November 02, 2012

Carmen de Jong


Carmen de Jong was recruited as a professor by the University of Savoy a few years ago (2006), to lead a special unit devoted to mountain. At that time, Annecy was applying to organize the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
            
Carmen was asked to examine the question of artificial snow, but she gave "wrong" advice (not in favour of artificial snow) in a place and in a situation were the artificial snow and other ski industries were (and remain) very influential. Then, her unit was suppressed and she got into a lot of trouble. Now, it is getting even worse.    
              
Best regards            
L. G. M.

I forward the following message on behalf of Carmen de Jong:

I would like to follow on the contact made via Luis Gonzalez-Mestres, a colleague from a collective for the defence of independence of research.         
              
I am a geographer with PhD and educated in the UK, Germany and France. In 2006, I was recruited as professor at the University of Savoy in Chamberyin the domain of interdisciplinary and applied mountains sciences across three departments: Geography, Geology and Biology within the faculty of interdisciplinary mountain science. I was employed as scientific director of the Mountain Institute to coordinate international projects on state-of-the art mountains themes and develop applied research in close contact with mountain stakeholders.

In connection with my recruitment I was specifically asked to tackle themes such as artificial snow. But the moment I started to give talks, publish and organise research on artificial snow and climate change and coordinate large European projects, the trouble began.

The pressure on my university by the ski industry and local politicians to stop me from working on this theme was immense. In addition, the region was preparing the candidacy for the Winter Olympic Games of Annecy 2018, actively supported by my university. Although I brought in more than 4 million Euros of research funding a real witch-hunt began in order to destroy my scientific career. None of the steps taken to silence me were ever discussed or voted in any councils and I was never given a chance to defend myself in front of any councils.    
              
I was removed without evaluation or valid reason from all the European projects that I had initiated and coordinated. After I refused to bend to the pressures to resign from the direction of my CNRS mountain unit, it was closed. The managing director of the Mountain Institute was replaced by a non-specialist appointed directly by the local government of Savoy who started to define and block my research. All my funding, my PhD and postdoc students and trainees were taken away from me. My special benefits were cut, my work accidents refused, my international collaborations blocked, my travel permissions declined, my professional mobile phone cut off (and handed over to another person in Paris) and my post opened.

Although I had limited teaching, I was suddenly asked to do a full teaching load outside my qualifications and field of competences. An offer for a prestigious sabbatical at the University of Colorado was declined and the reasons falsified in the council meeting minutes. Everything that I have developed has been taken over by a neighboring institute. There have also been attempts to take away my office from me. In a last step to destroy me and my family (I have two children and a retired husband) the president, who has never met me, has announced with 4 weeks delay to more or less totally cut my salary for a year referring to my teaching load 2011/2012. This action comes as a complete surprise. The university has not written to me with reference to my teaching of last year for more than a year and has never answered my letters on this issue.             
              
I urgently need help. Please could you help me diffuse this information and become member of the Scifraud mailing list.    
              
Best regards from           
              
Carmen de Jong

3 comments:

James Shepherd said...

I can vouch for this story, as I work in the same university as Carmen de Jong, and know very well all the good work she did in setting up the European projects, which were then taken away from her (along with many other things, as she writes in her story). James Shepherd, LLSH Faculty

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with my colleague James Shepherd. The academic freedom is endangered. J-P M

jean-pol madou said...

I fully agree with my colleague James Shepherd. The academic freedom has been endangered.
J-P M LLS - Faculty