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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Statement of Macquarie University regarding the termination of Professor Murry Salby

Yesterday, anti-science blogger Anthony Watts of posted an article, "Professor Murry Salby, who is critical of AGW theory, is being disfranchised, exiled, from academia in Australia", in which Watts claims that Murry Salby was wronged by Macquarie University. The claim is based solely on assertions in an email by Salby to Anthony Watts. I participated in this thread until I got permanently banned, saying that I do not believe Salby's accusations just at face value. The anti-science crowd of "skeptics", being not very skeptical at this point, rushed to the usual judgement, ranting about the evil establishment suppressing "the truth" and punishing critical scientists. In one case the desire of violence against those evil climate scientists who say anthropogenic global warming was real, was articulated.

I think, one should not just listen to what Salby claims, one also should listen what the other side has to say. If Salby was wronged he can and should choose the legal means available to him. But I am not going to assume he was wronged just because he claims so in some email to an AGW denier website.

Macquarie University has released following statement regarding the matter on July 10, 2013, which reads,

"Macquarie University does not normally comment on the circumstances under which employees leave the University. However, we feel in this instance it is necessary to do so in order to correct misinformation.

The decision to terminate Professor Murry Salby’s employment with Macquarie University had nothing to do with his views on climate change nor any other views. The University supports academic freedom of speech and freedom to pursue research interests.

Professor Salby’s employment was terminated firstly, because he did not fulfil his academic obligations, including the obligation to teach. After repeated directions to teach, this matter culminated in his refusal to undertake his teaching duties and he failed to arrive at a class he had been scheduled to take.

The University took this matter very seriously as the education and welfare of students is a primary concern. The second reason for his termination involved breaches of University policies in relation to travel and use of University resources.

The termination of his employment followed an extensive and detailed internal process, including two separate investigations undertaken by a committee chaired by a former Australian Industrial Relations Commissioner and including a union nominee."


  1. Was Salby under contract to teach and was it a valid contract i.e. registered?

  2. George MontgomeryJuly 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Mate, every professor in Australia does some lecturing and every work contract is registered with the AIRC.

  3. Salby made a lot of noise, possibly not a good idea, as it led to some backtracking that found Murry Salby: Galileo? Bozo? Or P.T.Barnum?
    Hint: the USA's National Science Foundation debarred him for Federal funding a few years ago.

  4. John, thank you for this information.

  5. Professor Murry Salby was initially debarred by the NSF for 5 years. After appeal, as I understand it, this was reduced to 3 years, so NSF got something wrong! Any possibility that an exaggerated and possibly fabricated case of not filling in time sheets properly was at the root of this decision?
    Not filling in time sheets correctly while trying to solve some nasty equations is a serious misdemeanour?

    Isn't the truth closer to the fact that there was too much to lose, economically and politically if Salby was on the right track?

    The CO2 cash cow is far too rich to allow a mere globally recognised Atmosphere Physicist to be the cause of a withdrawal of funds. Salby seems to have done and hopefully will continue to do what scientists are paid to do: vide to strive to FALSIFY by argument, mathematical if necessary, any scientific claims that are extant in their field of study.

    In a recent publication of Reviews in Geophysics, "Solar Influences on Climate" I note three citations to work by Salby, dating from 2000. Perhaps I am allowed to quote from the paper in regard to two of the citations: "There is also a suggestion that the period of the QBO [Quasi Biennial Oscillation] in the equatorial lower startosphere is modulated by the 11- year solar cycle, with a longer QBO-W phase during Smax than during Smin years (Salby and Callaghan 2000, 2006; see also Pascoe et al 2005) although this has been questioned by Hamilton (2002) and more recently by Fischer and Tung (2008)".

    Salby's expulsion from Macquarie University effectively denies scientists the opportunity to further advance understanding in this singularly important field until Professor Salby is once again able to pursue his work without adminstrative and political interference.

    Perhaps Professor Salby will be taken on by the German University at which he has recently lectured: or any other that is big enough and independent enough to handle his work: work which may just be essential for the future well-being of stressed human ecosystems, in part a consequence of the relentless and often hysterical outbursts by comfortable and well-fed activists who add nothing, it seems, to the science they puport to espouse.

    Finally, for Macquarie University to describe Anthony Watts as an "anti-science blogger" is to present a level of ignorance that does little to bolster confidence in the reasons for Salby's dismissal.

  6. Macquarie University didn't describe Watts as an "anti-science blogger". Mr. Perlwitz did.