What they said: Believe everything you’re told edition

This is not about free speech, not about the freedom of the press, nor about legitimate journalism, and not about political correctness.

Judge Heather Norton

Professor Ridd’s academic freedom is not and has never been at issue and is not related to the termination of his employment.  

Professor Iain Gordon

This entry was posted in Hypocrisy of progressives, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to What they said: Believe everything you’re told edition

  1. NB

    It’s weird. But it follows the same pattern as the AGW debate more generally. They don’t get it that the more they lie, the more unbelievable they become. For some reason they think the more they lie the more we will believe them. It is such a strange approach,, such a perverse psychology.

  2. Atoms for Peace

    The court case will be worth following.

  3. The University has not objected to Professor Ridd’s right to comment on quality assurance.

    However, the University has objected to the manner in which he has done this. He has sensationalised his comments to attract attention, has criticised and denigrated published work, and has demonstrated a lack of respect for his colleagues and institutions in doing so. Academic rebuttal of his scientific views on the reef has been separately published.

    Sensationalised eh?
    Fair nuff then, coz no “reef alarmist activist professor” has ever “sensationalised”.

    I hope I’m still alive when the day comes that all tertiary education takes place on line. It will be a joy to be served fries by a former academic arsehole.

  4. closeapproximation

    Quite so.

    Common theme: pressing hard on technicalities (OK) and letter of the law (OK), but only doing this assiduously for one side (Weasel).

    The big picture stinks.

  5. Shy Ted

    Heather Norton QC, who made her name in a number of high-profile serious crime cases, will be the city’s second female judge – serving alongside resident Judge Adele Williams. In November 2008, she prosecuted George O’Dowd – better known as Culture Club’s flamboyant Boy George – when he was found guilty of false imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court and jailed for 15 months. O’Dowd and a friend kept their victim Audun Carlsen tied up as a prisoner at his home in Shoreditch in April 2007.
    During the trial she made a joke at the singer’s expense, asking: “Did he really have to hurt him?” – a reference to his 1980 hit: “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?”.

    Quite the comedian(enne).

  6. Mother Lode

    The high-point of intellectual life is when the various leading lights call each other inept, stupid, ignorant, careless, charlatan, spiv, ridiculous, unoriginal and deceptive.

    It is the sound of combat – the ringing sounds as ideas swung and parried.

    The world of AGW, though, is more like an ant nest, with castes dedicated to specific purposes, but in the centre is the a queen, distended, immobile, releasing pheromones from her far end that the ants have rubbed on them by ants nearer the queen, and which they in their turn rub onto other ants further from the centre.

    Did I also point out that the ants are more or less blind?

  7. Blair

    “We acknowledge Australian Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islander People as the first inhabitants of the nation, and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students live, learn and work.”

  8. Mother Lode

    Fair nuff then, coz no “reef alarmist activist professor” has ever “sensationalised”.

    I expect the university to deliver a peer-reviewed paper ‘proving’ that, if Ridd had not been rid of, that all Australian state capitals would be ghost towns by November, the earth cease rotating, and the dead to rise from their graves and stagger about eating the brains of everyone they stumble into.

  9. Mother Lode

    We acknowledge Australian Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islander People as the first inhabitants of the nation

    Do we know they were first? All we know is that they were here when whitey turned up. No point asking them – their version of their own history involves things like a giant LGBTQI rainbow snake and its abruptly sentient scat.

    Also, can you say it was a ‘Nation’ when it was scattered nomads eking out a meagre living – and keeping it meagre by their lack of development.

    acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands

    Here we hit more technical ground – whether ownership as understood by Aborigines is the same as understood by Westerners: Who bestows ownership, what sort of privileges accrue (exclusive use for whatever purpose up to and including destroying it, restricted to a limited set of uses prescribed by the group, exclusive ownership etc.)

    I don’t think their ownership is of the same nature, so suddenly bestowing western style ownership rights is not in keeping with their ‘traditions’.

  10. RobK

    Academic rebuttal of his scientific views on the reef has been separately published.
    Well that’s it then. So he must be a sensationalist because we dont agree with him. The VC is drawing a long bow to say the issues are unrelated. Sad.

  11. Vicki

    I am grateful that we still have independant thinkers such as Prof. Kidd around to call out the disgraceful lengths to which supporters of AGW will go.

    However, I have always been of the belief that everything – including integrity – has a price in this often duplicitous world we live in. Kidd is paying that price. He has called them out & they have dismissed him under the rules in which they operate.

    It remains to be seen whether the court will rule that he served the greater good and/or behaved in a way which upheld the dignity of science and James Cook Uni, rather than the other way around.

    If not, he is a martyr to the greater cause of truth and academic integrity. And that is an honour in itself.

  12. Crossie

    This is not about free speech, not about the freedom of the press, nor about legitimate journalism, and not about political correctness.

    The judge is right, it’s all about the lovely taxpayer money for bogus research and subsidies to cronies.

  13. OneWorldGovernment

    I want to burn Professor Ridd on a bonfire of the dead trees ecological legislation that purports to tell us where we have gone wrong.

