As the High Court judges retire to consider the Science Case of the Year, Peter Ridd v James Cook University, the underlying issue remains … well, underlying. And that is the matter of reliable science. Ridd’s ‘transgression’ was to point out that better quality control over research into the Great Barrier Reef is desirable. It’s not — and shouldn’t be — about the law. It’s about reliable science.
Ironically, and perhaps tellingly, JCU has been fighting tooth and broken nail against Ridd’s exposing the fact that JCU was, perhaps publishing junk science. Telling because JCU is really protecting its climate activism, not its scientific research standards.
How can that be good for JCU? How can that be good for the Reef? How can that be good for the taxpayer funding the research? How can that be good for Reef-driven Australian tourism? And how can that be good for the credibility of science itself?
In other words, JCU’s temper tantrum continued even after the first court upheld Ridd’s position as the Uni spat the dummy and threw millions of more of our dollars at what it sees (through badly discoloured glasses) as an affront to its ‘collegiality’ needs. That is clearly exposed, irrespective of the High Court decision.
That other high court, of public opinion, has already ruled (with its financial support for Ridd’s costs): JCU is not fit for purpose.
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