Don Aitkin is a national treasure and I hope everyone looks at his site and signs on to get a heads up on his columns. Today he posted on the way the universities have become slaves to research grants and they way this played out in the obscene treatment of Bob Carter and the threat to Peter Ridd at the James Cook University.
On this occasion, Professor Ridd decided he had had enough, and launched his own court case against the CEO, claiming conflict of interest, apprehended bias and actual bias. It happens that the University’s Vice-Chancellor is a director of AIMS, which produces an obvious conflict of interest. The University then told Ridd he was not to ‘disclose or discuss these matters with media or in any other public forum’. His lawyers pointed out that either the University was incompetent or it was guided by bias, which the University’s lawyers denied.
Peter Ridd was kind enough to write to me about the alleged misconduct involved in talking to the media about the misconduct allegation, and later alerted me to the fact that there was deemed to be further misconduct involved in writing to me! I wish him well in all of this, which is so unnecessary, and so inimical to the cause of scholarship, argument and the advancement of knowledge.