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 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).
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