A message from Tim Andrews on Academic Freedom

Lomborg

Last week, cowed by a shrill vocal minority of far-left radical environmental activists, the University of Western Australia cancelled its contract with internationationally renown academic Bjørn Lomborg to establish a leading research centre to apply cost-benefit analysis to development projects .
For daring to apply evidence to public policy, Bjørn Lomborg was hounded out of our universities.

Just what have we become? And what does this say for our future? 

Academic freedom is at the heart of any university. To expose students to new ideas, to teach them to think critically, to challenge accepted wisdom – this is what a university should be about. And it is this fundamental principle that is now in grave danger.

By giving in to a few shrill internet protesters, the University of Western Australia has admitted that it is a closed shop. That it is shut to ideas. That challenging the accepted left-orthodoxy is not permitted.

Is this what we want our education system to be?  Run not by evidence or ideas, but by what the mob wants? How can we really have a free and fair future when all dissent is censored? 

I think we are better than this. I believe in our future. I want our universities to be world-class and not run at the first sign of trouble. But that means we need to take a stand now.

This is why I desperately need you to join our campaign for academic freedom:  We need to send a loud message that can not be ignored- ideological Censorship will NOT be tolerated! 

And without you – this just won’t work.

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is running an open letter in full-page newspaper advertisements proudly supporting academic freedom. But we can’t do this without your help. 

By joining our campaign, you will be publicly stating your opposition to this disgraceful attempt at academic censorship, and putting your commitment to intellectual freedom on the record.

If you believe in sound policy and academic freedom, click here to join our campaign! 

All donors will be publicly listed on our website  as signatories, and donors over $100 will be included in the print version (unless you choose otherwise)

Make no mistake: unless we take action today, this sort of censorship will happen again, and again, and again. This is why we need to draw a line in the stand now and say – enough! 

The only way to stop bullies is to stand up to them – and that is what we need to do.

Printing an open-letter in a newspaper won’t be easy. This will be the biggest and costliest project we have ever done. So we really need your help.

Anything you can contribute, whether it be $50, $100, $500, more or less, WILL make a difference.

It is vital we stand up to these thugs and I hope you will dig deep and join us in this campaign.

This is is our future generations we are talking about. It really does matter. So I hope you will be able to clear HERE to learn more, and then  join me and support what is right – and what is the only way to ensure a free Australia for the future.

Please dig deep an help us ensure a free future for Australia.  

Without your help- this simply won’t work. So I hope you will be able to join me, and stand up for what is right.

This entry was posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Hypocrisy of progressives. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to A message from Tim Andrews on Academic Freedom

  1. Mary

    Looks like Australia is following American universities’ example of censorship.

    Bill Whittle takes a glimpse into America’s scary future. The Leftism of today’s college campuses will lead to the Fascism and Socialism of a Hitler or a Stalin. These Occupy-ers are essentially book burners.

  2. Mary

    Sorry, here’s the link for the previous post. Computer-challenged….

  3. .

    Education? Maybe.

    More likely Lomborg threatened their racket of international travel, EL2 pay packets and bathing themselves in glory whilst ignoring failure, at the expense of the taxpayer.

  4. Memoryvault

    The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is running an open letter in full-page newspaper advertisements proudly supporting academic freedom.
    But we can’t do this without your help.

    That’s your problem right there, Tim.
    This is the 21st century. You are trying to tackle a 20th century problem (the group-think hijacking of our learning institutions), using 19th century technology (hard-print newspapers).

    1) – Create a Facebook page.
    2) – Buy some friends.
    3) – Research target audience.
    4) – Create suitable memes – examples.
    5) – Bombard targeted audience with memes.

    Given the nature of the Lomborg-UWA and who has said what, you’re working in a target-rich environment for both memes and audience.

  5. Andrew

    The ATA is paying to provide the socialist left with a hit-list of individuals, institutions and businesses to be targeted with Obamaite corrupt tax enforcement, exclusion from govt grants, assault, loss of career and other penalties for collaborating with enemies of the Greens.

    For me, the only highlight of the Lomborg debacle was that people at the home of Loonandowsky protested that some other clown was bringing their uni into disrepute and lowering academic standards!

  6. .

    exclusion from govt grants

    I fail to see the threat.

