Penalty phase coming for the Peter Ridd vs. @jcu firing fiasco

I just got this message from Dr. Peter Ridd. As you know, he’s won the court case for his unjust termination by James Cook University. Now, the judge is going to determine damages and penalties. From what I’ve seen, JCU doesn’t think they are in the wrong in any way. That may exacerbate the penalties.

Dr. Ridd writes:

Just letting you know that there will be a final court hearing on Thursday and Friday this weed for Judge Vasta to decide the penalty against James Cook University for all their unlawful activity including firing me. Thanks again for your support, we would not be in this position without you all.

I have mentioned before that we think it highly likely that JCU will appeal and they have three weeks after the judge decides on the penalty against JCU to do this.

In the meantime, there is a growing campaign to improve the Quality Assurance of Great Barrier Reef Science and I note that the Liberal National Party in Queensland has just passed a resolution calling for an Office of Science Quality Assurance. This could be a major step forward in the quest to make our science institutions trustworthy again.

So good is coming out of all of this.

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Tom Halla
July 15, 2019 4:06 pm

If this case does lead to significant political change in how research is treated, all to the good.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 15, 2019 5:21 pm

I think the whole election result has lead to more pushback on activist scientists and the issue of them being impartial. Only today some CSRIO scientists were doing faux complaining to media because it has been revealed Adani had sought the names of CSRIO scientists doing ground water evaluation because they were concerned there might be anti-coal activists. It is the issue we have often talked about you can’t be an activist and a scientist they are mutually exclusive.

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  LdB
July 15, 2019 11:29 pm

Climate-saving Prince Charles must be very saddened by the result of Australia’s “climate election”, will the down-underlings be thrown out of the Commonwealth now?

Reply to  Henning Nielsen
July 16, 2019 9:15 am

While Elizabeth II is queen, the answer is no. If Charles actually is ever coronated, who knows. Maybe we will all breakup the Commonwealth; no one wants that guy to be king.

PS apparently coronated is not a word. The correct word is ‘crowned’.

Brian RL Catt
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
July 16, 2019 12:18 pm

Crowned is to be made King, yes. A bad idea in the case of the delusional one. Wy they are keeping the Queen alive, so Charles can’t inherit.

But I do agree he should be throughly coronated. Preferably in public 😉

Paul Penrose
Reply to  LdB
July 16, 2019 8:09 am

“…you can’t be an activist and a scientist they are mutually exclusive.”

I believe that applies to Journalists as well. Unfortunately this does not appear to be a widely held opinion.

Don Andersen
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 16, 2019 5:43 am

Don’t hold your breath waiting for significant change. The conservatives here in Australia are a bit disappointing.

Reply to  Don Andersen
July 16, 2019 8:21 am

Yes it seems that today’s elected politicians just don’t have the stomach to challenge the entrenched bureaucrats’ control of the national agenda.
The socialist Fabians’ “long march through the institutions” has borne fruit.

Brett McSweeney
July 15, 2019 4:50 pm

Yes, judges don’t like it when their judgement is rejected by a plaintiff – the University has refused to reinstate Peter – and in the penalty phase they get to express that feeling.

Reply to  Brett McSweeney
July 16, 2019 9:41 pm

Aussies may not be aware of the recent Oberlin vs Gibson’s case here in the US. Wasn’t about climate change, but in other ways very similar, a “Woke” set of College Administrators treating those they perceived as their political opponents in a heavy handed and abusive manner, and then being absolutely shocked when a jury held them financially liable for their own actions. It’s a great case to read up on, for anyone unfamiliar with it. (the blog Legal Insurrection has covered this story better than anyone else by far, certainly much more comprehensively than the MSM)

Andre Lauzon
July 15, 2019 5:02 pm

Best of luck Dr. Ridd. Your work and your words shall prevail. God bless.

Sweet Old Bob
July 15, 2019 5:07 pm

Hope the good coming out of this includes Peter Ridd being “set” for life.

Bryan A
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
July 15, 2019 6:54 pm

Perhaps a $7.9M annual stipend for the remainder of his days for punitive damages.
And 10x all back pay due back to the date of his unlawful sacking as well as all pay he would have received until his retirement (or reinstatement to his position)
And a public apology published in every paper within the nation.
And censure of those who had unlawfully tried to end his career.

