Another Academic Gets the Jordan Peterson Treatment from His University

This time, in Australia. But this time, the academic in question is taking the matter to court.

His name is Peter Ridd, a Professor of Physics at James Cook University. He has been told by the Uni to stop talking, because what he said on a Sky News discussion was not ‘collegiate’, whatever that may mean. He has appealed for crowd funding, having paid AU$20,000 into the fund himself, which he does not want to recover. IE, his payment is not recoverable. He asked for $90,000 but the fund has now reached $97,000 has now been closed to further donations. Any surplus will go to charity.

I am not sure what legal case Ridd has. He has been issued with a ‘Final Censure’ by the Uni (which might be unspoken threats of dismissal). I don’t know if he is complaining about the threats and the effects that the threats have upon him (damage). For, generally speaking, when a person goes to court, he does so because he has suffered some material loss or pain, and claims damages for the suffering.

But what is important is that we here have a situation where another academic has come forward to publicise the bullying and silencing. The Uni even went so far as to try to dictate to him that he must not talk about the ‘Final Censure’, even to his wife.

The subject matter, over which this furore has blown up, is the Great Barrier Reef. Rudd has been studying the Reef for 30 years, and has opined that the damage of climate change is non-existent. He further opines that much of the science about the Reef (and science in general) is not being conducted according to ‘the scientific method’ – no proper inspection or efforts at replication. He believes that ‘peer review’ is not up to the task of substantiating the findings of many studies. IE, peer review is not scientific. It has been shown that around 50% of published science is bunkum and some ‘experts’ believe that up to 85% is bunkum.

What Ridd has said is that he is not interested in some sort of private financial or other settlement. He believes that ‘scientific integrity’ is fundamental and has been greatly damaged in recent decades, and that the matter needs to be publicly and honestly debated.

Here are some links which I have read tonight:

This matter ought to be of great interest to us smokers. For a start, his plea for funding has received a massive response, assuming that ordinary people in great numbers have contributed. If so, then it shows how much disaffection there exists in OZ. I mean, it isn’t as though this matter appeals to ‘the children’ or emotions generally. It is about honesty and coercion. It is about the silencing of adverse opinions. It is about political dishonesty. It is about the abuse of power, as was the Paterson business.

One might reasonably ask how long this bullying has been going on. How many other people with adverse opinions have been silenced. I wonder if Cameron, when he created the ‘Nudge Unit’ realised what he was doing. He may have thought that he was simply ‘nudging’ people to become organ donors, but what he was actually doing was creating a massive opportunity for Zealots of all kinds to legally push their prohibitions, a bit at a time. The ‘Nudge Unit’ seems to act in secret. It is never quoted as the origin of some ‘nudging’ idea. The ‘nudges’ come from ASH and similar organisations, via lobbying of MPs and creating MP committees.

In those circumstances, ‘scientific integrity’ does not stand a chance. Surveys and studies can be manufactured, and they are not scientifically challenged. Peer reviewers are paid to approve junk.

The serious thing is that no one knows what is honest and what is not. To what extent is Government of all kinds, including the EU, WHO, UN, IPCC bedevilled by dishonesty?

Trump, in his ‘State of the Union’ address made a point of referring to ‘clean’ coal as a source of energy. I assume that when he used the word ‘clean’, he was making a scientific statement – that the coal he was talking about was not ‘dirty’ and therefore was not polluting. It has been said that the UK Gov exported all the best coal from UK mines after WW2, and used ‘dirty’ coal at home. Perhaps the poisonous smogs of the 1950s, which killed thousands, were the result of that decision.

You see, what it sort of uncertain in Doll’s Doctors Study, is the cumulative affect of smoking. That effect is deduced, and is not a ‘scientific’ fact. It may well be true that LC starts at a specific point in time, when ONE cell decides not to die when it should, but to split and split. That ONE cell produces millions of other clones, which produce a lump, which gets bigger and bigger, until it fills the whole lung. But bits can break off and lodge elsewhere in the body, and produce a ‘tumour (lump)’ there.

I had a ‘lump’ just to the left of my left eyebrow. It looked like a blackhead, and I tried to squeeze it out, without success. It bled a little. It was getting bigger, but not a lot. I went to the doctor and the lump was surgically cut out. It turned out to be malignant, but not fast growing.

Why did that specific skin cell turn malignant? No one knows. And yet I am perfectly sure that such growths have been microscopically examined over and over and over again. And still, despite all the donations of millions and millions of pounds for years and years to Cancer RESEARCH UK, no answer has been forthcoming. Instead, an assumption has been made that alcohol and nicotine have caused the effect. I exaggerate, but my argument is realistic, in view of the silencing of criticism.

So what smoke causes LC? Is it only tobacco smoke? What is missing from the Doctors study is the location of the doctors’ work places. How many of the doctors who developed LC worked or had their surgeries in places which suffered from air pollution? Doctors inhaled the same air as their patients.

‘Scientific integrity’ requires meticulous control over ‘externalities’. You cannot say that tobacco smoke, and tobacco smoke alone, causes LC unless you have removed the possibility of other smoke and other effects, such as genetic propensity.

But when a BIG, HEAVY ball gets rolling, it is hard to stop it. It is like an avalanche. And that is why the UN etc cannot come up with realistic ideas to end third world poverty. They have found excuses, such as tobacco.

I am not sure that our current politicians can be replaced by philosophers, or if that would make a difference. But we cannot go on indefinitely electing different shades of grey.

Industry, Services and The People are an integrated whole. They all depend upon each other. Picking out bits to be banned is the worst scenario. It is the antithesis of good Government.

