When questioned on the difficulty that some scientists had in getting "unpopular" views published, Prof Robson said there generally were outlets to getting published if you had a different view.
The idea that the mindset that caused the University's banning of different viewpoints on Campus would extend to the peer review process obviously was not worth mentioning. The restriction of academic freedom to debate a subject where the majority of the population believes the scientists are wrong underlines the breath-taking arrogance of these academics and should make graduates ashamed of their alma mater and the new depths to which it has sunk.
AGRICULTURAL consultants have expressed disappointment at the University of Western Australia's (UWA) attitude towards a planned debate on global warming.
After hearing predictions of the impact that global warming could have on WA farming, Bill Crabtree and David Falconer approached UWA to hold a debate representing both sides of the global warming argument.
They said after getting the initial go-ahead from UWA's vice-chancellor Alan Robson they were told that no speakers could be found for the pro-global warming side and that the speakers the pair had organised to speak against global warming were not credible enough to speak at a debate on UWA grounds.
Mr Crabtree said the speakers that had been approached to question the degree of climate change were credible and included mathematician and engineer David Evans, who between 1999 to 2005 worked full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) modelling Australia's carbon in plants, debris, mulch, soils, and forestry and agricultural products.
William Kinnimoth, among other things, worked with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for 38 years in weather forecasting, research and applied studies.
For 12 years until 1998 he was head of its National Climate Centre.Prof Robson said a scientist gained credibility when they were published in peer review journals on their field of expertise.Prof Robson admitted there was still a lot of confusion in regard to what the true impact of climate change could be."I remember people talking about climate change in the late 1980s," he said."It has been an ongoing thing and it is contested and I don't mind things being contested but in a university you have to argue science against science and you have to have credibility in terms of participating in the scientific study of it."When questioned on the difficulty that some scientists had in getting "unpopular" views published, Prof Robson said there generally were outlets to getting published if you had a different view.And what of the massive amount of funding that goes towards climate change research, does that provide a grey area in scientists going against the theory?"We all rely on funding at some point or the other to do research but at the end of the day you have your credibility as a scientist and we have a peer review system," he said."Peer review mightn't be perfect but it is like democracy, it's miles better than the next best thing.
"People have to subject their work to peer review – an argument has got to be based around data."