Reply to  Bryan A
July 16, 2019 2:00 am

And naming!
(Cockroaches hate being exposed)

Reply to  Disputin
July 16, 2019 8:57 am

Think Antifa in the US, almost always masked. Even in the famous Charlottesville Va riot where the police LEFT when the masked leftists showed up, due to the state law against covering your face at a public demonstration. The law was passed to end KKK marches. The police/mayor wanted the violence to happen.

I saw a video of Antifa thugs arriving to an Auburn U demonstration after being told to remove the mask by a university police. Boy did the thugs get mad. I did not research but assume Alabama has a similar law to Virginia’s. See link below as they stop one who had his face covered. See the added violence and arrests.

I still wonder why the fed justice department has not investigated the Charlottesville mayor and police chief for abandoning the peaceful protesters to the masked thugs, much like has happened in multiple liberal controlled cities across the US.

Reply to  Drake
July 16, 2019 10:12 am

The mayor and police of Charlottesville better be careful. Any evidence of an Antifa disruption again would quite possibly bring KKKers into the mix, wearing THEIR masks. In a fight between the two groups, I highly suspect the K would win. The Antifa group seems like snowflakes only brave enough to attack those who will not fight back.

Reply to  Bryan A
July 16, 2019 9:17 am

Maybe they should have to fund a watchdog agency that insures unbiased policy in the future.

Komr5ade Kuma
July 15, 2019 5:32 pm

Off topic I know but former Greens leader Bob Brown is out campaigning against a huge wind farm in NW Tasmania on aesthetic and bird killing grounds. Apart from the latent hypocrisy of the Greens it seems that this is another ‘penalty phase’ developing for the Great Green Blob.

Joe Scibiorski
Reply to  Komr5ade Kuma
July 15, 2019 11:38 pm

I think Bob Brown is right to oppose this wind farm, just like he was right in the 1970’s to oppose the Franklin Dam. Trouble is, he comes across as a sanctimonious NIMBY, and one who is quite selective about what he opposes. The best answer for Australia’s energy needs is probably nuclear, but of course he’s always opposed to that.

Reply to  Komr5ade Kuma
July 16, 2019 2:50 am

Brown might also reference recent studies of wind turbines which shows they have been falsely promoted in terms of expected lifespans and maintenance – essentially some classes of turbines (the largest) have costs essentially double that promised.

Duncan Smith
July 15, 2019 5:38 pm

“there is a growing campaign to improve the Quality Assurance…calling for an Office of Science Quality Assurance”

Call me sceptical, will they have a “Summary for Policymakers” too?

Reply to  Duncan Smith
July 15, 2019 10:46 pm

Duncan Smith – I’m sceptical too. Iron law of Bureaucracy and all that.

Reply to  Duncan Smith
July 16, 2019 1:52 am

And how will that work? Reproducibility is the cornerstone of science, together with a sceptical review process. Climate science has no interest in either. As we know from Climategate, climate science deliberately circumvents the usual ways we ensure quality in science.

July 15, 2019 5:46 pm

Except that JCU nabobs will demand that they run The Office of Science Quality Assurance – surely as night follows day – their egos won’t settle for anything less….

July 15, 2019 5:48 pm

Top man, Peter Ridd.

Integrity, courage and belief.

There is a truly shared culture of honesty between our Antipodean and American brothers, and we Brits.

It has been suppressed of late, but it can never be eradicated.

July 15, 2019 5:54 pm

Where it will get very expensive for them is if they oppose reinstalling him.

Rhoda R
Reply to  LdB
July 15, 2019 6:57 pm

Can you imagine what his life would be if he WERE installed at this point?

Reply to  Rhoda R
July 15, 2019 7:31 pm

I don’t think he would have an issue (he gets halo protection anyhow), some around him might but that is there problem. There are a pile of people before him that have been ordered to be reinstated and there has been very few issues because if there is any retribution against the employee they get hauled back infront of the judge.

July 15, 2019 6:02 pm

… an Office of Science Quality Assurance …

Many scientists will insist that peer review and journal editors look after science quality assurance. They will point out that bad science is eventually corrected. Well a lot of damage is done in the mean time. How many people died because of Ancel Keys bad science? How many billions of dollars have been squandered because of the bad science that props up CAGW?

We have a replication crisis where the vast majority of research findings can’t be reproduced, sometimes even by the original authors.

We need a hard nosed regime where research findings MUST be replicated. That means fewer dollars for original research and more for replication. There should also be serious efforts to put fraudsters in jail.

