’t understand….

    • Had they just left Peter Ridd alone, no one would be hearing about how powerful monied influences in academia and media were corrupting real science

      The Streisand effect in action.

    • John Endicott,

      Heh, I was going to say that, but wanted to scroll a little to see if anyone else made that connection. Wonder how many don’t know what the Streisand Effect is. 🙂

        • Oh, c’mon guys – the inborn snootiness of those “in the know”, I tell ya! The Streisand Effect: Barbara Streisand, for reasons known only to herself, decided she wanted a little privacy, so when pictures of her beach-front home in Malibu started cropping-up in the media, she sought to have the pictures suppressed. This had the obvious effect of making the Great Unwashed curious about what was in the pictures and what her beach-front home looked like, resulting in the opposite of what she’d wanted when she set-out to suppress the pictures.

          Quite like Margaret Thatcher seeking to have Peter Wright’s book “Spycatcher” outlawed, or the occasional Playboy issue with excessively-racy pictures declared pornographic – the items flew-off the store shelves, and when officials showed-up to collect them, they were sold-out already, thereby generating a lot more interest (and profit) for their authors than otherwise would’ve occurred.

          Human nature, really: “DON’T LOOK!” ” – Where, WHERE?”

  2. “he had become disrespectful of his colleagues”

    Didn’t John Gotti wack guys for being disrespectful? This appears to be little different, metaphorically, of course.

    (To any True Believers quote-mining: that’s a joke . I can just see the headline on HuffPoo or the DailyLeast: “WUWT is a hangout for conspiracy theorists who float far-out ideas that climate deniers are being assassinated).

    That’s what you get when unqualified interns write clickbait to keep the lights on…

    • “he had become disrespectful of his colleagues”

      One might argue that by denigrating Dr. Ridd’s work and sacking him that his colleagues and the administrators were being disrespectful of Dr. Ridd!

      • Its very easy for good scientists to become disrespectful of colleagues who consistently produce junk science.

  3. However, on the most critical of issues the university (the defendant), and important media, refused to engage at all. Specifically, Chris Murdoch QC, acting for James Cook University, refused to outline to Judge Vasta what processes it has in place for quality assurance of scientific research, …

    The above could be taken to mean that Peter Ridd has been telling the truth in his criticism of the science, the scientists, the university, and other organizations.

    If this were a defamation case, in Australia the truth is a complete defense. link

    It may well be that the judge can consider the apparent, uncontested, truth of Peter Ridd’s accusations.

    It seems obvious to me that academics have a social duty to call BS whenever they see it.

    If there is any justice, Peter Ridd should win. Whether that actually happens is another matter, the courts being pretty unpredictable.

    • “If there is any justice, Peter Ridd should win.”

      Agreed! If I were sitting on the bench, the outright refusal of the university to “engage” on the scientific matters, which is just more of the climate fascist crowd’s “the science is settled/debate is over” attitude, despite there never being any such debate and the so-called “science” being crap, would cement my view that Dr. Ridd’s treatment was unjustified.

      If you can’t question supposed “science,” then it ISN’T SCIENCE.

    • By not challenging that accuracy and truth of the criticism, the university has essentially conceded the point that the criticism is accurate. It would be rather bizarre if the accurate criticism of bad science is proper grounds for firing on the grounds that it is not collegial.

      The university’s legal team may have blundered.

      • The grounds for the sacking had nothing to do with correct or incorrect science , that Peter offered .
        The grounds where ‘his behaviour toward others ‘
        All they needed to do was show they followed the correct procedures to deal with such behaviour , and that those procedures where in turn an acceptable process to use. That is it , no science involved .

    • commieBob says “If there is any justice, Peter Ridd should win. Whether that actually happens is another matter, the courts being pretty unpredictable.“. Spot on. And “unpredictable” is an understatement, especially in this case, as my understanding is that courts do not like ruling on scientific matters.

      • This particular court can’t rule on science, if elephants are white or any other thing outside it’s scope ….. it deals specifically with labour law between employeer and employee.

        People over think what this particular court is and does.

    • There is only a legal system in Australia, and winning depends on how deep your pockets are.

      • Same in the U.S. — it’s a legal system and not a justice system. It seems actual justice in the U.S. system likely doesn’t rise to a 50-50 proposition. Your shot at justice if you’re identified as a conservative is considerably lower. And if you’re a white, male conservative, well you’re just screwed.

        • As a retired attorney I can say with some authority that is not true. It is he who has the bucks who is most inclined to win and most of the time the people with the most most bucks are white conservative males.

          • Let me be a bit more precise. The legal system is about two things primarily: process and substantive law (the justice side). Process is extremely expensive and time consuming and has nothing to do with substantive law or justice. Most cases in the US are decided on process grounds not substantive law grounds. And thus the person with the most bucks usually wins the process fight and having won the process fight, the substantive law fight is never decided.

    • In the words of Billy Bragg….

      “This isn’t a court of justice, son
      This is a court of law.”

    • “…a defamation case, in Australia the truth is a complete defense.”

      Not so. It varies by jurisdiction, but in many parts of the country it is far from a complete defence. The ACT is a great place to sue people for defamation because the laws are so skewed to favour the claimant.

    • the judge should TAKE the courts to the beach/reef in question!
      if they can do it for murder and other trials then they could do it for something as important as PROOF in this case.

      as for the useless gutless reporter…well looking at the statements by usa journos on the rusia/trump fiasco aying it wasnt their job to do research….just report what they are told/hear
      same sh** differnt topic

  4. The quality assurance issue is probably too technical for a court of law, which lacks the expertise to decide, especially when the self-styled “experts” disagree themselves. Surely the case is simply one of academic free speech, was Dr. Ridd entitled to express his views on the quality or otherwise of research done by colleagues.

