Ridd on the reef and free speech

Don’t miss this!

The IPA team interview Peter Ridd. He explains that what’s happening on the Great Barrier Reef with coral bleaching is a normal cycle. He tells his story of being censured at James Cook university, but admits the state of free speech at universities in Australia is non-existent — even after his win. They discuss how we might reform science with audits (universities are almost a lost cause). We’ll probably never know how many scientists think similar thoughts to Peter Ridd. We know that they’ll need a $250,000 legal fund if they do.

This entry was posted in Freedom of speech, Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Ridd on the reef and free speech

  1. stackja

    Free speech is expensive!

  2. billie

    research at universities is not done for advancing science any longer, it is done to advance careers

    look at how crowded with names all the papers are

    what a rort .. a bit like arts funding it depends on your network to get ahead and access to OPM

    **Peter Ridd calls it like it is on peer review as well, pretty well what you’d expect and certainly not rigorous. Good though if you have mates in the field who all want to advance.
    It’s a circle of backscratchers harvesting government grants with one hand and looking after mates with the other.

  3. Enyaw

    billie , It has always been thus . No ? .

  4. Rossini

    Israel Folau….Peter Ridd…….Free speach

  5. Rafe Champion

    Enyaw, it has got worse since the explosion of higher education and state-funded research and then it has been aggravated by politicization that has got worse in parallel with the expansion, then there is the synergistic effect of the two tendencies.

    You would need to over 60 or even 65 to see the process from the inside. Otherwise you have to read about it. Jacques Barzun is my favorite commentator.He lived to 105 (1907 to 2012 and he kept publishing up to 2000) so he saw a lot:)

  6. Roger

    Cf. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

  7. Rafe Champion

    Yes and the weird idea that Kuhn refuted Popper’s philosophy of science (the critical method). Popper was talking about the growth of knowledge, not the perpetuation of dogmas.

    There is a Popper Derangement Syndrome that is prevalent in Australia, not so visible since people stopped learning about Popper at uni so he is not mentioned at all in polite society.

  8. Roger

    Yes and the weird idea that Kuhn refuted Popper’s philosophy of science (the critical method). Popper was talking about the growth of knowledge, not the perpetuation of dogmas.

    I’ll grant that.

    Just pointing out that scientific group think has been the norm, not the exception throughout history, and seems to be reaching a zenith with the AGW “consensus”.

  9. Fat Tony

    Roger
    #3050085, posted on June 23, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Just pointing out that scientific group think has been the norm, not the exception throughout history, and seems to be reaching a zenith with the AGW “consensus”.

    Didn’t the ancient Greeks get caught up with the idea of circles within circles within circles…..to explain the orbits of the planets?

    No doubt there were some who thought otherwise, but “consensus”

  10. BoyfromTottenham

    Rafe, given the ‘success’ of ‘sue and settle’ and other ‘lawfare’ actions in the US, and the relative ease and rapidity of raising substantial amounts for legal costs these days via crowdfunding, maybe targeted legal action against offending individuals, organisations, universities, the CSIRO, the BOM, etc. is the best way to pursue this wave of abuse of science and free speech. While the case is sub judice, the msm will get less of a chance to slime the plaintiffs, and regardless of the result the defendants will be made very uncomfortable in the meantime. In fact the court experience could well lead to their behaviour improving, regardless of the result.
    I would be very happy to contribute to any and all of these funding efforts – as I did for Peter Ridd. Given that there are hundreds of thousands of sceptics in Australia, I believe that a contribution of a few dollars to fund such cases would be seen by most as far more worthwhile (and potentially entertaining) than donating the same amount to, say, a political party that generally cannot be trusted to do what they promise!

  11. Boambee John

    Fat Tony

    The Phlogiston Theory is a very good example of scientific groupthink!

  12. Colonel Crispin Berka

    We’ll probably never know how many scientists think similar thoughts to Peter Ridd. We know that they’ll need a $250,000 legal fund if they do.

    Great to see the green left adopting the principles of the free market finally, where price is prohibition.