My nephiew’s community has the mantra, “If there isn’t video, it didn’t happen.” We need something like the same for research. If it hasn’t been replicated, it’s a fluke.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  commieBob
July 15, 2019 7:08 pm

Quality Assurance isn’t about quality. It is about documentation and paper trails. It’s badly named.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
July 16, 2019 6:59 am

What he said ^^

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  commieBob
July 16, 2019 6:46 am

“We need a hard nosed regime where research findings MUST be replicated.”

Independent replication. The independent part is the key. Mann and the Hockey Team claim replication success because they “replicated” each other’s work, while stonewalling any attempts an independent replication (McIntyre and McKitrick, and others).

July 15, 2019 6:19 pm

“You can’t be an activist and a scientist, they are mutually exclusive.”

If a scientist finds a new treatment for a disease, can they be an activist to get it accepted and used? If a scientist finds an existing treatment has no benefit, or serious side effects, can they be an activist to get it withdrawn (thalidomide, for example)? Can a scientist whose research finds some accepted practice causes serious injury or damage be an activist to get that practice stopped (asbestos, for example). Can a scientist who finds errors or cover-ups in other research, be an activist to get that work corrected or withdrawn (Ridd, for example)?

These are a few examples where a scientist should be an activist.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Helen
July 15, 2019 7:37 pm

Not sure I agree to be honest.

Science is… or at least should, be about presenting objective facts, attaching explanations as to why these facts exist and then, constructively, debating the issue to either see if it breaks or see if it can be improved. You are allowed to be passionate about an issue, but if you tell me that grass is green I expect you to also show me the colour chart.

Activism is subjective. There is a difference between being able to say ‘Here are my findings. Here are my references. Based on these, here are my recommendations’ and saying ‘Greatest Moral Challenge’. It’s about presenting the facts (as you know them), not the feels.

Remember kids, Science is NEVER Settled, it is just in its current state of understanding.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Craig from Oz
July 16, 2019 9:34 am

“Remember kids, Science is NEVER Settled, it is just in its current state of understanding.”

THAT says it all, in a nutshell.

Science, by its very nature, is NEVER “settled.” It is based on the continued and even brutal application of skepticism, and requires real-world observations or experimentation to confirm the current understanding. And if subsequent study shows something was wrong with previous experiments, or that observations were somehow insufficiently clear or free of confounding factors, then the “science” is updated. It is never carved in stone.

As soon as the Climate Fascists started telling everyone that the(ir) “science” was “settled,” it should have been instantly recognized by anyone who was paying attention and was capable of logic and reason for what it was – an effort to shut up anyone with opposing viewpoints and substitute ADVOCACY for “science.”

Reply to  Helen
July 15, 2019 7:45 pm

Those aren’t really activist situations they are specific reactions to a finding. In the same way I have no issue with a scientist saying the Earth is warming where the problem comes is when they then start mandating a specific single solution like emission control.

In your thalidomide and asbestos case you have not specified how you deal with it you just make a finding and ask people deal with it. Obviously you expect them to stop using it but you didn’t demand they immediately run around with trucks pick it all up and bury it in the fires of Mordor.

Go back to the scientist who says the Earth is warming why do they get to dictate what should be done about it and are they qualified to do so?

Reply to  LdB
July 15, 2019 11:54 pm

Activism distorts any science the activist does. It is not as if activism would be wrong, but it surely biases scentific inquiry.

In this sense, Ridd is surely in danger as much as the remaining JCU staff.

Peter Jackson
Reply to  Helen
July 16, 2019 12:13 am

Excellent point.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  Helen
July 16, 2019 12:29 am

I think what you are admitting to is that Big Green climate hysteria has given activism a bad name – I agree with you.

Aynsley Kellow
Reply to  Helen
July 16, 2019 2:56 am

Helen, A friend who was in the Therapeutic Goods Administration at the time told me McBride discovered the problems with Thalidomide because he was prescribing more than other medical practitioners. He later established a foundation (Foundation 41) to find similar problems – and was found to have faked results relating to Debendox (Bendectin in the US) in order to demonstrate success to secure more funds. So not a good example.

Reply to  Helen
July 16, 2019 8:04 am

Either you are dispassionately seeking the truth, or you are campaigning for a cause.

Campaigning for a cause is noble. Even so, you can’t get rid of your own biases and it’s easy to fool yourself. If you’re campaigning, you have to give up the pretense of dispassionately seeking the truth. You have the answer and you’re trying to find evidence to prove it. That’s not science.

