Academic quits in disgust over university sacking of Peter Ridd

From the Australian

A James Cook University associate professor has resigned from her honorary position over the sacking of professor Peter Ridd, who was dismissed after he criticised the institution’s climate change science.

Sheilagh Cronin ­resigned from the unpaid role at the Townsville university in protest and said she was “ashamed” that she had not done so earlier.

A marine physicist who had worked at the university for 30 years, Professor Ridd was censured three times before being sacked last year. He challenged the dismissal in the Federal Court and on April 16 judge Salvatore Vasta found all 17 findings used by the university to justify the sacking were unlawful.

Dr. Sheliagh Cronin

Dr Cronin, an adjunct associate professor with the university’s Mount Isa Centre of Rural and Remote Health and a former president of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, sent a letter to vice-chancellor Sandra Harding last week outlining her reasons for resigning.

“I am coming to the end of my professional career but my main reason for resigning is my disquiet over the dismissal of the respected physics professor … Peter Ridd,” Dr Cronin wrote. “I believe his treatment by yourself and your board is completely contrary to the philosophy of open discussion and debate that should be at the heart of every university. It saddens me that the reputation of JCU is being damaged by the injustice of Professor Ridd’s case.”

Dr Cronin, who has never met or spoken to Professor Ridd, said she did not believe the university would take much notice of her resignation, given her association with the university was mostly a title.

“It’s a small protest in support of science and fairness and justice,” she said. “It does make me feel a bit sad because it was an honour to get that (title).

Full story here

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May 19, 2019 5:01 am

Kudos to Dr Cronin for being principled. If only there were more academics who were prepared to stand against the climate cultists.

R Shearer
Reply to  lapogus
May 19, 2019 6:22 am

There is a fundamental problem in shouting the truth; it’s quit or be sacked in the case of pointing out problems in “climate science.”

Sadly, in the present environment, researchers must bide their time until they become secure in their careers or face the prospect of living without an income. It’s much easier to be bold upon retirement but certainly less effective.

Indeed, no matter where one resides, we must subjugate ourselves to the whims of our masters.

Federico Bär
Reply to  R Shearer
May 20, 2019 11:31 am

Right. But during a few years I have worked with a favorable exception.
Our foreign trade department handled certain shipping documents in a way that implied a theoretical but real risk. The experienced manager was not willing to apply the improvement that I (his deputy) suggested. I assume that, being a very conservative man, he was afraid it would tarnish his reputation. But the day before going on holidays, he told me: “Regarding that change you want to make, I don’t agree with your view but the responsability for the office is yours now, so as long as I am away, go ahead”.

Bill Powers
Reply to  lapogus
May 19, 2019 8:54 am

There appear to be very few principled academics in the world. But it goes to show just how powerful the Climate Lobby is. They are not cultists this is mainstream religion in academics with control over paychecks, future employment opportunities, tenure. If one wishes to work and feed his/her family then they must kneel at the altar. This is really scary stuff. There is no freedom in education. Obey or be banished

Reply to  lapogus
May 19, 2019 11:48 am

Is there an email address of the university where further criticism can be sent? Maybe a massive email campaign can make the board see the error of their ways. I know that a court decision against them hasn’t changed their attitude.

Reply to  THX1138
May 19, 2019 1:07 pm

It would appear most of the email addresses for staff follow the format

I would imagine you could email anyone directly

Reply to  Voltron
May 19, 2019 3:18 pm

There’s also several street addresses you can have metric tons of bullshit delivered to in the middle of the night.

Reply to  THX1138
May 19, 2019 3:50 pm
plus, for any JCU former student or academic
You probably won’t get a reply.
2,500 of us around the world chipped in an average of $100 to enable the legal challenge. JCU was thrashed in the Federal Court, lost 17 – 0 on the issues. It is possible that their current silence is because they have not obtained permission to appeal, but the arrogance is still there.
They currently have a series of “science engagement” events going on up to 22 May. Today there is a session on “Reef restoration: two sides of the coin”. Should be called “Reef exploitation: where is the coin”. I missed the opportunity to go to this unfortunately. To busy elsewhere saving people from those busy saving the planet. Following the recent Federal election, there is a very good chance JCU will lose its cut of the $444 million in funds allocated to GBR alarm agencies. Even the losing party in the election said they were considering cancelling it.
Maybe just as well I can’t go to this event, as I am too old for a punch-up. Hell hath no fury greater than a greenie being separated from other people’s money.

Reply to  lapogus
May 19, 2019 1:44 pm

I notice that Wikipedia does not have a page for Peter Ridd.

Not that it is a great loss to the world but Professor Ridd is obviously an academic of principles and deserves recognition.

