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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. 03 Mar '14 03:01
    http://theguardian.com/technology/shortcuts/2014/feb/26/how-computer-generated-fake-papers-flooding-academia

    'How computer-generated fake papers are flooding academia'
    --Ian Sample
  2. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    03 Mar '14 04:26
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    http://theguardian.com/technology/shortcuts/2014/feb/26/how-computer-generated-fake-papers-flooding-academia

    'How computer-generated fake papers are flooding academia'
    --Ian Sample
    I can only shake my head at that. The quota mentality or research institutions and governments is seriously undermining scientific progress. On that page I notice this link:

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/dec/06/peter-higgs-boson-academic-system?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

    Peter Higgs would have been sacked in today's academic system for not publishing enough papers!

    Physics in particular seems to be stuck in a superstring theory feedback loop that offers no way forward and no way out. There needs to be fresh thinking, but any particle physicist who doesn't worship at the altar of superstring theory is generally excommunicated (i.e. not given funding). I got this book, "The Trouble With Physics" by Lee Smolin, that I plan to start reading once I get done with the novel "We," which I hope will get me up to speed with what's going on in particle physics (and the areas of cosmology that depend on it) that seems to be causing a major case of constipation.
  3. 03 Mar '14 05:29
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    I can only shake my head at that. The quota mentality or research institutions and governments is seriously undermining scientific progress. On that page I notice this link:

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/dec/06/peter-higgs-boson-academic-system?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

    Peter Higgs would have been sacked in today's academic system for not publ ...[text shortened]... the areas of cosmology that depend on it) that seems to be causing a major case of constipation.
    A professor once told me that if I tarted up what I thought was a minor
    result, I probably could get it published in a journal. But I was young, too
    principled, and too unconcerned about my advancement to take that advice.

    _Bankrupting Physics: How Today's Top Scientists are Gambling Away
    Their Credibility_ by Alexander Unzicker and Sheilla Jones (who wrote
    _The Quantum Ten_) is a scathing, often amusing, critique of sting theorists.

    'Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!'
    --Wolfgang Pauli (attributed)

    Wolfgang Pauli supposedly said that a theory could be 'not even wrong'
    because it was unverifiable by experiments. The authors seem to believe
    that string theory is 'not even wrong'.
  4. 03 Mar '14 06:50
    Getting a paper published doesn't mean much. Getting accepted in a conference means even less. There's a lot of junk out there, especially in the lower-tier journals, but experts who read them will dismiss them straight away, and they will be ignored. Still, the way science is funded needs some serious review. Applying performance standards to something which is supposed to give long-term benefits just doesn't work.
  5. 03 Mar '14 07:21
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    A professor once told me that if I tarted up what I thought was a minor
    result, I probably could get it published in a journal. But I was young, too
    principled, and too unconcerned about my advancement to take that advice.

    _Bankrupting Physics: How Today's Top Scientists are Gambling Away
    Their Credibility_ by Alexander Unzicker and Sheilla Jones (w ...[text shortened]... verifiable by experiments. The authors seem to believe
    that string theory is 'not even wrong'.
    Is the general meaning that the superstring theory isn't much better than the good old "God did it that way".
    No way to prove, no way to disprove. Even no way to make observations and experiments with?
  6. 03 Mar '14 08:34 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Is the general meaning that the superstring theory isn't much better than the good old "God did it that way".
    No way to prove, no way to disprove. Even no way to make observations and experiments with?
    It is the common criticism of string theory that it cannot be tested. I wondered if that is literally totally true or if there was some very clever way it could be tested so I did a bit of internet research and found this:

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/09/stringy-quantum/

    So, to my mind, the answer to if it can be tested seems to me to be inconclusive; there may be a way of testing it very indirectly -except not even quite sure if even this example in the link would be really 'testing' it at all!
  7. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    05 Mar '14 02:16
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Wolfgang Pauli supposedly said that a theory could be 'not even wrong'
    because it was unverifiable by experiments. The authors seem to believe
    that string theory is 'not even wrong'.
    Just reading the introduction to "The Trouble With Physics," Lee Smolin says there are an infinite number of different "string theories," and accounting for the things we know about our own universe leaves us with 10^500 different string theories. No humanly achievable combination of experimental results can falsify all of them, and none of them make an original prediction that can be verified using current or foreseeable technology. The hope, I guess, is that experimentalists or theorists will stumble onto something totally unforeseen that narrows the field to just a few string theories. The impossible becoming possible certainly has happened before in physics.