Photo: Alan Kwok

Academic Freedom Working Group

Chair: Don Driscoll (

Working Group members

  • Euan Ritchie
  • Georgia Garrard
  • Bob Pressey
  • Noel Preece


The overall Academic Freedom Working Group objectives are:

  • to understand the limitations on academic freedom imposed on government and university scientists, including self-imposed limitations arising from implied threats, scope of research topics and open communication of research findings.
  • to evaluate constraints and safeguards imposed by public service codes of conduct.
  • where possible, to provide illustrative examples of suboptimal practice, and seek to develop best practice guidelines.
  • to discover whether any limitations contravene ESA objectives, or principles of democracy
  • to understand the changes in ecological capacity of government agencies (No. staff, No. staff with ecological training, budgets, ease of access to information within department, journal access), and evaluate impacts on policy and management.
  • to make recommendations to the board for how the ESA could respond.
  • to coordinate implementation of responses as approved by the board.
  • to develop links with other organisations that have an interest in improving academic freedom.

Detailed terms of reference

Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom Working Group invites ESA members and others to take action aimed at reducing science suppression in Australia

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Last month, the results of an industry-wide survey on science suppression in Australia, coordinated by….... Read more

Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom 10-Point Plan

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Ten key areas for action emerged from the ESA’s research on science suppression. These actions….... Read more

Academic Freedom

Scientific advice on the environment and threatened species is being withheld from public debate, new research reveals.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Results of an industry-wide survey on science suppression in Australia, conducted by The Ecological Society….... Read more

Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom in Ecology Survey

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

On behalf of the Ecological Society of Australia, researchers from RMIT are seeking volunteers to….... Read more