    • If you want to see this type of science by jury look at the Monsanto (glyphosate) trials in the US. The science is overwhelming that glyphosate is not a carcinogen but emotion rules the day. Carl Sagan said it well:

      “We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”

      • What’s worse is the average person does not even understand how much detailed scientific knowledge they lack. Add to that a lack of any knowledge of statistics and the scientific process and what we have is a primitive culture that believes the most charismatic shaman.

      • You have to consider where the trials are held and how the jurors are picked. Having a degree in physics I would never be allowed on a jury requiring scientific judgement. They look for people that can be emotionally swayed.

        • I have been called to serve on juries 4 times at municipal and Federal levels. Each time I’m asked my education and degrees (B.S. Aeronautics and Astronautics, M.S. Engineering Mgmt), I am tossed. I’m 0 for 4. The resulting juries are thus largely composed of housewives who have spent significant amounts of their lives watching Oprah–which results in emotional verdicts.

    • You are right about quality assurance being too technical for a judge to do anything which seems to be taking sides but — the fact that the University provided NO response to the question the judge himself (herself?) asked is significant and would NOT count in favor of the university. If he were given a response and tried to figure out if the QA were adequate he would be over his head quickly but it is pretty easy to figure out means that either the lawyers were not paying attention or it was not in the best interest of the case to answer negatively. Either way they lose points on the issue.

  5. I understand that Dr Terry Hughes had filed the original complaint. Not surprising, since it was his shoddy work Dr Ridd was skewering. During argument, it was brought out that Hughes in his complaint used language just as, if not more inflammatory, than Dr Ridd was alleged to have employed. There have so far been no consequences for Dr Hughes.

    It was a slim reed that JCU was pinning their hopes on with regard to “collegiality” and I’m guessing it’s snapped under the strain. The fact that the judge was interested in the substance of Dr Ridd’s questions regarding quality control should have been a big clue for JCU’s solicitor. I hope he got his money up front because I wouldn’t want to pay him for his rather tepid efforts if he were arguing my case.

    • The judge showed interest in the substance of Ridd’s claims, and the university failed to challenge them. They have therefore conceded the point that Ridd’s criticisms are valid.

      The position that the university is arguing, therefore, is that valid criticism of bad science is still grounds for dismissal. That would be quite a precedent!

      • No ,their grounds are that Peter’s behaviour toward others was unacceptable , and that they therefore where required to follow the procedures on dealing with this type of problem.

        • knr , what behaviour are you referring to ? Peter Ridd acting like any good scientist should ?

          • But if a labour hire contract says you can’t act like a good scientist then you may not be able to … that is the issue being argued.

            You can listen to music but if your workplace law says you can’t while working then you may not be able to without getting sacked. It is that sort of issue.

          • Wrong-O, LdB! This is about the type of music to which you may listen. Subjective standards will lose in court.

          • Yeah that is a fair call and probably a better example.

            So do I get the sack if I play rock music at work rather than classical 🙂

        • In Australia, it’s not only words or music, images, decorations, personal items too. Pretty much ANYTHING someone MIGHT find offensive. Believe it or not, family pictures too. That is why I practice a “clear desk” policy at work in Australia. There is no-one who can control what goes on in my mind, yet!

          Someone said to me in passing my desk at work once…

          “Empty desk, empty mind.”

          I replied…”No manager or corporate can tell me how to use my mind.”

      • @SteveO it is sets no precedent for anything outside the fair work act, for the love of all things can you guys realize this is not a normal civil actions court.

    • My impression is that the JCU argument aims to discredit Peter Ridd. As an inferior academic he does not have the right to exercise intellectual freedom enjoyed by more credentialed academics. Thus the JCU Code of Conduct is the key element of his employment contract and must take precedence over intellectual freedom.

      I expect the JCU legal representatives would have been given clear guidelines to stick to the matter of the Code of Conduct and avoid offering any evidence on technical matters regarding science. They would not want the JCU brand of science to be exposed to scrutiny in the court.

  6. Best of luck Dr Ridd.

    The other side is desperately afraid of engaging as we are well aware. Despite that they will be engaged at every opportunity. Peter Ridd is doing us all a favor

    • There is an outrageous asymmetry between the Left’s expectations of their treatment by others and their own treatment of others. Something there is that doesn’t love hypocrisy.

      • “There is an outrageous asymmetry between the Left’s expectations of their treatment by others and their own treatment of others.”

        There is also an outrageous asymmetry between the Left’s belief in climate science and their belief in pseudo-science.

        Don’t believe me? Here in Canada our Prime Minister (Socks Zoolander) has drank deep of the CAWG Kool-Aid (as a “feminist” he’s been firing female ministers right and left buy still keeps Climate Barbie on), yet he practises the “alternative medicine” of cupping.

    • You can make all kinds of inflammatory accusations in court that you can not make outside of court. In court you have protection where outside of court you do not.

  7. It wasn’t “collegial” of Terry Hughes to promptly complain about Peter Ridd’s evidence to university management. As though a dispute about data were a personal or professional insult.

    It wasn’t “collegial” of university management to treat a dispute about data as though it were a personal or professional insult.

    In fact, Peter Ridd is the only one of the three parties to have acted in a collegial manner. The other two, Terry Hughes and the university, have violated collegiality at every turn.

    In this particular case, I suspect it’s all about the money. Terry Hughes needs his grant. The university gets lots of overhead cash from the cumulated grants issued to to faculty, to pursue the barrier reef in crisis narrative.

    And that’s the problem. Neither Terry Hughes nor the university can afford to have it get out that it’s a concocted narrative they’re pushing, not science. The Australian government would have every cause to ask for their money, illicitly obtained, back.

