Monday, September 26, 2016

Australia’s Oldest Working Scientist Asked to Leave His Post: Is it Fair?

Australia’s Oldest Working Scientist Asked to Leave His Post: Is it Fair?

Edith Cowan University

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Australia’s oldest working scientist, David Goodall, has been told to leave his post at the Edith Cowan University after the university declared him unfit to work on campus. The university maintains that it still wants to continue its relationship with the 102 year old but Goodall now has to work from his home office.

Edith Cowan University just renewed his honorary professor position for three more years. However, according to Andrew Woodward, the university’s dean for the School of Sciences, David Goodall working from his home office would be for the best since the staff and students believe working at the campus at his age could take a toll on his safety and wellbeing.

In his career in ecology spanning 70 years, Goodall has produced over 100 research papers and three doctorates. He also received a member of the Order of Australia and traveled all over the world for his work.

The scientist used to commute for 90 minutes from his home to the Joondalup campus up to four days a week, but the decision means that all of Goodall’s transportation cost would be taken care of by the university. Woodward also says that the university will also provide Goodall with a computer and a printer.

The researcher’s daughter, Karen Goodall-Smith, expressed contempt at the university’s decision. According to her, it would the worst thing the university could do to him and would undoubtedly affect her father’s independence and wellbeing.

“After everything he has contributed, for them to do that, I’m appalled,” says Goodall-Smith.

The scientist also said that he does not have enough space in his one-bedroom unit for a home office. He is looking for an alternative space. Goodall asserts that he is still keen to work for and contribute to the university despite having to do it outside the office.