However it does show that Wikipedia is not interested in eminent people whose opinion and understanding of the facts do not meet Wikipedia’s “standard”.


Reply to  Roger Surf
May 19, 2019 6:34 pm

Or that the people who read Wikipedia can’t be bothered to write a page.
The organisation has no obligation to have a page on anything – it’s up to the readers/users.

Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
Reply to  jon
May 20, 2019 3:55 am

Wakopedia is about as biased as its possible to be on climate – and its filled with the most appalling hate filled lies about sceptics – so must people are happy to stay out of that cesspit.

For example, I’ve boycotted Wakopedia ever since I found that even in the unlikely situation where there was a paper that proved the drivel written by the climate cult had to be changed – they’d just write a new paper – get it reviewed by themselves and come back in a few weeks (using their ‘anonymous’ names) saying: “this paper by this ‘expert’ means we don’t have to make the changes”. ISIS “trials” are less of a kangaroo court.

Most people with any integrity on the issue of climate gave up attempting to edit because all you are doing is giving a thin veneer of integrity by suggesting there’s any discussion about what goes in.

TIm Groves
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
May 21, 2019 11:41 pm

May I suggest the name “Wankipedia” for the encyclopedia and “Wankopediaphile” for anyone who likes it?

Reply to  lapogus
May 19, 2019 2:58 pm

note that she said she is coming to the end of her career.

Reply to  lapogus
May 19, 2019 5:45 pm

JCU has poisoned its own reputation and that of its staff for years to come and only one unpaid adjunct professor protests!

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  lapogus
May 20, 2019 6:27 am

I’m not sure how quitting equals standing up to them.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 20, 2019 5:51 pm

I’m not sure what else someone in her position could do. The police frown on Molotov cocktails.

Howard Dewhirst
May 19, 2019 5:02 am

Thank goodness someone is standing up to be counted amidst the media silence. Clearly she, as a scientist, can smell a rat. We need more like her

Reply to  Howard Dewhirst
May 19, 2019 2:58 pm

On rats:

Sara wrote:
“A hypothesis? I don’t think any of it is hypothetical. Too many instances of verified occurrence to back up that that statement to make it a hypothesis.”

Hi Sara,

As you know, the scientific progression is Hypothesis -> Theory -> Law, each progression requiring more and more supporting evidence and absence of disproof.

My Hypothesis is limited to radical greens, who support false science and use false fabricated crises to promote their toxic anti-human agenda. As such, there is a mountain of evidence to support my Hypothesis, and no evidence (that I know of) to disprove it. Therefore, over the next few years it may be promoted to the level of Theory.

If it is a Theory, it will require a nice name, like “Darwin’s Theory of Evolution”. I am not even sure if mine is an original concept – others have probably said this before.

I will therefore submit, immodestly, the proposed name
“MacRae’s Theory of Radical Green Rat Bastards”.

Others are welcome to submit improvements to the name – after all, at this time it is still a Hypothesis.


May 19, 2019 6:06 am

A tiny candle shines brighter the darker it is out there. It is courageous people such as Prof. Ridd and Dr. Sheilagh Cronin who will be remembered in the history books, not those who try to confine them in the dungeon of scientific research.

History is made by brave people, not by cronies.

Reply to  Al
May 19, 2019 10:06 am

What matters is not who makes history, but who records history, and history is recorded by whoever wins.

Reply to  Al
May 19, 2019 5:29 pm

A Google search on Lysenko gains 3,230,000 hits.
Searching on Vavilov gets a mere 1,180,000 hits.
But then Google isn’t history. Or is it?
Vavilov was slowly starved to death in a Socialist prison. Others were silenced in similar manner; no one knows for certain how many. Lysenko held his academic positions until he died at age 78.
Lysenkoism is on the rise again in Russia. And is in full ascendance at James Cook (pronounced kook) University.

Stew Green
May 19, 2019 6:43 am

Peter Ridd won the court case
.. hence he should be being reinstated or compensated
Why does she need to resign ?

Reply to  Stew Green
May 19, 2019 7:09 am

Stew Green

The case is subject to appeal which I believe has yet to be decided.

But then it’s not his sacking she’s objecting to, it’s the principles of freedom of speech in JCU.

Reply to  Stew Green
May 19, 2019 7:39 am

She stated her reason very eloquently in her letter of resignation.

Those responsible for the debacle are still there dispite their deplorable actions. As long as they are, it will have a chilling effect on academic freedom. Since they have suffered no personal consequences, do not expect anything to change. They will simply be more careful about how they dismiss those whom they wish.

