The public scrutiny over Dr. Judy Wilyman’s anti-vaccination thesis, which inevitably led to her receiving a PhD from The University of Wollongong, isn’t over. Apparently, it isn’t even close to over. The university originally stated that it wouldn’t play ball with those wanting a “deeper investigation” into the circumstances surrounding Wilyman’s PhD, but now it is wavering slightly. Wilyman’s thesis calls out the Australian government’s pertussis immunisation policy.
This entire dilemma comes down to a freedom of information request which was submitted last year. The university did release a few documents, but nothing considered substance. Due to this, Ken McLeod of the Information & Privacy Commission has reopened the investigation and asked the university to make a new decision over the matter. According to The Australian:
A spokesman said the university was “considering the recommendations … to determine the appropriate course of action”.ADVERTISEMENT
“UOW will determine its response to the commissioner’s recommendations according to the time frames specified in the legislation,” the spokesman said.
The commission said reasons against full disclosure had not been individually addressed. Instead, they were addressed “in a single section” and did not appropriately attribute weight to considerations against disclosure or to public interest. The outcomes of that investigation remain confidential, but the university’s deputy vice-chancellor (research) Judy Raper wrote to Dr Wilyman to say she was “sincerely sorry for this to have happened”.
It seems to me the university, in essence, has a discrimination case against this rabid government wing. Do they staunchly investigate every PhD recipient or just those who write a thesis using unagreeable subject matters? Further troubling is the transparent attempt by Australia to subjugate anyone with an opinion which runs counter to the vaccination movement. Are we going to be as accepting when government agencies subjugate scholars who write anti-democracy theses. Just because you don’t support the view doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stand up for the rights of those who do because, in the end, you are only hurting the feeble framework within which you live. This attack is a disturbing and egregious waste of time.
The university will now be forced to review its entire system of issuing PhDs. Should not our higher education establishments exist in open, untainted microcosms? If ever there were a plan to cripple and poison our freedoms, starting with the education system would be, and has been, the easiest play.