  8. I would dare say (and hopefully the argument was made) that it was Terry Hughes was the one who was not being “collegial,” by throwing a temper tantrum and tattling to the university’s management. If there was to be any disciplinary action regarding someone not being “collegial,” it should have been against Terry Hughes, who displayed such thin skin at the first questioning of his pseudo-science.

    Of course, Mr. Hughes probably brings lots of “climate change” research grant dollars to this institution of INDOCTRINATION (certainly NOT “education), which is the whole reason Peter Ridd was quickly cut out like a cancer – he threatened the “golden goose” of bullshit “climate” propaganda funding.

  9. “he had become disrespectful of his colleagues”

    ?Que? Because he had a different theory and evidence for it than his collegues?
    Did that ‘University’ ever hear of the word ‘science’?

    • Jaap, it’s what’s expected in first world cultures now: everyone finds identity in whatever they do, so much so that to relay a dissenting viewpoint to someone’s “identity” is now deemed offensive, non-collegial, disrespectful, even a hate crime. Dr. Ridd went against the grain of the consensus viewpoint at JCU and offended a committee.

  10. If JCU doesn’t want to answer the judge’s questions, then I think that woud count against them.

    • Indeed. I should think most fair judges would not look too kindly on those who avoid answering their questions.

  11. I don’t know about Austrialia, but in the US I doubt this contractual requirement to be nice (collegial) to your peers is enforceable. For one, it’s too vague. In terms of workspace behavior, it’s better to proscribe what one may not do, and even then to be as specific as possible.

    • Employment law is very complex in Australia (And yet many employers get away with breaches simply because employees can’t afford to fight an issue in court). Then there is the contract you sign, which usually has a lot about code of conduct etc where not being nice could be viewed as “bullying” or “offensive”, and that is a big no no here.

      • +10 Someone with some sense who gets it

        If this stands political correctness at work has taken a whole new meaning and standby for a lot of sackings for behaviour. That is why I think and hope it will fail.

  12. “Some universities are not so tolerant of critical thinking in their own ranks, however. In Brisbane, Federal Circuit Court judge Salvatore Vasta has blasted James Cook University for silencing, rather than debating, sacked professor Peter Ridd, who criticised the quality of the institution’s research into the Great Barrier Reef. Professor Ridd is awaiting the results of his unfair dismissal case.”
    Degrees of vincible ignorance
    The Australian 12:00AM MARCH 29, 2019

  13. Why hasn’t this university fired or retired Terry Hughes for incompetence? His work on the GBR is an embarrassment to his Department.

    At the least, his inability to properly assess the health of reefs makes his work dubious, putting the university in a position of serious reputational risk. Similarly, any student assigned to him for supervision is at risk because they are being trained to work without proper quality control over their outputs and in methods that do not deliver valid assessments.

    This is not a complicated matter. If the university has no quality control measures in place, any professor should have implemented them as a matter of professional obligation. Clearly that did not happen because the conclusions he reached are in conflict with any independent analysis one might make of that reef system’s condition.

    Admin has fired the wrong person. If the Senate cannot be convinced the administration has this matter in hand, the Senate should have those responsible within the administration demoted or dismissed for dereliction of duty, not only for improper conduct in the investigation, but for placing the institution in a very unfavourable light and holding it there, with menaces.

    • In fact, the University administration has fired the right person. They were getting rid of a troublesome gadfly who was highly likely to interfere with the free flow of funding. This is to be expected when institutions of higher learning are perverted to become business entities.

      The University has taken the sensible course of avoiding the science (where it was in serious trouble) and gone for confirmation of its legal right to enforce confidentiality. The judge may well have to deliver a finding on this narrow basis.

      I am not at all confident in a positive outcome.

      • “They were getting rid of a troublesome gadfly who was highly likely to interfere with the free flow of funding.”

        Heard this a while ago:

        A man was travelling in China in the 1800s when he came to bend in the river where thousands of men were toiling away with picks and shovels.

        “They are building a dam”, he was told by his guide.

        “Why aren’t they using a steam shovel?” he asked.

        “That would put these men out of work”, he was told.

        “Ah”, he replied, “I thought you were making a dam. If then if you want to make jobs, you should take away their shovels and make them use spoons.”

        If you want to make science, give them science.

        If you want to make money, take away the science and give them funding.

      • ‘The judge may well have to deliver a finding on this narrow basis …’.
        ========================================
        A decision along those lines would have profound negative consequences for higher education in Australia.

    • If they start firing profs for being Socialist morons, who will teach/indoctrinate the kiddies? Clowns like Hughes are hired by other clowns who count Lefty politics as a critical plus on the old c.v.
      There may be no greater population of smart people in the world who are more disconnected from reality than university profs. Maybe church officials.

      • Yeah that is basically what is at stake, how enforcible is political correctness at what point does it hit your personal rights.

  14. I agree that Professor Ridd should engage forcefully to secure his academic freedom, but he is also an established expert in his field.
    The establishment’s true objective though is to send a message to younger, less established researchers in many disciplines that disobeying the alarmists climate message with contrary data would effectively end their career.
    JCU may have decided that losing the battle would win the war by sending a message that dissent by others wouldn’t be tolerated..

    • Joel O’Bryan wrote “The establishment’s true objective though is to send a message to younger, less established researchers in many disciplines that disobeying the alarmists climate message with contrary data would effectively end their career.
      JCU may have decided that losing the battle would win the war by sending a message that dissent by others wouldn’t be tolerated..”

      Anyone who doubts the accuracy of what he wrote needs to read Judith Curry’s explanation of why she left academia behind. You can find it here:
      judithcurry.com/2017/01/03/jc-in-transition/

  15. A biased media hurts both ways: 1) in promoting bad science as a means to a policy end and 2) turning silent on policy driven injustice.

    Shame on the ABC and all “journalists” in Australia.