In the legal system, a judge may discount evidence if she thinks the witness may be biased. The judge will accept such evidence if it is somehow corroborated. eg. Bill testified that he saw a blue 1963 Pontiac leave the scene of the crime, not his brother’s white Subaru. OK, we’re not trusting that. The nosy neighbor testified that she saw a dark colored car leave the scene of the crime. That’s fine, now Bill’s evidence is more credible.

An activist can point to someone else’s evidence. An activist isn’t credible when she points to her own research results.

Reply to  Helen
July 16, 2019 10:22 am

Sure they can, but they would cease being scientists. You can be one or the other, but not both at the same time. And I take exception to labeling a scientist who wants to correct thr error in the work of others, an activist. Not at all the same thing. All scientists should be advocates of science, and the correct practice of it. That is quite different from advocating for a policy, for whatever reason.

Scott W Bennett
Reply to  Helen
July 16, 2019 5:16 pm


There is a difference between activist and advocate* between having conviction and being convicted! ;-)*

*Activist: a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change: police arrested three activists | a committed animal rights activist.
**Advocate: a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy: she was an untiring advocate of economic reform.

July 15, 2019 6:26 pm

So, JCU is taking lessons from Oberlin.

Peter could come out owning JCU.

July 15, 2019 7:27 pm

JCU have fallen for the old Centralist paradigm-things are better run from the top down, and this extends everywhere. JCU want something like what happens in sport, if you have a complaint or disagreement in the way things are decided or about an official or whatever, you do so off the field- not in the public sphere-otherwise you get fined or suspended for criticizing umpires on field etc. Its’ aim is to keep things collegial.

There’s a grain of truth in this, but the problem JCU has is that they think people at the top know more than they actually do, and there isn’t deep issues with human bias; its not like a tennis match where you complain formally ‘behind the scenes’, because in complicated maters such as science being at the top of the hierarchy doesn’t guarantee one knows better, of that official processes work. In other words, you cant run it like a tennis or football match, there simply too much uncertainty and too much human nature in officialdom to deal with.

Its a hard lesson for those who believe in bigger government to learn, but the founders fathers knew it very well.

Tom Abbott
July 15, 2019 7:46 pm

“Office of Science Quality Assurance”

Peter Ridd is out of a job for the moment, maybe we should promote him to head up the Office of Science Quality Assurance. 🙂

Patrick MJD
July 15, 2019 8:16 pm

The science is so bad that many Australians truly believe the GBR is dead, the whole of it, and the Australian media are complicit in the spread of this message. Of course when there are calls for evidence of this death all you hear is crickets chirping.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 16, 2019 8:34 am

when there are calls for evidence of this death all you hear is crickets chirping

Not always Patrick.
Most often you’re shown a picture of a 5 metres by 5 metres patch of white staghorn coral from an unspecified location, taken at an unspecified time, and told “so just shut up!!” 🙂

(At least, that’s the JCU way of presenting the GBR status)

Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 16, 2019 4:19 pm

NPR just did a story about a 30 year study of the reefs off the Florida keys: “Lapointe thought his study would show that warming temperatures were killing off corals. Instead, the data show that the coral’s biggest problem has been another human source: nitrogen.” (The chemical form found in sewage, not the nitrogen in the atmosphere. I think that’s ammonia, but I’m not sure.) The story is of course couched in terms of “it’s not *just* climate change”, but reading between the lines it almost sounds like it’s *all* nitrogen. And the authors of the study speculate that it may be the problem not only off the Keys, but elsewhere in the world.

The full story is here (and not paywalled):

Rud Istvan
July 15, 2019 8:24 pm

Best big bucks I ever spent, supporting him. My bank came back with a ‘are you sure‘ fraudulent transfer alert. My, oh my.

July 15, 2019 8:44 pm

JCU May appeal…..this could cost we taxpayers millions!
Peter Ridd is a hero in my book.
Good luck sir.

July 15, 2019 8:52 pm

Hope the judge SPANKS the university, hard. They will get their 15 minutes of infamy, finally.

J Mac
July 15, 2019 10:18 pm

Dr. Peter Ridd has the miserable purveyors of climate fraud on the run. Press the advantage, Sir!
I am very proud to be a ‘put your money where your mouth is’ supporter of Dr. Ridd.

