Sunday 26 April 2015

EXPERIENCE: Appointment of Bjorn Lomborg at UWA

On 2 April the UWA news included a modest announcement on the establishment of the Australian Consensus Centre at UWA.  This Centre, its association with 'sceptical environmentalist' Bjorn Lomborg, its federal government funding and the lack of due process and transparency around its initiation have all now been widely questioned.

There has been much comment on the Centre, positive and negative, from members of the University community, including the head of the UWA Guild, Lizzie O'Shea, my friend and fellow PhD colleague Fiona McRobie, UWA economist David Pannell, and member of staff Nick Falkner.  And I have entered the fray with my own comments on the appointment.

Generally speaking, I am not opposed to those who seek to challenge the work of others, and avoid polemic debates where I think that both sides are skewing data and information for their own devices.  I think there is a lot of information out there, and descriptions of Lomborg, the Centre and the University, that are potentially unfair or misinformed.  However, my own opinion is that the appointment of Lomborg and creation of the Centre is damaging to the university community, and any costs associated with the Centre are likely to outweigh any benefits.  And I will continue to fight to make my voice heard.