  16. This about employment contract law (as I see it). There are no doubt precedent cases involving whistle-blowers who have allegedly breached their agreed terms of employment. This is what the judge will be looking at ( I expect).

    Therefore, the honorable (or otherwise) motivations behind this (debatable) breach of contract may have little to do with the legal issue.

    This is why I did not support this case financially.

    Cheers

    M

    • If the contract is unduly vague, the interpretation of its terms goes against the party writing the contract. Or so I have been taught in contract law.

    • Just what is the basis for the charge of ‘not collegial’ the university lodged against Dr. Ridd? I am sure the judge will weigh that as well. No reasonable person would classify telling someone to look at the reefs for themself as being ‘uncollegial’ to anyone.

      • jtom

        You are spot on with this view. If a term in a contract is not one with a common understanding or definition, it has to be defined. When writing Standards, and when reviewing them, one puts into the comment section something like this (example seen this week):

        Text: “Gasifier stoves shall have a thermal efficiency of not less than…”

        Comment type: Technical
        Comment: “gasifier stove” is an undefined term. All solid-fuel fires involve burning gases. Proposed change: Define “gasifier stove” in section 3 in such a way that this requirement shall not be imposed on stoves that fall outside that category.

        A contract that has some woolly term as “not collegial” has to be defined either as the presence of something or the absence of something. An academic disagreement over facts collected does not cover such circumstances as appear in this case.

        The reported who took the matter privately to the complainant violated the norms of scholarship by not waiting until Ridd published his findings. The proper place for a conversation is in the Journals, not the side halls of the university nor the courts.

        The reporter had mischievous intents, which were realized. He intended to bring Ridd and his ideas into disrepute by circumventing the normal channels of scientific communication. He was successful, up to a point.

        If Ridd loses this case, it will have terrible consequences for academic discourse. It is ultimately an attack by the university administration on the integrity of the processes by which science advances. That they are chopping enthusiastically at the foundations of their own institution is an indication of how far they are from understanding the whole point of having a university in the first place. They are undoing 800 years of progress, sending youth into the dark ages of madras-style repetition and memorization of anointed viewpoints.

        It is literally medieval.

  17. If Peter Ridd’s findings about the Great Barrier Reef are acknowledged as truth, and he stood up for the truth in the face of people who perpetuated half-truths or falsehoods, then what dignity, pray tell, was James Cook University trying to maintain, when the university censured him?

    There is NO dignity or respect in play for those who perpetuate lies, and so appealing to respect has positively zero basis.

    Do liars deserve respect? Does the definition of “respect” extend to such liars? NO! — it does NOT.

    The underlying severely flawed premise here is that people who perpetuate falsehoods are as equally deserving of respect as those who perpetuate truths — they are NOT. Respect is reserved for truth tellers. Trying to force this concept of respect to fit non-truth-tellers is an attempt to redefine the concept of “respect” onto its opposite meaning.

    James Cook University wants to be cordial to people who perpetuate falsehoods? Really? Is THAT the message being conveyed here by this institution of “higher learning”? … Cordial at all costs? … Respect given to shoddy research ?

    This university is best to acknowledge its error, or it will be known hereafter as “James Crooks University”.

    • The university was out parading around the scientific world pretending to have clothes on. It is an insult to their dignity to be out there naked so obviously it is an insult to point out that they are, in fact, naked.

    • cook (ko͝ok)
      v. cooked, cook·ing, cooks
      v.tr.
      1. To prepare (food) for eating by applying heat.
      2. To prepare or treat by heating: slowly cooked the medicinal mixture.
      3. Slang To alter or falsify so as to make a more favorable impression; doctor: disreputable accountants who were paid to cook the firm’s books.

      American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  18. Just checked the BBC’s Australia news page. Nothing on Peter Ridd’s case but they find space to report the case of a worker who accuses his boss of bullying because he kept farting on him. The man said, his boss would “lift his bum and fart” on him up to six times a day. Fascinating, I’m sure, but hardly news I need to know about in the UK.

  19. there is a code of conduct that expects professors to be collegial – they thus had a right to sack Peter Ridd because he had become disrespectful of his colleagues and also had broken confidentiality

    I’m afraid that JCU and Peter Ridd are arguing at cross-purposes. If JCU has a clearly-stated code of conduct and they can show that it doesn’t violate Australian law and that Ridd violated it, they will win this case. That seems to be the position JCU is taking. If Ridd can show that their code of conduct is unlawful or that their application of it was arbitrary he can prevail.

    Australia doesn’t have an explicit protection of speech in their constitution but it has an implied one. Ridd needs to demonstrate that a publicly-funded university cannot create a code of conduct that violates Australia’s freedom of speech as it is currently understood. He’s making a great case that legitimate scientific disputes should be allowed and encouraged, but beyond that he needs to make the case that the JCU is violating his right to express those disputes.

    • I’m afraid that JCU and Peter Ridd are arguing at cross-purposes.

      No, they are not, really. It’s just that the fundamental link between there arguments has not been pinpointed yet.

      If JCU has a clearly-stated code of conduct and they can show that it doesn’t violate Australian law and that Ridd violated it, they will win this case.

      Take a look at the JCU code of conduct: https://www.jcu.edu.au/policy/corporate-governance/code-of-conduct

      To me, it is clear that the definition of “integrity” is violated by people who carry out shoddy research or who cooperate in such a way as to perpetuate shoddy research.

      Thus, what integrity has Peter Ridd violated? If integrity is lacking, then there is no call to uphold what is NOT there to begin with, and so applying the definition of “integrity” to people who lack it is plainly unfounded, with zero basis. If anything, he has demonstrated how OTHERS at the university are violating the code.

      That seems to be the position JCU is taking. If Ridd can show that their code of conduct is unlawful or that their application of it was arbitrary he can prevail.