  7. Bruce in WA

    internationationally renowned academic Bjørn Lomborg

    dig deep and help us

    OK, I know — pedantic. But why give your opponents/critics anything to latch onto?

    More strength to your campaign.

  8. Chistery

    Just remember, they tried to set this centre up in a University that employed Stephan Lewandowsky to write a garbage conspiracy paper titled “NASA faked the moon landing, Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”.

    This paper is quite possibly the worst of the worst from the alarmist camp.

    So why would anyone consider putting Bjorn Lomborg at a University that had trashed its values and reputation as a climate science research centre several years before?

  9. Rohan

    Is that a gerbil warmerer on Lomborg’s left shoulder?

  10. michaelfstanley

    So the Taxpayer’s Alliance is standing up for the right of government to use taxpayer’s money to promote views they support?

  11. The effort is to be applauded but this is typical of why we always lose, the tactics are ineffectual. This is a foot stomp that will be forgotten within 2 pages of anyone reading it. The ad is being run in the wrong place and wrong country. Hire a Hindi and Mandarin translator, write the ad aimed at potential overseas students and run it in Indian and Chinese papers and websites that offer education services for studying in Australia. Combine this with what MV said above (a social media campaign) and you have a very cheap and much more effective way of hitting UWA where it really hurts – the pocket. Ensure UWA are aware of the campaign and then when overseas student numbers plummet watch as the staff slowly realise their jobs are on the line as the overseas cash cow milk has run dry.
    Beating the left requires adopting their tactics.

  12. Ellen of Tasmania

    The ATA is paying to provide the socialist left with a hit-list of individuals, institutions and businesses to be targeted with Obamaite corrupt tax enforcement, exclusion from govt grants, assault, loss of career and other penalties for collaborating with enemies of the Greens.

    How else do you think they might go about it, Andrew?
    If they don’t provide names, I imagine they’ll be accused of being in the pay of big-whatever.
    If you fight back, they’ll come after you. If you don’t, they’ll win.

  13. Good idea Mr Rusty. Ads in India & China are less expensive than here. So more value for your money.

    Also, I have suggested that RMIT would be a better site for Lomberg. RMIT is on the way up for Australian Unis while Uni of WA is in a race to the bottom.

  14. Snoopy

    I would prefer that the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance instead devoted their time and energy to convincing the government to cut the UWA’s funding by a further $4 million and use the proceeds to fund additional internships for WA medical graduates. Always escalate.

  15. J.H.

    “…a shrill vocal minority of far-left radical environmental activists”… Call them Ecofascists. It’s what they are.

    “a shrill vocal minority of Ecofascists”………. It flows better too. 🙂

  16. JohnA

    Memoryvault #1685667, posted on May 18, 2015 at 10:56 am

    21st century methods +1

    But is Facebook the place to find the correct target audience?

    Do other Uni VCs frequent FB?

  17. Memoryvault

    Do other Uni VCs frequent FB?

    Who knows? Probly. Doesn’t matter. Uni VCs are not the target audience.
    Target audiences include hard science potential students and their parents, especially those from overseas, as outlined by Mr Rusty above, plus potential employers both here and abroad, and domestic conservative voters generally.

    Speaking of China, they have their own equivalent of Facebook, just lots bigger.

  18. James Hargrave

    On the more general point of freedom of speech in universities, even the relatively sensible from the ‘wrong’ side of politics get offended by how these places run themselves. From the UK recently:
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n06/marina-warner/learning-my-lesson
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/features/thomas-docherty-on-academic-freedom/2017268.fullarticle

    One may not agree with everything they write, but they must be allowed to write it. The institutions themselves suffer from a virulent managerialist bacillus that has all the beneficial qualities of tertiary syphilis.

  19. cohenite

    1) – Create a Facebook page.
    2) – Buy some friends.
    3) – Research target audience.
    4) – Create suitable memes – examples.
    5) – Bombard targeted audience with memes.

    6) Get some rich bastard on board. The sceptics are destitute compared to the public and private money thrown at the fucking alarmists.

  20. Memoryvault

    Get some rich bastard on board. The sceptics are destitute compared
    to the public and private money thrown at the fucking alarmists.

