UPDATE: In a statement to Victoria Buzz, UVic media spokesperson clarified that there is no evidence to suggest that Dr. Crockford’s appointment was not renewed as a result of her talking to school children about polar bears.
“The University of Victoria, in both word and deed, supports academic freedom and free debate on academic issues,” he writes in an email.
Further, Marck states that adjunct professors are given reasons for their removal upon request and that Dr. Crockford would have been provided with the same opportunity.
However due to privacy legislation, he was not able to comment on whether or not Crockford actually requested a reason for her dismissal.
Earlier: The University of Victoria has declined to reappoint Dr. Susan J Crockford, an adjunct professor who has worked in the university’s Anthropology department for 15 years.
Adjunct professor appointments are renewed every three years, and when Crockford was up for renewal in May 2019, she was told that the Department of Anthropology’s Appointment/Reappointment/Promotion/Tenure (ARPT) board refused to renew her appointment by vote.
While she was not given a specific reason for the discontinuation of her adjunct professor status, Crockford believes that the university’s decision was informed by her views on climate change and her propagation of the claim that polar bears will easily adapt to changes in their Arctic ecosystems.
In her former role, Crockford was given official academic standing, the ability to apply for research grants, and access to university library services, in exchange for mentoring students, delivering lectures, and sitting on thesis committees.
According to Crockford’s own account in her blog entitled “Polar Bear Science”, her work and views were celebrated by the university’s Anthropology department until 2017.
This is when a video of her speaking at an event hosted by the Heartland Institute – a Canadian think tank known for denying climate change – was posted online.
In the talk, Crockford mentioned speaking to elementary school children about how climate change will not affect polar bears.
She believes that someone with political clout saw this video and contacted the university to complain about her presenting her views to school children.
Dr. Susan Crockford is associated with conservative think tanks like the Heartland Institute and the Global Warming Policy Foundation which describes her as “an expert on polar bear evolution”.
However, Crockford has not published any original research or written any peer-reviewed articles on the subject of polar bear evolution.
According to an article published in BioScience – a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal – 80% of climate change denier blogs cite Susan Crockford as their primary source.
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Leading scientists in the field contend that Crockford presents partial research outcomes to contradict the documented effects of climate change on sea ice or polar bears.
On social media, Crockford has been known to assert that there is no climate emergency and that top climate scientists all have political agendas.
In a tweet last month, the former adjunct professor states that “no climate emergency for polar bears means no climate emergency period”.
She goes on to argue that there is no scientific evidence showing the correlation between rising CO2 levels and natural calamities.
— Susan Crockford (@sjc_pbs) September 27, 2019
This assertion is in direct contradiction to the widely accepted UN IPCC report – and dozens of scholarly research papers – that states the world needs to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030 to avoid the worst consequences of global warming.
Crockford received a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology at the University of British Columbia, and completed her doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Victoria in 2004.