    This is despite the actual fact that CO2 release from volcanic activity AND bush fires are not to be accounted.

    If they are all so serious then shut down every coal fired power station NOW.

    And I have argued for years that ALL UNaustralian capital cities should be bulldozed into the sea and let the little critters LIVE!

  14. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Professor Iain Gordon’s wooly thinking:

    All academic staff are free to promote and share their areas of expertise, including through public debate – however, this must happen within the framework of the Code of Conduct and in line with the quality assurance processes that apply to scientific research internationally, not just at our University.

    Ridd criticizes the quality assurance processes that apply, and not just those of James Cook University, so how can he comment ‘in line with’ such assurances in making an honest critique?

    The University has not objected to Professor Ridd’s right to comment on quality assurance.

    The University has indeed objected to comment on quality assurance that is ‘out of line’. See the contradiction above.

    He has sensationalised his comments to attract attention, has criticised and denigrated published work, and has demonstrated a lack of respect for his colleagues and institutions in doing so.

    In other words, Ridd has promulgated his critiques. There is a fine tradition throughout history of doing just that; women would still be dying of septicaemia in childbirth if Dr. Semmelweiss had not done that.

    Academic rebuttal of his scientific views on the reef has been separately published.

    Just as Ridd has published his views. He is under no obligation to accept the ‘academic rebuttal’.

    Professor Ridd has at all times been free to comment on quality assurance. The University has not prevented him from doing so.

    Simply risible. He is attempting currently to continue to comment on quality assurance while the University is now insisting he must concentrate on his legal matters, raised by them to obstruct his commenting.

    This is clearly addressed in its communications with Professor Ridd, but also through his continuing to speak at events to share his views on quality assurance. However, Professor Ridd’s academic freedom is not and has never been at issue and is not related to the termination of his employment. His employment was terminated by reason of his repeated refusal to comply with the University Code of Conduct and the repeated disrespect he showed for the University as a senior employee. He was a senior employee who was aware of his conduct, his obligations and having been warned twice about such conduct, continued to engage in it.

    In other words, by his repeated critiques in various fora.
    The University has bound itself to demonstrate what, in their view, entails ‘disrespect’ by Ridd.

    Professor Ridd has on numerous occasions and in numerous ways seriously and repeatedly breached the Code of Conduct – his employment has been terminated on this basis. To suggest otherwise is simply wrong.

    The Code of Conduct is being interpreted to include any level of critique, and certainly is not applied evenly to those who critique Dr. Ridd and promulgate widely and in many fora their own views about the Barrier Reef and its supposed lack of health. Goose and gander comes to mind here, does it not, DVC? Surely Dr. Ridd has every right to expect considerate and measured response from his colleagues also.

    While Professor Ridd has determined to publish documents, rather than to focus on his legal proceedings, on review of the conduct in which Professor Ridd has engaged, it is patently clear that this is not about his views on the reef.

    Dr. Ridd is particularly focused on his legal proceedings and so are the many international and Australian observers who have rallied financially to support them. That he continues to critique aspects of the process of quality assurance, a broader issue than his concerns with assurance of quality in the research on the reef, is surely his academic right? Additionally, recently Dr. Ridd has made some useful suggestions about the application of Government research funds to the reef by institution of an independent review process that would ensure better quality than he observes at present. He is behaving in a completely appropriate manner for the public intellectual that he has shown himself to be.

    These matters reflect a senior member of the University’s repeated disregard for the same terms and conditions that apply to all staff. This includes deliberately publishing comments that were untrue, failing to manage his conflict of interest obligations and failing to comply with directions.

    The University must show the ‘untruths’ are not mere differences of opinion, it must demonstrate exactly what his ‘conflict of interest obligations’ actually were other than some need to agree with the University (which another DVC in her initial statement has strangely identified as an entity having a particular ‘view’ on climatic matters, a ‘view’ that differs to that held by Professor Ridd but aligns with that of the colleagues whose work he critiques), and provide a clear indication of why the University’s directions were neither specious nor an attempt to unjustly silence him. For clearly, in the confusions above, they have been both.

    Try again, Deputy Vice Chancellor, and try to make more logical sense next time.

  15. Zatara

    Grow the fuck up.

    He disagreed with the cool kids so you fired him.

  16. If a lefty got in legal trouble, there are untold numbers of lefty lawyers who would come to the rescue pro bono (or the CEO of ‘What If I Was a Suckhole’ would fund a legal defence). That’s how the left operates.
    By our very nature, us righties don’t get that luxury.

  17. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Do read the Dr. Semmelweiss link, as it contains good examples of the various twisting and turning ‘scientific’ critiques made by his recalcitrant nineteenth century colleagues of his empirical observations. They made every effort possible to maintain their scientific dignity in the face of overwhelming empirical evidence. Sadly, they drove Semmelweiss to an early grave, even though he is seen now as giant upon whose shoulders many later medical researchers stand and to whom countless women owed their lives at the time, and still do.

    JCU, just re-hire the man, and admit you were wrong. That is your best way forward.