  13. Dr Fred Lenin

    Peter Ridd is lucky he wasnt dissenting from the agenda in the middle ages ,burned at the stake they were ,everyone knew there were 25 angels dancing on the head of a pin ,not 24. Things have changed now with free speech as long as its the correct speech and doesnt stray from the agenda . Nothing like progressives for creating progress .

  14. Iampeter

    Peter Ridd was not censored by James Cook University.
    Universities cannot censor anyone. Only the government can censor you.
    Also, no one is forcing anyone to remain employed within an organization one disagrees with.

    Science cannot be reformed with audits. The issues plaguing science are the same issues plaguing every other profession. People don’t know how to think in an integrated manner.

    This is not going to be solved with any kind of legal action, it can only be solved by learning how to think.

    In other words, you need the right ideas to counter the wrong ones, not just complain about the dominance of ideas you disagree with and then try to sue people over disagreements.

  15. Sydney Boy

    As many Cats know, I am a serving Army officer. I had a few years out of Army where I worked in private industry ( I am an engineer) and lectured at an Australian university before joining up again. I still publish papers from time to time – a little more than one per year on average – and I do conduct peer reviews on other people’s work for scientific journals. So I am one of those “peers”. Most of the time, the author names are hidden to the reviewer and the reviewer names are hidden from the authors – hence it is double-blind.

    Early this year I had a paper I agreed to review that was complete rubbish. The idea was good, and the research was OK, but the written work was rubbish – part of that was the poor English. It was obviously written by someone with English as a second language, and if I was to guess, I would say of Arabic or similar background. People with Asian languages as their first language tend to make different mistakes to those with an Arabic background. Typically, papers go through two rounds of review with a minimum of two reviews per round.

    In the first round, I ended up writing 4 1/2 pages on how the paper needs to be improved and graded it “major revision necessary”. The other reviewer wrote a single paragraph and basically dismissed the paper. I was really surprised to get the paper back nearly three months later for a second round review. The authors had actually taken a lot of my criticisms and improved the paper substantially. So I ended up writing a second round review of less than a page and corrected the English for the authors – although most journals offer that service for an extra fee. The second reviewer (who was different to the other reviewer from the first round) provide a SINGLE LINE review – “Paper is good for publish”.

    So is the peer review system broken? No, but the quality of the review varies and a better quality review can certainly make a paper better. I have always (mostly) been happy with the reviewers comments I receive and most of the time they have improved my papers.

  16. Win

    Was ‘t The Australian University Research Council another of the sainted Bob Hawkes creations ? It seemed rid pardon the pun iculous at the time and seemed to this non academic just another facet of Hawke and Keating ‘ s slippery slope to socialism .Allow only prescribed research in certified areas.I asked my cousin how she would determine engineering research being a librarian.

  17. Iampeter

    Sydney Boy, the problem with peer review is that scientists are using it like a religious ritual to avoid the effort and responsible of thinking for themselves. It’s massively overused and so acts as a stagnating force in science.
    Think about it. How is something new and original supposed to be proposed if it’s supposed to be peer reviewed before anyone will take it seriously? Something new and original, by definition, cannot be peer reviewed.
    There was a famous case in Western Australia where two scientists discovered some stomach ulcers are caused by a bacteria and a treatment for it, only to be laughed at by everyone. They ended up having to infect themselves, treat themselves and document the process before becoming heroes.
    This should never have happened, but such is the consequence of no one wanting to think for themselves until their peers tell them it’s OK.

    So, I think peer review has a place to ensure basic standards are followed, but it cannot replace independent and competent thinking skills, which it seems to have done.

  18. Mark A

    Also, no one is forcing anyone to remain employed within an organization one disagrees with.

    Pardon me, wasn’t this the other way around?
    Ie. he was forced out?

  19. Sydney Boy

    I disagree Peter. New stuff is published all the time. Unfortunately much of it is poorly peer reviewed and there are plenty (thousands) of shit scientific journals you wouldn’t wipe on. My major issue is when someone publishes a paper supporting the AGW theory and then all the Greenies jump up and down and claim excitedly “it’s peer reviewed!”. Number 1, there are peer reviews and there are PEER REVIEWS, as per my examples. And number 2, who reviews a paper on AGW? Obviously another AGW scientist. I mean, I don’t review papers on the economics of the cheese trade in Europe, do I?

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