IT is common for Australian academics to publicly express an opinion on climate change including in our newspapers; think Tim Flannery, Ian Lowe and more recently Barry Brook.
A couple of weeks ago Jon Jenkins, an Adjunct Professor at Bond University, had an opinion piece published by The Australian newspaper. 
The piece was critical of the accepted dogma on anthropogenic global warming with a focus on how global temperatures are recorded and ended with a comment on sustainable development:
“Science is only about certainty and facts. The real question is in acknowledging the end of fossil fuels within the next 200 years or so: how do we spend our research time and dollars?
Do we spend it on ideologically green-inspired publicity campaigns such as emissions-trading schemes based on the fraud of the IPCC, or do we spend it on basic science that could lead us to energy self-sufficiency based on some combination of solar, geothermal, nuclear and renewable sources? The alternative is to go back to the stone age.”
Interestingly Bond University has a new name for its business and IT faculties, The Faculty of Business, Technology & Sustainable Development, but apparently didn’t like Professor Jenkins’ very public opinion on the subject of sustainable development. For his opinion, Professor Jenkins received an official reprimand from the Bond University Registrar and then was informed last Friday that his adjunct status had been revoked.
No doubt he has contravened some rule or other at the University and no doubt this would have gone unnoticed if Professor Jenkins had a more popular opinion on these most politically charged subjects.
Update: January 30, 2009
The university has now clarified its position:
“Dr Jenkins was a member of staff here for some considerable time and resigned to enter the NSW Parliament. Dr Jenkins was asked to keep an association with University as an adjunct but indicated in 2008 that serious health problems would probably prevent him taking an active role. As a result Dr Jenkins was removed from the adjunct staff in 2008.
An administrative oversight resulted in Dr Jenkins not being informed of this change in status.”
That is, an administrative oversight resulted in Dr Jenkins not being informed of his change in status until after he published the controversial opinion piece in The Australian newspaper.
Perhaps if the piece had been more politically correct his name could have just been added back onto the list?
I understand he has received an apology from the Vice Chancellor for the misunderstanding.
Notes and Link
1. The Warmaholics’ Fantasy. The Australian January 6, 2009.