TORONTO — University of Toronto psychology professor Dr. Jordan Peterson has had a federal research grant application denied for the first time in his long and distinguished academic career.
And he’s certain that the rejection from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the government agency that supports post-secondary research, is linked to the controversy surrounding his stand on gender-neutral pronouns such as “zie” and “zher,” and the modern notion of gender as being fluid.
That his application was also rated so poorly is telling, he said, meaning that if the proposal had just missed the mark, it might have been a credible critique, but the proposal failed abysmally.
Julia Gualtieri, spokeswoman for the council, said in an email Monday that grants are awarded through a merit review process, and that “past funding is not a guarantee of further funding.” Names of the peer review committee members will be publicly posted once all applicants have been fully notified, she said.
Peterson sparked a free-speech furor last fall with YouTube videos about the dangers of the then-looming (and now law) federal Bill C-16, which included “gender identity” and “gender expression” in the Canadian Human Rights Code and the Criminal Code.
He was immediately warned by the university “to stop repeating these statements” because they were purportedly inciting fear in the transgendered community.
And at the time, Peterson said he knew he was most vulnerable to attack in two areas — his grant funding and his licence as a clinical psychologist.
“I think that it’s (the controversy) provided someone with a convenient opportunity to make their displeasure with what I’m doing known,” he told Postmedia in a recent phone interview...