      The code need not be shown to be unlawful, but that it completely contradicts itself and improperly forces its definition of “integrity” onto the word’s opposite meaning, in order to cushion people who lack integrity from any criticism. It creates a double meaning for the word, “integrity”, thus, a double standard in how the concept is applied.

      How can one person challenge another person’s integrity, when integrity is lacking to begin with in the person being criticized? There is zero basis.

    • stinkerp,

      The Judge doesn’t seem to agree with you since he showed interest in “quality assurance” and wanted that addressed in court:

      “The Judge seemed genuinely interested in this issue of “quality assurance” of the research. Towards the end of Day 2 he specifically requested that Mr Murdoch QC explain to the court what quality assurance procedures were in place. ”

      He made a specific request that it be EXPLIANED in court, but the next day they didn’t answer the Judge:

      “I had assumed that Mr Murdoch QC, the Barrister acting for the University, would thus begin Day 3 with some explanation of this – but he didn’t. The University continued to refuse to engage on any matters of science, particularly the issue of quality assurance. ”

      I think the University is slowly losing the case, especially when they ignore the judge on an important question.

      You also seemed to have glossed over this part:

      “Specifically, Peter Ridd was first censured for proposing to a journalist in April 2016 that he investigate the state of the fringing coral reefs around Stone Island, which is part of the Great Barrier Reef. ”

      A PROPOSAL was enough for the University to censure him, which I find amazing, it got worse when the journalist decided to stab him in the back, by giving it to Terry Hughes instead, who went to his daddy University to whine that Dr. Ridd was INDIRECTLY showing a different viewpoint about the Reefs situation.

      “Instead of investigating, the journalist sent Dr Ridd’s evidence that the reefs were in good health with spectacular coral, to his arch adversary at the university, Terry Hughes, who was claiming the exact opposite, and who promptly forwarded the evidence from Dr Ridd to university management. This began a disciplinary procedure that would eventually result in Peter Ridd’s sacking. ”

      I think Hughes wanted to shut down debate on the health of the reef for reasons YOU failed to consider. It smacks of professional discourtesy to PREVENT debate on the Reef, which is contrary to freedom of debate, and that it is Hughes research (allegedly) that was in question.

      I think he wanted to protect something, which has NOTHING to do with science research.

      • If he made no public statements about Hughes or his research, and did not confront Hughes, it would seem to me that making the case that Dr. Ridd was in any way being ‘uncollegial’ would be a tough argument to make. Dr. Ridd only encourage individual research. Privately expressing doubts and concerns about a person or his research has got to be allowed to foster debate.

    • The fact Ridd has a QC on board suggests to me he has a strong case. Even with the help of sourced funds from WUWT readers etc, the QC would not bother with the case if it were weak.

    • @stinkerp No you got it right they are but by design.

      UQ is saying they don’t care about bigger principles they have labour hire clauses.

      Peter Ridd is arguing public interest and human freedoms to express these views should not be able to be surpressed by labour hire laws.

  20. “the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the ABC) simply didn’t attend or report. ”

    Yep, and if he wins his case those Barrier reef catastrophe story’s will go on as though nothing happened

    Just imagine the stories if he looses, even on a technicality.

  21. OK, I’ll bite…everyone seems to agree on that a review of the Quality Assurance should have been given in this court case and that a lack of it is evidence it doesn’t exist. This seems a reasonable conclusion, except what are we looking for?

    I started thinking about what this means, and I am now wondering how many people commenting here really know what the Quality Assurance for a Reef Study should look like.

    So tell me, as I am actually quite curious, what would Quality Assurance of a “Reef in Peril” study look like? (I have my ideas, but having never performed this kind of research, I can only speculate. I have little doubt that a LOT of reefs are in peril, just not due to global warming…) Any takers?

    • One requirement for an unbiased study is to stick to the originally planned study area, and not to modify the study area in light of what is found in the original.

    • OK. First employ an expert on corals with no links to JCU. Then set up a grid across the area of the original study. Then select random grid squares and define level of coral health in each. Then report on the proportion of squares adversely impacted . Only then compare to original study to see if it correlated. If not study fails.

    • I seriously doubt if the judge is interested in quality assurance methods, i.e., the methodology of the research. His concern is probably the PROCESS. Who initiates it? How is the effort delegated? What questions are asked? Who gets the final report? What are the metrics against which the study is measured? Who does what if the research fails?

      In the US, there is great emphasis placed on ‘due process’. There is also great misunderstanding. In court, the issues are: is there a specific process, written down, and available to all as to what happens when a situation occurs; and was that process followed?
      It matters not if the process isn’t ‘fair’ or has shortcomings. It can be crappy as hell. But as long as it exists and was followed, then the party received ‘due process’.

      So I suspect the judge wants to know what the ‘due process’ for ensuring quality is, and was it followed. I also suspect it either doesn’t exist or wasn’t followed, which pushes all of Dr. Ridd’s comments towards that of a whistleblower.

    • I searched around and found some published marine coral studies and THEIR quality assurance methods…it reminded me a lot of putting together a good Project Plan (not a Project Schedule which many people confuse) for business. The best was a Hawaii reef study.

      In it, they described what reefs would be monitored, how they would be selected, and for how long they would be monitored. They described how “change” to each reef would be monitored (a grid of over lapping photos and how many, what rate, how often, and how to quality check for focus and malfunction), how the data would be reviewed (how soon, how many times, how to look for missing or incorrect data), how data would be stored (what kind of technology, how data is transferred, how data is quality checked again for errors in entry, how data would be archived and for how long). They described methods and how those methods are enforced to keep everything consistent. They described sample collection, how each sample is handled and protected from contamination, how it is preserved, where, for how long. Etc. The impressive thing was how many times they rechecked the data.

