Posted by Editor, cairnsnews
A former James Cook University scientist Professor Peter Ridd was sacked in 2018 for a breach of Townsville’s James Cook University’s code of conduct over comments he made about the work of a leading coral researcher.
Part of the dispute was over his criticism linking climate change and polluted water to coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.
He also made comments to Sky News that organisations like the Australian Institute of Marine Studies could “no longer be trusted” and suggested scientists working on the reef were emotionally attached to their subject.
Dr Ridd said his sacking was illegal because it breached the employment agreement which he said protected academic freedom.
He won a Federal Circuit Court case in 2019 and awarded $1.2m in damages but that was overturned on appeal to the High Court in what has been termed by researchers as a ‘political decision.’
Dr Ridd has maintained there is nothing wrong with the reef. His evidence has been supported by nearly every tourist dive boat operation on the reef.