    Good luck with that. I first got involved in what might be called “conservative political activism” in 1985 – some 30 years go. I’m still waiting for “some rich bastard”. I’m afraid “conservative political activism” is all about truth, and there’s no money in truth.

    Why not ask some of the self-confessed well-heeled Cats (or the self-confessed kitteh wives of well-heeled husbands), how much they have invested in the fight for conservative freedom? In both dollars, and time and effort. Tax-deductible donations to the LNP and IPA don’t count. Neither does handing out LNP how-to-vote cards at a polling booth.

    The Gina Rineharts of the world know we will fight for what we believe in, with or without their help, and they will benefit regardless. So why should they outlay a cent of their profits that we are working so hard to protect? Nothing personal – for them it’s just a business decision.

  21. Gina has written a book about the difficulties and thousands of forms to fill in to get approval for a project out in the scrub where no one lives. The greens and labor do not want anyone to have a job especially if there are exports which will earn the country money are involved.
    What I would love to see is the foam and rage if the government decided to sell the ABC and Gina put in a bid.

  22. Memoryvault

    Gina has paid to have written a book about the difficulties and thousands of forms to fill in costs involved to her to get approval for a project out in the scrub where no one lives.

    FIFY

    And the altruistic, “save the nation” part is . . .

  23. Caroline Storm

    The rebel students must have been those most aware global scientists’ queries regarding Lomberg’s statements about climate change. Perhaps his theories may change if he stays here for our coming EL Nino Summer.

  24. Andrew

    What Gina6666 should do is simply get her family office to allocate 1% of its wealth from developing iron ore to mooching off the limitless taxpayer-funded windfarm subsidies. The Left won’t be able to live with $1bn of their taxes being given to Gina6666 even if she IS saving the planet. One problem disappears instantly.

  25. Eyrie

    I see we’ve attracted another warmunist troll. Fuck off Caroline.

  26. Jim

    The idea of a Consensus Centre (or similar) is a great idea, but having Lomborg in the lead academic role will just create unnecessary ridicule. And isn’t his publication record just a bit thin to be a professor.

    Dr. Lomborg has done a great job in raising legitimate (but obvious) questions. It is now up to some real academics to try and answer them.

  27. Sinclair Davidson

    Jim – perhaps that is why they were appointing him as an Adjunct-Professor and not a full Professor. Do try get the facts straight.

  28. David

    The Left needs to be nimbly outwitted, rather than outshouted.

    Tactically, I agree with Snoopy that UWA should not only hand back the $4m but be penalised for not fulfilling its charter.

    And a positive step would be to find an alternative institution (not necessarily a university) that would provide acceptable infrastructure for the worthwhile Lomborg research centre.

  29. Sinclair Davidson

    David – Lomborg should be housed at the Climate Change Authority.

  30. Leigh Lowe

    David – Lomborg should be housed at the Climate Change Authority.

    Noooo!
    I’d hate him to be collateral damage when (heaven forbid) “something should happen” to the CCA.

  31. Jim

    Jim – perhaps that is why they were appointing him as an Adjunct-Professor and not a full Professor. Do try get the facts straight.

    Sinclair

    Fair enough. But that isn’t the real problem.

    The real problem is that Lomborg’s association with the centre is clearly considered by many academic institutions to create too much of a risk (rightly or wrongly). His association is a pox on any good work that could be done.

    The work needs to be done. It is more likely to be hosted by a university, and more likely to be impartially reviewed, if Lomborg has no connection to it. That is the pragmatic fact.

    There is apparently $4 million in funding in this area looking for a home. Perhaps it is time for some of you academics on this blog to put up a proposal for the Centre for the Sensible Allocation of Public Money.

  32. Good call from commenters here about hitting UWA where it hurts.

    As for whether Lomborg should be “connected” — I say yes absolutely. Fly into the flak, not away from it. That’s where the targets that matter are.

    The problem with academia is that it has too many academics. The answer is not to employ more of them, but to get talent into uni’s from the real world outside, or set up centres that compete with uni’s independently.

    What we shouldn’t do, is fund universities more on their constrained, bizarre, terms. That’s just feeding the monster. Nor should we avoid funding or employing the people who have been the most successful just because the bully-boys hate them the most. That is exactly what the Global Silencers want.

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