The controversy around Peter Ridd raises important issues. Academic freedom and the right to challenge what may be perceived as accepted wisdoms are essential in any free society and for that reason I’m concerned about the handling of this matter. It is only with scrutiny and open debate that we test theories, reach conclusions and take public opinion with us.
Professor Ridd has challenged the view of some that bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef is ” a new phenomenon” and has questioned that some peer-reviewed science is not proven. Just because one says the problem is exaggerated, doesn’t mean one denies there is a problem.
I accept that the reef is facing a number of serious challenges including those posed by climate change. But I see the reef as remarkably resilient, more so than others might, and with the application of the best research which is continually subject to scrutiny, we will continue to ensure a bright future for the reef.