Stew Green
May 19, 2019 6:47 am

“Sheilagh Cronin ­resigned from the unpaid role ”
“honourary position”

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Stew Green
May 19, 2019 7:02 am

“Sheilagh Cronin ­resigned from the unpaid role ”
“honourary position”

It’s all abot integrity.

Look it up.

Reply to  Stew Green
May 19, 2019 7:10 am

Stew Green

So what?

Stew Green
Reply to  HotScot
May 19, 2019 9:55 am

Context matters
It’s likely more would have resigned, if it wasn’t for the financial consequences.

BTW I think that taking offence and attacking back is an unfortunate thing we see here on WUWT from North American skeptics .
.. a bad habit I guess they picked up from copying libmob behaviour.

In Britain that offence taking and aggression back is routine from libmob people, but not from skeptics or righties.

… @HS thanks for explaining about the appeal
..maybe the M Mann speed of court process

Reply to  Stew Green
May 19, 2019 11:11 am

“Stew Green May 19, 2019 at 9:55 am
Context matters
It’s likely more would have resigned, if it wasn’t for the financial consequences.”

Speculation based upon your own bias.

Dr. Cronin’s resignation is to protest corruption and injustice.

Your insistence that others fail to resign is all pecuniary assumes that people or scientists easily corrupt their work for the money involved.

Which ignores the alarmist team’s reliance upon vituperative character and career assassination to control people under their sway. Scientists have resigned, refused and declined positions because of vicious character destruction campaigns by the alarmists.

“Stew Green May 19, 2019 at 9:55 am
BTW I think that taking offence and attacking back is an unfortunate thing we see here on WUWT from North American skeptics .
.. a bad habit I guess they picked up from copying libmob behaviour.”

Interesting that your then deign to assassinate the character(s) of WUWT and commenters; without explicit examples.

Odd, that you follow up your WUWT demeaning to claim holier than us status; in a terrific example of hypocrisy.

Reply to  HotScot
May 19, 2019 10:09 am

“In Britain that offence taking and aggression back is routine from libmob people, but not from skeptics or righties.”

Which explains why there are so few skeptics and righties left in Britain.

Not fighting back may make you feel superior, but it’s still a recipe for losing, every time.

Stew Green
Reply to  MarkW
May 26, 2019 6:27 am

I find HotScot/AtheoK rude and unlikely to convert any people.
I guess they are the same person.

Stew Green
Reply to  MarkW
May 26, 2019 10:53 pm

said “by not fighting back”
thats a strawman
cos I didn’t say, don’t FIGHT back
what I said was “attacking back”
getting triggered “taking offence and attacking back” nastily is a bad habit.
Calmly fighting back nicely is the way to go

Actually being morally superior skeptics win in the long term
But If we go down to libmob level
and bully by taking offence , we lose.

Like all I did here was appeal for nuance by stating a true fact that she is not paid for that job.
Yet @ATheok got triggered and spat out bile

“Your insistence”
I didn’t insist on anything

by “we see here on WUWT from North American skeptics”
I meant “we see here on WUWT from SOME North American skeptics .”
not all

“terrific example of hypocrisy.”
“terrific” = hyperbolic language
There was no hypocrisy from me
I did not take offence at what someone said, I didn’t get triggered and attack them personally.

All I said is don’t get too excited about this one honourable resignation, when the system still carries on , cos many other honourable scientists feel they still have to play along cos their families need the salaries.
(Others may have chosen to keep honour by not joining the system/organisation in the first place.)

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Stew Green
May 19, 2019 7:52 am

There’s no honour without integrity

Mark - Helsinki
May 19, 2019 6:58 am

Integrity is not totally dead it seems

Michael H Anderson
May 19, 2019 7:00 am

Okay, I desperately need to get something off my chest, and I’ll put it in the form of a question proceeding from these facts:

– I was doing a little polar bear research online last night, and became curious about exactly who the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), which is THE official body that tells us which species are at risk, might be. You can see them quoted in every single Wikipedia article on any species. What I learned is that their work for the period 2017-2020 will focus on, among other things, “business, economics, gender, and social policy.” Its Director is a Danish economist, and its President a politician from the People’s Republic of China. All righty then – I will never again take anything they say regarding the natural world seriously. Sorry, that’s just the way I roll when I see the globalism masquerading as science.

– Upon learning about the recent and highly publicized claim that one million species are under threat of near-term extinction, I looked up the people behind the claim. Understand, these are not conspiracy sites or anything of that ilk I use as my resources; they’re news and encyclopedia articles. Guess what I learned? The main personalities behind the claim are former or current officers of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. One of them singlehandedly developed the “debt for |nature” scheme for robbing people in the developing world of their land and turning it into parks. He is currently the Director of Strategic Development for the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Well, you could (not) have knocked me over with a feather!

