2019 Bob Carter Commemorative Lecture

The 2019 Bob Carter Commemorative Lecture will involve a lecture tour by Dr Peter Ridd on the scientific reliability of the claims that human activity is irreparably damaging the Great Barrier Reef. Between 12 and 20 August 2019 Dr Ridd will deliver his lecture in the Queensland sugar towns of Bundaberg, Mackay, Ayr, Ingham, Innisfail and Cairns.

Bookings for any of these Lectures may be made at our Events page.

Dr Peter Ridd

Dr Peter Ridd

A major issue in science has emerged over the last decade known as the “Replication Crisis”. Around half of the literature published in a wide range of scientific disciplines has been subsequently found to contain serious flaws. This remarkable and worrying statistic is being addressed in a number of ways by various scientific funding bodies, research institutions, and scientific academies around the world. but with limited success to date.

In his Commemorative Lectures, Dr Ridd will point out that the system of peer review — the primary quality assurance mechanism that is used in science — is grossly insufficient. This is particularly so for science that is used to make important and expensive public policy decisions such as those that seek to address the adverse impacts of human activity on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).

Dr Ridd will demonstrate that many of the threats to the GBR, are likely to have been greatly exaggerated. They include the impacts of sediments and nutrients from agricultural runoff and the impacts of climate change — whether natural or human in origin.

Dr Ridd will propose that far more rigorous quality assurance processes need to be introduced so that scientific results can be made more reliable. This is all the more important when legislation — which seeks to regulate the human activity that is thought to be associated with negative environmental impacts — is based upon poorly quality controlled scientific results.

The Lecture Tour is in the process of being extended to include Townsville and Melbourne in September. The details will be announced once they have been settled.