      Quite impressive, but just exactly the kind of procedures and forward thinking I would expect from a good competent scientist or engineer – but not what I would expect from a person more interested in promotion, politics, or power/prestige.

      Now I went looking for Australian reef monitoring and found a combined paper that included JCU as one of its contributors. Hmmm…They have a few very ambiguous paragraphs but are missing the kind of detail I found in the Hawaii paper. Perhaps their QA is described somewhere else? Otherwise, it appears they are monitoring water quality for specific chemicals and traits, and are not really setup to monitor the reefs at all – just observe them in a casual way.

      Now I may have the wrong paper, but if this is an example of the work that Professor Ridd is referring to, I think I agree with him – they are missing and real description of QA. If it isn’t described, then how does one maintain quality in a consistent manner? Do they have any at all, or is it all ad-hoc?

      This material is not above a judge’s ability to understand – it’s common sense when read out. The trick is having enough background to be able to write down the common sense, not understanding it once its written. If they skipped describing this, then its because it would have been embarrassing.

  22. The Left would always prefer proclamations vs engagement and when cornered they reply their proven tactic of Delay Delay Delay.

  23. Never forget that judges are political animals and often activist, I suspect the University suspects the judge will fall in line with the climate-change-fear-narrative-regressives.

    • The judges political views are unimportant he can’t rule on anything to do with politics, please try and understand what sort of court this is.

  24. and the ABC didn’t show up! now there’s a surprise. If you are ever in two minds about a subject find out what the ABC believes and go for the opposite. It rarely fails.

  25. I don’t know but it appears those that have been harmed by the miss-use of science have an opening to force JCU/ABC to pay damages. In the US the lawyers would be lining up.

    • It is a fair work court that sort of thing is not possible .. the only compensation on offer is whether Peter Ridd was wrongly sacked and if so what will happen about it.

  26. Prosecutor: “Your honor, I can unequivocally prove that my criticisms of the defendant are made in good faith and are truthful.”

    Defendant: “Yeah but he hurt my feelings”

    Judge: “Oh my, hurt feelings, case dismissed.”

  27. The court should have called ex-Prime Minister Turnbull as a witness. He threw $400,000,000 at the GBR, presumably because he was fully assured about the quality of the research into the GBR.

  28. Of course the university refused to engage – because they know this is their point of greatest weakness. Surely the court case was not about hoping for engagement by the university, it was about an outside arbiter (the judge) making a legal binding judgement. I have to hope the judge is not stupid (and the comments made along the way suggest he is anything but) and if so he will have noticed the university refused to engage. The university conduct, through their council, was on display. If you think about it, it is good that the university remained consistent, if they had suddenly put up a smoke screen of how much effort they put into quality they might have been able to spin the perception. This way their conduct will be judged for what it is. The comments from the IPA suggest the judge was indeed very unfavourably impressed by the university conduct but then again the IPA, like the rest of us, is on Peter’s side so maybe the observation is tainted by bias. We can only hope.

    What concerns me far more was the comment that the judge may not hand down a verdict for months! Who said “justice delayed is justice denied”? It makes the events of the last 3 days into a charade, 3 days of posturing without any outcome. How is someone seeking justice and closure supposed to survive for months without knowing whether or not he will be re-instated and no income in the meantime. Can you imagine this occurring in a criminal trial by jury – the jury given a few months to decide their verdict?

  29. Your statements about what is needed for cohesive democracies suggests strongly that most Western democracies are neither chesive nor democratic.

    Universities do not seek out the truth dispassionately, they seek to bring in lots of grant income.

    The media does not seek out the truth, they are channels of controlled propaganda.

    Politicians do not make evidence-based decisions, they serve unaccountableclients and spin propaganda to try and hoodwink those who think they act in the public interest.

    Just because all are expensively educated does not mean they have any moral fibre…..

  30. Following Terry Hughes comment about 30% of the reef dying and the ensuing media frenzy, the tourist industry to the GBR suffered a 12% drop in revenue in the following 12 month period (close to $700 million). In September 2018, another research group revealed that most marine scientists were surprised by the rate of recovery. Enter Terry Hughes “We are seeing good signs but it will take 10 years to recover”. If something dies, it doesn’t recover. The color in coral comes from zooxanthellae (tiny algae) living inside the coral tissue. When conditions are not favourable the zooxanthellae go on holidays leaving a lack of colour (so called bleaching). when conditions are favourable they either return or new residents move in to the bleached coral. Problem solved.

    • Exactly. I’ve always been surprised at how little ‘academics’ know about coral physiology. As one said to me, words to the effect, ” we don’t know how to grow coral, we kill it, put it into an autoclaver and study its composition. “

  31. Let me get this straight:

    Dr. Ridd was fires by JCU for the “crime” of suggesting to a reporter that they do some investigating.

    Did I get that right?

    • Yes but apparently he did it too strongly and breached his labour hire laws that said he had to be a nice guy.

  32. This process is not repeat not a MATTER OF SCIENCE, therefore the university has picked the right approach to focus on the procedures used and how they where ‘correctly used ‘ in this case .
    If Peters team , based there side on ‘matters of science’, then they have already lost .
    What they needed to do was take on the procedures , make the case they where poor and unfairly or illegally applied and therefore he was unjustly sacked .
    A ‘moral victory ‘ where Peters side proves that the case the science doe not support the universities position , will not concern the university one tiny bit for they are not worried about the moral stance , as long as the cash flows in , and they are actually behaving the standards acceptable to the area. That these standards or awful means nothing at all.

  33. How do we fight an international Inquisition operating outside of the bounds of justice (above the law) and operating outside the limits of truth?

    The “propaganda press” appears to hold the most power. Lying propaganda is worth many $100 Billions to the Democratic Party annually in the US alone. Democrats would hardly win any elections without the non-stop coordinated pogrom against the truth…amounting to 100’s of $Billions of free advertising.