Leaving aside the question of why a supposedly *scientific* organization needs such a Directorate – CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE? With consummate irony, I also had an recommendation for a book about how the defense of the Alberta oil sands is being managed by “the deep state.” Can you say INVERSION? World Bank officers disseminating environmental hysteria? Chinese Ministers for Education telling us which species are at risk while developing “social policy” on gender and economic issues?

People here like to claim we are winning. Before making such a claim, think VERY hard about the forces arrayed against us. I’ll be watching this thread with great interest.

Lurker Pete
Reply to  Michael H Anderson
May 19, 2019 11:33 am

Shhh! you’re not supposed to see the Wizard behind the curtain!!

Joel O'Bryan(@joelobryan)
Reply to  Michael H Anderson
May 19, 2019 1:45 pm

Globalism and the globalist’s climate hustle are currently fighting for its life.

– Trump ditching the Paris Scam,
– A soon PM BoJo and making good on Brexit,
– Brazil’s Bolsonaro canning his climate change mole,
– Alberta’s Kenny and pipelines for oil and ditching carbon taxes,
– the Yellow Vests in France putting Macaroni back on his heels,
– now Australia continues to downgrade the climate change scam in favor of economics.

The globalists just 3 years ago had figured they’d be in a very different place than where they find themselves today on the cusp of 2020. Today they are on the defensive on almost every front.
And how do they play when they are on the defensive? … they amp-up the climate alarmism volume… with polar bear scams, mass extinction hysteria claims, and the like.

The louder the climate deceptions get, the more you can be sure the Climate Scammers know they are losing. And your recognizing China’s quiet role in this scam to destroy the US and other Western economies is just the tip of a huge iceberg of ChiComm subversion.

John Dowling
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 20, 2019 1:49 am

Regret here in the Isle of Man climate alarmism rules, with my factual articles dismissed as the rantings of a “climate denier”. Lots of warmist propaganda UK-wide.

Michael H Anderson
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 20, 2019 7:41 am

Indeed. The choice of the PRC Minister of *Education* as President is of particular interest, isn’t it? And as everyone paying attention knows, the PRC is ramping up coal generation capacity while convincing dictatorship-worshiping imbeciles like my Prime Minister into thinking they’re “going green.”

Thanks all for your thoughts. I try to be one of those optimists mentioned by @Martin Howard Keith Brumby. It can’t get any worse, can it? But I am in no way convinced they’re on the verge of losing. WAY too much lucre and career relevance at stake here, to say nothing of the overwhelming lust for political influence and the ability to practice social engineering on a global scale it grants. They don’t even try to hide their rage and contempt any more, cf. Bill Nye.

Martin Howard Keith Brumby
Reply to  Michael H Anderson
May 19, 2019 2:34 pm

I’m afraid I agree with you.
Yes, other comments point to some positive developments. But until a few climate hysterics actually loose their jobs, I’ll not be convinced that a positive outcome is assured in my lifetime.

It puts me in mind of a wise Russian joke.
Q. What is the difference between a pessimist and an optimist?
A. Well, a pessimist is someone who thinks things will get worse.
And an optimist is someone that thinks things can’t get any worse.

May 19, 2019 7:30 am

Given that the universities are pretty much completely corrupted by the postmodern Marxist SJWs, the question is how to fight back.

Alice Dreger chose to leave the academy and fight from outside. Others, Peterson, Rubin, and a whole bunch of others, have grouped themselves under the banner of the Intellectual Dark Web.

I don’t know what the best way is. Some folks propose that universities be de-funded. There is a statistic that the vast majority of social science and humanities research papers are never cited. The agencies that fund such research should be disbanded.

Dr. Cronin at least did something. Three cheers for her.

Reply to  commieBob
May 19, 2019 11:58 am

We don’t need to get a government to do anything. No disbanding or defunding is necessary. All we have to do is form our own schools. I envision decentralized traveling professors, not centrally funded, who would naturally maintain their integrity, or not be hired.

Reply to  THX1138
May 20, 2019 2:18 am

Jonathan Haidt has proposed that Universities not invested in the Progressive, SJW ideology should make their orientation clear, and thus compete with those that are. He thinks the market will soon reward the former and punish the latter.

William Astley
Reply to  commieBob
May 19, 2019 1:00 pm

Making CAGW completely go away scientifically is the key to breaking through. CAGW has used as the excuse for shutting down open science and climategate/IPCC gate and for the fake news.

Times they are a changing.

Your linked to article in the Australian election comment section is a sign that people are waking up.

