Yesterday, we completed the application process to seek leave to appeal to the High Court (HC). Going to the HC is a two-stage process; seeking leave, and the actual hearing if they accept the case. We expect to hear if we are successful in the first step by Christmas.
The HC will decide the legalities of the matter – did JCU break the work contract? There is the more important question of whether JCU did the RIGHT thing. Did it act in a manner that the public expects a university to act? On this question, I am pleased to say that the Commonwealth education minister (Dan Tehan) has appointed Prof Sally Walker to investigate the general question of whether our universities are protecting, or crushing, academic freedom of speech. I understand that Prof Walker’s report should be delivered by November.
In the meantime, there is little to do on this matter as we wait for the cogs of the legal system to turn.
I have been working with farmers groups (unpaid) to raise the profile of the science quality assurance issue. They are being greatly affected by questionable “science” of the Great Barrier Reef and associated issues of climate change. There is undoubtedly a growing political will to do something.
So on both issues, problems at universities and science QA, there are heartening advances.
And, I know I have been promising for ages, but my book on the Great Barrier Reef and why it is actually in excellent shape, will be sent the printers shortly. It should be out in a month.
Thanks again for your donation.