    Ridd could win this case and the Inquisition will just go on unimpeded by simply ignoring the case.

    There are only so many weapons available to fight an Inquisition.

    Probably of no consequence since we are all going to die frpm a mild climate in 12 years.

  34. This is all very interesting, but what happens if Peter wins. I cannot see the University just saying, “All is forgiven, welcome back”.

    Possibly a generous “Golden Handshake”. After all Peter has been there some 30 years, so he would be due for a pension.

    Its probably all a matter of principle, Peter quite rightly wants vindication.

    But as a perron who has only specialized on studies of the GBR, where else can he go for a job. Any other University doing studies of the GBR ? probably not, which explains why JCU wants to protect its “Cash Flow”

    Let us not forget that JCU has “Form”, they got rid of Bob Carter too.

    MJE VK5ELL

    • If Peter Ridd wins QU may well be ruled to have to re-employ him that is within the Fair Work Act and if they refuse they stand to face massive damages for lost earnings.

      • I hope the UQ is ruled to re-employ him, and then Ridd gives the UQ the bird. It would be hell working in an institution under those circumstances.

  35. I believe it is pure arrogance that drove the sacking and a belief that there is enough political will around to come up with the legal fees to smash Ridd just as in Salby.
    The first fright would have been how quickly Peter Ridd’s funds came in.
    Then legal advice would have shifted slightly saying JCU’s only defence is to shaft the guy’s professionalism, because what he has said obviously has merit and can be proved.
    Then the the Judge actually appeared to listen and now JCU would be looking at ways to explain this away.
    They would be regretting this and hopefully will be brought to book.

  36. Interestingly there has been no coverage of this case at all on the state funded broadcaster, “our ABC”.
    Not a smidgen.

    • It is a Fair Work courting hearing which has little relevance to anything except labour hire laws it won’t get a lot of airtime. When the decision comes in it will get a two minute discussion about what it means to labour hire laws going forward.

  37. More thoughts:

    A number of people seem to believe that this is a case about academic freedom.

    While I think that academic freedom certainly figures into it, I do not think that academic freedom is the exact focal point here. Rather, I think the focal point is what do the terms of the code of ethics mean, and is the university itself actually upholding these terms? Are the people supposedly following this code of ethics following the code? — I do not think that they are, and yet they demand that Peter Rid should follow a code that they themselves do not.

    By its actions, James Cook University is violating its own code of ethics. Ridd, thus, is the wrong person to fire for code violations. The university should be shut down for fraud (i.e., fired from its accreditation), and sued for falsely representing Peter Ridd’s attempts to act with scientific integrity.

  38. Peter Ridd
    Bob Carter
    Murry Salby
    Bjorn Lomborg

    All eminent academics with expertise directly related to the climate debate who were dismissed or had their appointment cancelled because they dared to get between an Australian Vice Chancellor and a pot of money. As a retired academic myself, I am deeply saddened by the total lack of integrity now exhibited in Australian Universities and other government funded research institutions, particularly when it comes to climate issues.

    • It’s also prevalent in UK universities. Income from research grants is directly proportional to the number of papers published, particularly in the more prestigious publications. If a person proposes investigating a topic that is “controversial” then they are unlikely to obtain a grant as it is unlikely to be published, thanks to the peer review process criticised by Bob Carter.
      Do researchers have to put their proposals in front of an ethics or quality assurance committee?
      It’s science but not as we know it.

      • Do researchers have to put their proposals in front of an ethics or quality assurance committee?

        Not in the physical sciences, though there is usually an internal check to make sure that the proposals are properly and most effectively addressing the conditions of the granting body. Unless the “science” is completely and obviously bogus (which of course AGW is not!) it usually comes under less scrutiny.

  39. So lemme get this straight.
    Ridd had the better scientific argument
    Decided to slag his fellow employees,
    And the boss sacked his ass for violating
    Workplace rules..

    Who the hell thinks you can ignore workplace rules.

    Now in court he wants to argue the science.
    Dummy.

    • Wrong, again, Mr. Mosher. It is about arbitrary application of vague contract terms. This is why JCU argues violation of its rules/contracts and dodges science. Again, I assert that vague contract terms are interpreted against the writer/greater power partner in the contract.

      Good old common law will help Rudd. What, you say? Australia can’t be a part of the British Commonwealth, can it. Common law can’t apply!

    • Without knowing what was actually said, you cannot suggest that is the case. If Ridd has been sacked because he suggested a colleague do some “investigation”, that would be unfair and hence the case being brought to trial. But it strongly depends on the employment law, any contract Ridd signed and any code of conduct policies that apply. The fact he has employed a QC suggests to me Ridd has a strong case.

      • Ridd got sued. He needed counsel to defend himself so that does not necessarily indicate a strong case. I am an American lawyer. Perhaps Australian law might be otherwise but I would be surprised if that were the case.

        • In looking at this again, maybe Ridd was the Plaintiff and not the Defendant. It is hard to tell from the comments and from the report. If the case is styled Ridd v. JCU, then Ridd would be the Plaintiff not the Defendant. If so, then he is likely suing to get his job back or for damages such as lost wages or lost pension funds.

          But that would mean the the science issue really does not have much materiality or relevance. The case would be about whether he deviated from the accepted course of conduct to the point where his dismissal was justified. The question then becomes how much academic freedom does he really have to say or do the things he said or did. If the judge finds he has the academic freedom to say or do what he did, then he should win.

          • You may be an American lawyer and Australians can hire lawyers too. However, when Australian hire a QC, that’s a whole other ball game. This is more than suing for lost wages.

    • Typical drive by with Mosher who just rants some junk about how he sees things and that is how it is. For a guy with an English Lit degree he really knows how to be eloquent.