It is interesting that the antithesis has has appeared in academia. It seems that academics are beginning to rebel against uniformity, and thus ‘one size fits all’. That is curious since it was academics who produced the ‘one size fits all’ calorie intake of 400, 600 and 600 per meal.

What I like is that the Zealots have got away with scares for so long, due to their ‘nudges’, that their ‘songs’ are becoming medieval. That is, their songs are becoming very boring and repetitive, and rely upon devils, such as ‘Big Tobacco’ and ‘Big Oil’ and ‘Big Food’, but they never refer to ‘Big Pharma’ as a devil. It suits them to describe ‘Big Pharma’ as an angel.

I do not know how a message could be relayed to politicians of all parties that they hurting people with their high alcohol taxes, tobacco taxes, fuel taxes, etc; that they are provoking ‘inequality’. Smoking bans produce inequality. Minorities are persecuted. But, even worse, is that minorities have no alternative. That is, it is not possible to have a smoking pub, even if all the staff smoke. That is the antithesis of ‘equality’, since it denies people ‘equal’ rights. Non-smokers can frequent non-smoking places, and smokers can frequent smoking places.

It is to be hoped that even more Patersons and Ridds emerge. But what is more important is that THE WHOLE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY resolves not to be intimidated and used by propagandists. What seems to be true is that, once a scientist allows his principles to be subverted by money, he is always thereafter under the control of his ‘Patrons’.


15 Responses to “Another Academic Gets the Jordan Peterson Treatment from His University”

  1. Smoking Lamp Says:

    Science and universities writ large have been captured by a totalitarian cult seeking to further their own goals. The template for intimidating and shouting out dissent was fine tuned with tobacco control’s attack on tobacco companies and smokers.

    In the US and elsewhere (notably the UK, Canada, Australia) this bullying is now attacking academic freedom. The pursuit of knowledge has been replaced by identity politics.

    Check out this current essay “Identity U.” at City Journal for a succinct analysis of the situation in the US:

    • Mark Jarratt, Canberra, Australia Says:

      Unfortunately, way too true. Universities now seem to be teaching what to think rather than how to think. I hadn’t previously heard of the Profs Ridd and Carter cases of suppression at JCU – scandalous in the extreme and diminishes their academic standing.

  2. Darryl Says:

    Before Peter Ridd there was Bob Carter. Same University, similar treatment.

    • Rose Says:

      Thank heavens for retired scientists.

      Lalonde 1974

      Chapter 9. Science Versus Health Promotion

      “The spirit of enquiry and skepticism, and particularly the Scientific Method,so essential to research, are, however, a problem in health promotion.
      The reason for this is that science is full of “ifs”, “buts”, and “maybes” while messages designed to influence the public must be loud, clear and unequivocal.

      To quote I Corinthians, Chapter XIV, Verse 8:
      “If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”

      Global Warming 1997

      Post-Normal Science, the Precautionary Principle and the Ethics of Integrity

      “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific uncertainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost effective measures to prevent environmental damage.

      This principle clearly indicates that, because of the gravity and the urgency of the many environmental problems and crises that face us, it is sufficient to be aware of the threats, even before the scientific certainty might be available,to indicate priority action on the part of policymakers.

      This principle is introduced as an agent of change in order to counter the arguments of those who would appeal to scientific uncertainty, or to disagreements among experts, as a delaying tactic and as a reason to postpone action.”

      Now that the scientific method is a thing of the past in political circles, we may have to pay the taxes but at least we don’t have to believe.

    • Rose Says:

      Pertinent to your video

      A cheery song

      • junican Says:

        Jolly amusing, Rose. Why was that song not broadcast on the BBC?
        Daryl. Thanks for the video. I see that it is an hour and half. But I have saved it for tomorrow, hopefully.

      • Darryl Says:

        Good one Rose, The video put a smile on my dial.

  3. thelastfurlong Says:

    Just a correction – its Jordan PETERson. Nice Post! Am sharing as I often do!

    • thelastfurlong Says:

      Gosh I am still trying to find out who Jordan Paterson is, in case I am wrong in thinking you meant Jordan Peterson. I can see a Jordan Paterson as a film director – is that the one? Did he offend academics? Some film directors do. I remember a huge hoo ha some years ago with a dutch film on the Quran…Geert Wilders made it. It was called Fitna. I see despite the controversy, it is still up on YouTube…..

    • junican Says:

      Tut, tut, me. Corrected.

  4. Censorship | Frank Davis Says:

    […] Second Junican: […]

  5. smokingscot Says:

    Meaty post and thought provoking. Thank you.

    I had intended to say something, however another beat me to it. It’s the second from last sentence.

    It’s through contributions like these that helps perk me up.

    And while not entirely on topic, the Spectator carries another that may interest all of you.

    • junican Says:

      Interestingly, I have already seen both those articles. Readers are well advised to read them.

  6. Philip Neal Says:

    Peter Ridd’s offence was clearly to challenge the alarmism which generates so much research funding. The Barrier Reef has survived millions of years of genuine climate change and it has long been clear that coral bleaching is a natural phenomenon which reverses itself over time, but there is considerable pressure for research to serve practical ends and you do not get grants to study a problem which does not exist.

    As for the precautionary principle as an “agent of change”, more often than not it is invoked to obstruct change in the sense of new technology such as genetic modification.

  7. junican Says:

    The ‘precautionary principle’ and agent of change’ are mutually contradictory. The ‘pp’ maintains the status quo. It cannot be otherwise.
    I agree about funding. Who would fund ‘further studies’ following a ‘nothing to see here – move on’ study?

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