Concerns over lecturer’s suspension for anti-vax comments

The recent suspension of a Quebec professor of microbiology and immunology for comments critical of COVID-19 vaccines has raised concerns about the limits to academic freedom in the province, writes Jacob Serebrin for The Canadian Press.

Patrick Provost, a professor at Université Laval who studies microRNA – small molecules that help regulate genes – was suspended for eight weeks without pay on 14 June for comments he made last December at a conference. Provost said he believes the risks of COVID-19 vaccination in children outweigh the benefits because of the potential side effects from messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, which use mRNA created in a lab to teach cells how to make a protein.

Simon Viviers, vice president of the Université Laval faculty union, said it has filed a grievance over the suspension. “For us, this is an attack on academic freedom,” he said. “To allow (a university) to judge the validity of the comments made by a university professor in public and to sanction him in this manner is extremely problematic.”
Full report on the CBC News site