As everyone is aware Trump is not an intellectual genius.

Trump’s genius is he understands economics 101 (how to get GDP growth and job growth) and he can take constant personal attacks and zero credit from the fake news.

How the Trump economic miracle shatters the left

May 19, 2019 8:01 am

A truly noble and righteous act…bravo!

On the outer Barcoo
May 19, 2019 8:04 am

A small step? Yes, but a step nevertheless … and in the right direction.

Not Chicken Little
May 19, 2019 8:30 am

This is what it takes – you have to stand up against the bullies and call them out. Good for her!

Everyone, scientist or not, must be in pursuit of the truth and against lies, if you want your life to have real meaning, and to be able to honestly hold your head up high, win or lose.

I’m happy that more and more people refuse to be bullied, and are being skeptical (as scientists especially should be) – more of us need to be from Missouri, the “Show Me” state!

May 19, 2019 8:54 am

The longer this CAGW/Climate Change/Climate Crisis false religion persists, even with changing testaments, the more I realise that its God: the IPCC, its disciples: Hansen, Jones, Mann et al, and its periodic IPCC Reports have about as much credibility as The Flat Earth Society!

Bill Powers
May 19, 2019 9:25 am

You have to reach the student population with the truth, real science, and motivate them to occupy the Administration Buildings on campuses across America demanding that they stop preaching secular religious dogma and bring education back to the classrooms.

Al Miller
May 19, 2019 11:10 am

Dr. Cronin: thank you for being a hero! By any definition you are just that to take a stand for principles when the media conglomerate and academia are pretending there’s nothing to see here. Bravo! I wish you well in your principled life.

J Mac
May 19, 2019 11:25 am

Bravo, Sheilagh Cronin!

Kip Hansen(@kiphansen2)
May 19, 2019 12:33 pm

Kudos to Dr. Sheliagh Cronin — that’s my kind of “shelia”.

May 19, 2019 4:11 pm

For a ‘reverse ponzi scheme’ to work (‘if something is too bad to be true, it probably isn’t’), it generally requires those within it to keep quiet.

Lewis P Buckingham
May 19, 2019 9:55 pm

Well at least this behaviour has precedent
⁶Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled
Matthew 5:3–12

Kone Wone
May 19, 2019 11:01 pm

But what took her so long?

Steve Borodin
May 20, 2019 2:01 am

The opposte of Sheilagh Cronin: David Attenborough.

May 20, 2019 3:47 am

goodonya Sheilagh!!

May 20, 2019 6:32 am

There is hope in the little titles everywhere as JRR Tolkien would say.

David Tallboys
May 20, 2019 9:24 am

999,999 species may die out – I’ve reduced the million figure by one because it seems that bats are OK.

Southampton University three years ago set out to study the effect of climate change on bats. Unfortunately the bats adapted quite well it seems and so earlier this month Southampton University meekly announced:

“the threat of range losses for some species as a result of climate change could be overestimated because of the ability of certain animals to adapt to rising temperatures and aridity.”

Search “Southampton University bat studies” to read it yourselves.

I’ve long thought these climate worriers were batty.

May 22, 2019 9:16 pm

Refreshing to see a well respected academic stand up for free speech .
Universities that punish open discussion have outlived their usefulness .
Why drop 10’s of thousands of dollars on a brain wash camp ?

Dr. Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen
May 24, 2019 12:41 pm

Brave and needed. I wish more people were able to follow her example. But the costs are high, for individuals and academe as a whole. The IPCC is primarily a government controlled lobby for obtaining research funding – by now for almost all branches of research – using climate as a scare to attract finance and public support. Research has of course always done this, usually by promising the defeat of a human enemy. Given the insatiable appetite for funds, research needs to do this, that is attracting resources from ‘interested’ parties , private or public. Now the young are also included, children are the latest political tool…Teaching respect for Nature is one thing, by teaching fear that as allegedly based no longer on an angry God, but on scientific ‘predictions ‘ is surely dangerous for politics and societies in general. Threats combined with salvation IF you do as told, is the oldest trick of politics. It may be progress in that that ‘hell’ will now be created by humanity as a whole and by almost everything, and not just by a greedy neighbour or ideological opponent. This may be progress. (Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, Hull University, UK)

Dr Sheilagh Cronin
May 31, 2019 6:30 am

I have just read all these comments and am very heartened by the comments. Academic freedom is very important especially when taxpayer funded research is being used to inform public policy that has major ramifications for the community’s cost of living. We deserve to know the truth and that means openness to scientific criticism.
Thanks for your support and please continue the pressure on JCU to correct their wrongful treatment of the respected Professor Peter Ridd

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