July 16, 2019 12:03 am

No surprise at all , they will never let him back for they have too much ‘face to lose ‘ if they did so.
And they know the press has long moved on with this story , that is the press which is not ‘friendly ‘ to the doom stories the universities is pushing .

Dodgy Geezer
July 16, 2019 12:35 am

Colour me sceptical.

I suspect that someone will have a quiet word in the Judge’s ear, and the penalty will be a minor one.

“..I note that the Liberal National Party in Queensland has just passed a resolution calling for an Office of Science Quality Assurance. This could be a major step forward in the quest to make our science institutions trustworthy again…”

It COULD be. It is more likely to be a political body designed to rubber-stamp politically correct science, and to act as a gatekeeper stopping any complaints or whistle-blowing. I have seen Establishment ‘proposals’ too many times before to believe that that they are really interested in reform…. and even if they were, that their reforms would be competent enough to address the problem…

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
July 16, 2019 3:44 am

If the ALP had won the federal election on May 18th, I would agree with you. However, I don’t think that will be the outcome, and rightly so. People are waking up the hyperbole and misinformation albeit slowly. The Adani mine in QLD is tiny compared to existing and approved mines and now I hear Bob “My fellow Earthicans” Brown in Tasmania is protesting wind farms. I’d like to see a media report on that.

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
July 16, 2019 9:50 am

You’re also going to need a Truth and Reconciliation Court like post apartheid South Africa to review the damages done to science, policy, and society.

July 16, 2019 12:46 am

We had Willem de Lange from Waikato University speak to our Rotary Club and I had the privilege to propose the vote of thanks to Willem .
Willem was very blunt and maintained that sea level is of no problem for the next 500 years and that the climate emergency is straight out propaganda .
I thanked him for his candid presentation and asked him if he was worried about receiving the same treatment that Peter Ridd has had from the James Cook University in Australia for telling the truth .
Willem did not show to much concern but he told the story of Peter Ridd and said that he was one of his colleague’s .
This story about Peter Ridd winning his court case has not been covered on by any news paper or TV news in New Zealand .
I think this shows just how much our news media is biased and the editorial content is strictly controlled to toe the party line about the danger of climate change .
For example a cartoon in our regional paper showed the leader of the opposition standing on the top of our Beehive Parliament building which is 9 stories high with the tide up to the balcony and saying “there is nothing to worry about with climate change ” which is what he had said .
I will leave that for you to judge who is preaching BS when Willem de Lange rightly stated that it will take 500 years for the sea to rise half a meter .

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Gwan
July 16, 2019 3:57 am

Fortunately, Simon Bridges cannot have much more time as Leader of the NZ Opposition. I live to see the day when a major political party in NZ announces that CAGW is a gigantic political hoax and will not be supported by their party in future. At present, only New Conservatives and possibly ACT are heading that way. Daydreaming maybe, but I think there is a lot of political capital – and votes – available to a party with such courage! Perhaps the publicity generated by the Peter Ridd judgement and subsequent penalty will actually appear in our MSM. Possible but unlikely!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Mike Lowe
July 16, 2019 4:07 am

“Mike Lowe July 16, 2019 at 3:57 am

Fortunately, Simon Bridges cannot have much more time as Leader of the NZ Opposition. I live to see the day when a major political party in NZ announces that CAGW is a gigantic political hoax…”

You are crazy! Will never happen. The NZ political elite are in it, hook, line and sinker.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Gwan
July 16, 2019 4:04 am

There was talk when I lived in NZ (15 years ago) to move “Parliament” to Melbourne, Australia because of risks from earthquakes. I am sure that now is risk from climate change.

Ivor Ward
July 16, 2019 1:51 am

The problem lies with the Universities becoming religious establishments. They now believe that they are there to preach and not to teach.

July 16, 2019 8:02 am

I would suggest the penalty of giving up one academic research building and using that property for a showcase of academic freedom and reproducible science. Call it the Peter Ridd University at James Cook.

July 16, 2019 8:34 am

Anthony Says: “From what I’ve seen, JCU doesn’t think they are in the wrong in any way. That may exacerbate the penalties.”

Sounds just like Oberlin College vs the Gibsons. Perhaps a symptom of the modern university. Cheers –

July 18, 2019 1:26 pm

Bonny Prince Chuck has more climate up his left nostril than the effects of a trace gas on the earths climate .
If the judge was 9 th circut USA no way this judgement happens . Congratulations .
Justice was served !

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