| Denis Rancourt |
(Academic, Researcher, Activist)
|Born||March 23, 1957|
North Bay, Ontario
|Alma mater||University of Ottawa, University of Toronto|
|Founder/Owner of||Activist Teacher Blog|
|Member of||American Herald Tribune|
|Victim of||Covert surveillance|
|Interests|| • Climate Science|
• Corruption of Science
Formerly a former tenured professor of physics, Rancourt was dismissed after covert surveillance and legal maneuverings by the University of Ottawa in Canada.
After receiving B.Sc. (University of Ottawa), M.Sc., and Ph.D. (University of Toronto) degrees in physics, and doing post-doctoral research under a Canadian scholarship in France and in The Netherlands, he was awarded a prestigious national Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada university research fellowship, practiced several areas of science (including physics and environmental science), and ran an internationally recognized laboratory for twenty-three years.
He was a regular invited, keynote, and plenary speaker at international scientific conferences in several areas of science and has published over one hundred articles in leading scientific journals. He taught thousands of university students, ran community outreach activities, developed popular activism courses, and was an outspoken critic of the university administration and a defender of student and human rights. He was fired for his dissidence in 2009 in what one expert observer called an “administrative mobbing” and in what is a major academic freedom case in Canada. He continues to write both science and non-science articles and to be a regular invited lecturer in a broad range of university courses.
His dismissal is before a binding labour tribunal with open court hearings which started in 2011 and are scheduled into 2013. During the hearings to date (Feb 2013) it was disclosed under oath and through document productions that he was the target of a broad covert surveillance campaign knowingly using a hired science student who adopted a false identity and gathered information that filled a wall-unit bookcase in the dean’s office, in conjunction with the Legal Counsel of the university who is now a co-Chair (judge) of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. As part of the covert surveillance, his every web posting, talk, and media interview was recorded, transcribed, and commented on. His activities during holidays were reported, and so on.
Before he was fired — before he was even told that there was a recommendation that he be fired from his tenured position — he and his graduate students were locked out of their laboratory and student offices. His Research Associate of twelve years was summarily fired: she won a settlement after initiating a lawsuit. He was then banned from campus under university police escort. The University further had him arrested, handcuffed, and taken away when he attended the weekly Cinema Politica event that he created and had hosted for many years (all charges were later dropped by the prosecutor). He was barred from his weekly campus radio show The arrest and campus ban were enforced by the former VP-Governance of the university who is now the General Counsel (director) of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (You couldn't make this up!).
- He continues to publish his U of O Watch blog, which he initiated in 2007.
- He also maintains a personal blog.
In 2011 a $1 million “private” defamation lawsuit was initiated against him, which he discovered through the courts is entirely funded by the University of Ottawa with no spending limit (according to sworn testimony), for a blogpost critical of a law professor and of the university president in their reaction to a student report alleging systemic racism at the institution.
Documents by Denis Rancourt