    • Steve, you must have missed this part in the article:

      “…Specifically, Peter Ridd was first censured for proposing to a journalist in April 2016 that he investigate the state of the fringing coral reefs around Stone Island, which is part of the Great Barrier Reef.

      Instead of investigating, the journalist sent Dr Ridd’s evidence that the reefs were in good health with spectacular coral, to his arch adversary at the university, Terry Hughes, who was claiming the exact opposite, and who promptly forwarded the evidence from Dr Ridd to university management. This began a disciplinary procedure that would eventually result in Peter Ridd’s sacking. ”

      It seems that your latest drive by, suffered three flat tires.

      • Typical Australian workforce playground dummy spit. I fully expect Hughes is held in higher regard to Ridd at the UQ, hence the spat and sacking. Ridd gave Hughes a “tap” (Go do some real work) on the nose and he didn’t like it (Drew some blood).

        It’s very infantile. I was once hauled over hot coals by management because my female counterpart complained to our manager that I said…

        “There has to be a better way.”

        Her way had “opportunities for improvement” and there was a better way (Because I knew the system). But I should not have said that. I gave that company the bird!

    • So lemme get this straight.

      That would be a first for one of your drive-bys, unfortunately (as others already pointed out) you got it as far from straight as possible. No big surprise there.

    • In my country Mosher,
      Your logic is stuffed.
      Maybe that the way things are in wherever the hell you live
      In whatever university you doze around.
      But not in Australia.

      The James Cook University tried to nobble one of it’s own staff because he did good science
      But also showed the other staff as incompetent and greedy fools.

      JCU has a reputation now – for crap.

  40. Dr. Jennifer Marohasy writes;

    “…the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the ABC) simply didn’t attend or report.”

    This is the news organisation that Australian taxpayers spend monstrous amounts of money on each year but which still has the gall to claim they are Australian’s most trusted news service.

    There was a discussion – I forget where – a few months ago about I believe Time magazine writers claiming to be important because they were the ‘Guardians of Truth’. Some commentators became a tad miffed about these claims, but in truth the MSM is absolutely correct in their own statements.

    They guard the truth from the public.

    The MSM had cast themselves as our moral elite. They select what the public needs to know because only they are wise enough to choose what the public needs to be thinking. This is why they fail to report on Ridd. It is not important. We do not need to know. Ridd was/is a small troublemaker. This is a minor employee/employer tiff. Nothing to see. Besides, we have 15 year old school kids to interview.

    • Have you ever heard a ruling from the Fair Work court been reported?

      It would have to be pretty much a landmark decision because most of these cases are pretty boring and of little interest except to the parties involved.

      • Have you ever heard a ruling from the Fair Work court been reported?

        If Ridd and Hughes climate positions were reversed, do you really think the MSM wouldn’t be all over it and rallying to side of the unfairly fired climate alarmist?

    • For those of you who live in Australia you have no doubt noticed that we are currently being inundated by advertising on AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING COMMISSION TV CHANNELS, fronted by various “celebrities who are promoting the concept of
      “YOUR ABC”.

      How wrong they ALL are!

      In reality it is THEIR ABC”.

      To qualify to be part of the “THEIR “you must be someone who gets PART or ALL of
      your income from the ABC.
      And where does the money come from?
      Well that is where the “YOUR “ comes in and is so important and in need of promotion.
      It is the TAXES that the YOUR pay that keeps the whole ABC afloat!

    • For those of you who live in Australia you have no doubt noticed that we are currently being inundated by advertising on AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING COMMISSION TV CHANNELS, fronted by various “celebrities who are promoting the concept of
      “YOUR ABC”.

      How wrong they ALL are!

      In reality it is “THEIR ABC”.

      To qualify to be part of the “THEIR “you must be someone who gets PART or ALL of
      your income from the ABC.
      And where does the money come from?
      Well that is where the “YOUR “ comes in and is so important and in need of promotion.
      It is the TAXES that the YOUR pay that keeps the whole ABC afloat!

  41. If the JCU standard were to be collegial and not break confidentiality, wouldn’t this Terry Hughes have been fired as well?

    I don’t know anything about Australian news, but if the news there chose to not cover this trial that really tells you something.

    This is what happens when universities become big business reliant on federal funding.

    Truth will prevail.

  42. While Climate Change is not been mentioned, I suspect that it is at the root
    of this matter. Hughes was reported as saying that they were checking water
    quality. I think that is code for the Greenies submission that the Reef is in
    trouble because of runoff from Farmers fertilizers and droppings from the
    animals. The Greens war on meat.

    Yes of course its all about money, as with all of the centres of learning which
    is what Universes are supposed to be about.

    We have been told that bleaching of the reef is all about Climate Change is
    causing hotter temperatures, ignoring the fact that as mentioned Madang in
    PNG,. and is almost on the Equator is hot, and the reef is magnificent.

    Bleaching is a normal event , it does not mean that the Coral has died, only
    that the little creatures which give it colour have left. They soon come back,
    than its called a “Recovery of the GBR.

    As I understand things the reporter approached Peter Reed, not the other way
    around. Reed did not say that Highs was wrong, he just suggested to the
    reporter that he go and look at the part of the reef that was of interest to this
    reporter..

    But the reporter wanted a “Got” ya moment so went to Hughes for his
    reaction. He got what he wanted and Hughes now realising that this would
    appear in the paper went to his boss. Then JCU went into Damage Control.

    MJED VK5ELL

  43. Some months ago, in the Courier Mail, I remember reading in an article that the Vice Chancellor of JCU was on a salary of 3 million. This has not appeared in any of the above discussion, and may not be true (I find it unbelievable), but if true, it explains why the university is fighting to maintain its gravy train.

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