Discussion Paper (working draft)

Introduction - the Australian context In Australia (and other liberal democracies), ours is an age of high anxiety and deep uncertainty. The latest census, conducted in 2021, indicates that 1 in 10 Australians (2.2 of 24.5 million) face mental health issues (such as anxiety and depression). The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics study of…

Viewpoint visibility in Australian universities: project update

Preamble: this project is an issue-mapping-and-engagement exercise, funded by Heterodox Academy. (The HxA agenda is: to improve the quality of research and education in universities by increasing open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement). At the June webinar I shared insights from interviews in March and April, and took up points raised at the first May webinar.…

Peter Ridd, the High Court and academic freedom

Last month's High Court ruling on Peter Ridd versus James Cook University concludes a third deep dive by judges into a Kafka-Down-Under policy maze about academic freedom and its lawful limits. Should sharp, dismissive criticism of other scholars' research be sanctioned as misconduct, if university managers find it uncollegial or disrespectful? In this case, complaints…