  18. Egor

    “sensationalised ” as a crime against the Uni is much under reported. The global warming hysterics associated with JCU continuously run agitprop to the effect that the reef has a year to live or is already an ex parrot.
    Confirmation that the left have to first know your politics then they’ll be able to tell you if you’re guilty.

  19. Rohan

    I note that they have no link to their code of conduct. Again, more smoke and mirrors. All this is, is a summary of how they interpret their code of conduct, not if there has been any substantive breach by Ridd.

  20. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Rohan, the ‘code of conduct’ is hidden within the Enterprise Bargaining documentation. I am married to a man who knows something of these things (although the above analysis of the DVC’s statement is mine, as I had had some experience myself as an academic in academic management), and he says you could drive truck through the holes in the Code of Conduct provisions with regard to Dr. Ridd’s ‘obligations’.

    JCU, call Ridd, extend an olive branch, and give this witch hunt away now, before the international reputation of JCU is completely trashed. QUT came out badly from the witch hunt of its students; live and learn. As Zatara suggests, also grow up.

  21. Dr Faustus

    As Lizzie notes, Gordon’s statement is an awkward ramble. But, in the end, JCU sacked Ridd because he allegedly breached the JCU Code of Conduct by “publishing comments that were untrue, failing to manage his conflict of interest obligations and failing to comply with directions.”

    Peter Ridd has published most of the original correspondence with JCU on his website. From this it appears that the reasons for Ridd’s dismissal all relate to his conduct in the disciplinary process:

    * publishing comments that were untrue – relates to Ridd claiming JCU told him that he couldn’t discuss the disciplinary process with his wife;

    * failing to manage his conflict of interest obligations – relates to his appeal to the IPA for assistance;

    * failing to comply with directions – relates to JCU directing him that the disciplinary process was confidential, and that instruction being considered sufficient to make it legally confidential.

    JCU publishes its Code of Conduct on it website and an Explanatory Memorandum from which it is fairly clear that:

    The ‘untrue comments’ and ‘conflict of interest’ issues seem to be matters of sincere belief and reasonable opinion – covered off at multiple points in the Code.

    The ‘direction to confidentiality’ hangs on whether it was a “lawful and reasonable direction“.

    Looks like it is going to be an embarrassing ‘reasonable conduct’ shitfight for JCU.

  22. Entropy

    Look, JCU wins regardless. Even if the court rules in Ridd’s favour it can appeal. After all, the process is the punishment, and JCU will make sure Ridd is a good example, and in any case the gatekeepers at JCU aren’t using their money.
    And in the end, they just pay him out. It isn’t their money and his career will be over regardless.
    It isn’t their money. And they have heaps of it.

  23. I would like to see the JCU management be charged for breaching the Public Sector Ethics Act Qld which applies to JCU. These people have no ethics and are playing political games which is a breach of the Act. They have trash the reputation in the past by the way they treated Prof Bob Carter. They may have caused his premature death. They are trashing the reputation of JCU further. It has fallen in ranking. It would now be a third tier University in Qld. (Qld Uni – 1st, Griffith a long behind 2nd, followed by Bond, QUT, and then maybe SCU although all have problems with green-socialist leaning acedemics eg Ove Hoegh Gulberg at Qld Uni, the mentor of that fool at Sceptical Science.)

  24. Snoopy

    The composition of this external panel and it’s findings will be of greater significance thanks to Peter Ridd.

    In February, another journal, Biology Letters, issued an “expression of concern” about 2014 research conducted by Dr Lonnstedt while at JCU about ­lionfish.

    “Subsequent to publication of ‘Lionfish predators used flared fin displays to initiate co-operative hunting’ (published June 25, 2014), it has been brought to the attention of the editorial team that there are concerns regarding the validity of the data used in the study,” the journal said.

    Biology Letters said it was ­investigating a discrepancy in the number of lionfish obtained by Dr Lonnstedt at her research facility on Lizard Island and the dozens of specimens supposedly used in her experiments. Editor-in-chief Richard Battarbee said readers would be notified of the results as soon as possible.

    JCU told The Times the university was “in the process of convening an external panel to ­investigate her (Dr Lonnstedt’s) ­research”. “JCU is committed to the highest standards of ethical research,” a spokesman said.

  25. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    The ‘direction to confidentiality’ hangs on whether it was a “lawful and reasonable direction“.

    Is it ever lawful to refuse a man leave to discuss with his wife the nature of charges levelled against him?

    This is quite different from legal ‘commercial in confidence’ provisions for limiting discussion.

  26. JohnL

    Division of Tropical Environments and Societies (at JCU):
    The Division of Tropical Environments and Societies recognises the grand challenges facing the world today and the particular role that will be played out in the Tropics.
    We are uniquely positioned to deliver excellence through teaching, learning and research in the areas of Science, Engineering, Planning, Information Technology, Business, Law, Governance, Education, Arts and Social Sciences. Teachers and researchers within the Division have achieved National and International recognition

    If the above “Division” can achieve all of that, why do we need other universities? Why don’t we just channel all the monies spent on universities to this “Division”?!?!?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.