Concerns over lecturer’s suspension for anti-vax comments
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.”
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