Langton fires up at academic critics
Accusations against the left ... Aboriginal academic Marcia Langton. Photo: Maxine Chaplin
LEADING Aboriginal academic Marcia Langton has broken her silence to accuse her critics of ''grievously'' damaging her professional reputation by publishing uninformed and erroneous "misrepresentations" about her alleged failure to disclose mining industry funding of her research.
Professor Langton, foundation chair of indigenous studies at Melbourne University, rejected claims published on the Crikey website and in the left-wing magazine Arena that she should have revealed the sources of her research funding when delivering the ABC Boyer lectures.
She said a full funding disclosure had already been provided to the Australian Research Council and the University of Melbourne. These had been ethically assessed.
She said her critics had failed to debate the claims made in the Boyer lectures fairly or in a scholarly fashion.
Last week, The Saturday Age reported that prominent environmentalists had criticised the ABC and Professor Langton for failing to make a full disclosure at the time of the Boyer lectures. A theme of the lectures was the positive economic impact mining companies had played in creating jobs and businesses for indigenous Australians.
In an email to academic colleagues on Friday, Professor Langton accused her academic critics of double standards.
She said two critics, Professor Jon Altman and Sarah Holcombe of the Australian National University, had received research funding from Rio Tinto they had failed to disclose when either making critical comments or publishing damaging claims about her alleged non-disclosure.
She also said Professor Altman was a consulting editor at Arena. Professor Altman and Ms Holcombe could not be reached for comment.