THE AGE censors informed, credentialled intellectual comments on Australian intellectuals

Ask any forthright scientist and you will discover concern about the huge gap between scientific perception  and public perception (notably over man-made climate change).

Part of the problem lies with scientists and academics in general – they are mostly intimidated from speaking out by well-founded fears in relation to institutional or corporate Codes of Conduct; sullying hard-won scientific reputation through involvement in the hurly-burly of public debate; and loss of research grants. In addition, scientists are highly focused on their research targets and are very busy people working 6-7 days per week.

For a detailed analysis of intellectual self-censorship in ‘look the other way” Australia see (see Gideon Polya in “Current academic censorship and self-censorship in Australian universities”, Public University Journal, volume 1, Conference Supplement, “Transforming the Australia University”, Melbourne, 9-10 December 2001: http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/57092/20080218-1150/www.publicuni.org/jrnl/volume/1/jpu_1_s_polya.pdf .

For a further hard-hitting analysis of academic censorship and self-censorship see Dr Gideon Polya, "Crisis in our universities", ABC Radio National , Ockham's Razor,  19 August 2001:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/crisis-in-our-universities/3490214 .


). HOWEVER A NOVEMBER 2012 UPDATE REVEALS A RESTORATION OF SUCH LINKAGE. NEVERTHELESS ABC CENSORSHIP CONTINUES THROUGH REMOVAL OF READER COMMENTS (see "Censorship by ABC Late Night Live":

https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/home ). 


A major part of the problem is Mainstream media (MSM) censorship of scientists and intellectuals – even if scientists and intellectuals are prepared to comment the  MSM may censor them. Some examples involving The Age newspaper (Melbourne), arguably Australia's most progressive Mainstream medium, are provided below.


1. Australian writer and journalist Brigid Delaney wrote an amusing article entitled “Bogan benefits lost on smug intellectuals” (The Age On-line National Times, 28 December 2010: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/bogan-benefits-lost-on-smug-intellectuals-20101227-198g0.html?comments=80#comments ) in which she compared the lumpen proletarian, plebeian “bogns” with the “intellectuals”, the latter being dismissed thus: “As there are more intellectuals than there are intellectual jobs, they have to share the spoils. Thus we have intellectuals doing part-time gigs teaching at La Trobe, undertaking part-funded, postdoctoral work at Melbourne Uni, writing for broadsheets over the summer break, being casual producers at Radio National or novelists on the dole. The junior intellectuals deeply resent the older intellectuals who took all the good jobs - the staff writers, tenured academics, the Booker Prize-nominated author, the film reviewer for The Monthly.”

The Age published 80 comments on the article (all but 5 evidently anonymous) but failed to publish the following successive informed and credentialed comments from a named academic intellectual Dr Gideon Polya, which could, accordingly, be taken as representative of what The Age does not want its readers to read or know.

Censored comment #1.

"Very droll indeed but there is a deadly serious side to intellectuals in Australia as opposed to the "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi" Lib-Lab yobs.

 

1. To state the obvious, it is an increasingly  dangerous world and we need to think hard about how to get out of the looming climate catastrophe. Indeed Australian intellectual and Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty has stated "We are in real danger"; intellectual Professor Peter Seligman (bionic ear electrical engineer, University of Melbourne)  has published a book "Australian Sustainable Energy - By the Numbers" (100% renewable energy for Australia by 2030 for $250 billion); and 20 engineer intellectuals of Beyond Zero Emissions have published their much-acclaimed ZCA 2020 Report (100%  renewable energy for Australia by 2020 for $370 billion).

 

2. Of course intellectuals don't just include Nobel Prize-winning medical scientists and  Planet-saving engineers - also included are the roughly 25% of Australians who are university graduates (from university-educated taxi drivers to  brain surgeons). And don't  forget TAFE graduates (e.g. my plumber belongs to Probus) - indeed the people in addition to university students to whom I give lectures about climate change are intellectuals (e.g. University of the Third Age, Probus and climate action group intellectuals). Remember also the Aboriginal intellectuals who kept Australia's now-devastated flora and fauna intact for 50,000 years.

 

3. Australia leads the world in intellectuals - Google  "Education Index" and discover that we top the world together with New Zealand, Finland, Denmark and Cuba.

 

4. 50% of undergraduate university tuition in Australia is done by impoverished, part-time "contract" intellectuals."

 

Censored comment #2.

 

"Censorship limits bogan and societal improvement. My earlier comment didn’t make it – a self-censored version below.

 

1. To state the obvious, it is an increasingly  dangerous world and we need to think hard about how to get out of the looming climate catastrophe. Indeed Australian intellectual and Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty has stated "We are in real danger"; intellectual Professor Peter Seligman (bionic ear electrical engineer, University of Melbourne)  has published a book "Australian Sustainable Energy - By the Numbers" (100% renewable energy for Australia by 2030 for $250 billion); and 20 engineer intellectuals of Beyond Zero Emissions have published their much-acclaimed ZCA 2020 Report (100%  renewable energy for Australia by 2020 for $370 billion).

 

2. Of course intellectuals don't just include Nobel Prize-winning medical scientists and  Planet-saving engineers - also included are the roughly 25% of Australians who are university graduates (from university-educated taxi drivers to  brain surgeons). And don't  forget TAFE graduates (e.g. my plumber belongs to Probus) - indeed the people in addition to university students to whom I give lectures about climate change are intellectuals (e.g. University of the Third Age, Probus and climate action group intellectuals). Remember also the Aboriginal intellectuals who kept Australia's now-devastated flora and fauna intact for 50,000 years.

 

3. Australia leads the world in intellectuals - Google  "Education Index" and discover that we top the world together with New Zealand, Finland, Denmark and Cuba.

 

4. 50% of undergraduate university tuition in Australia is done by impoverished, part-time "contract" intellectuals."

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