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Dr. Bryan G. Wallace

FARCE OF PHYSICS

http://users.navi.net/~rsc/physics/wallace/farce.txt
© Copyright 1993 Bryan G. Wallace
                            Chapter 4

                      Publication Politics


   Marilyn vos Savant is listed in the "Guinness Book of World
Records" under highest IQ and publishes an "Ask Marilyn" column
in the Sunday Newspaper Magazine PARADE.  In the May 22, 1988
issue, Jennifer W. Webster of Slidell, La. asks:

  What one discovery or event would prove all or most of modern
  scientific theory wrong?

Marilyn replies:

  Here's one of each. If the speed of light were discovered not
  to be a constant, modern scientific theory would be
  devastated.  And if a divine creation could be proved to have
  occurred, modern scientists would be devastated.

I suspect that Marilyn has hit the nail on the head.  Einstein's
special relativity theory with his second postulate that the
speed of light in space is constant is the linchpin that holds
the whole range of modern physics theories together.  Shatter
this postulate, and  modern physics becomes an elaborate farce! 
Along with the creation-science debate being published in the
letters section of Physics Today, there is also a continuing
debate on Einstein's relativity theories.  My first entry[21]
into this debate was as follows:

  Relativity debate continues

  I would like to challenge two statements made by Allen D.
  Allen (November, page 90) in his reply to Wallace Kantor on
  the question of experimental relativity.  Allen states "But
  Kantor is incorrect in claiming that there is a reliable
  experiment that refutes special relativity."  With regard to
  this statement the 1961 interplanetary radar contact with
  Venus presented the first opportunity to overcome
  technological limitations and perform direct experiments of
  Einstein's second postulate of a constant light speed of c in
  space.  When the radar calculations were based on the
  postulate, the observed-computed residuals ranged to over 3
  milliseconds of the expected error of 10 microseconds from
  the best fit the Lincoln Lab could generate, a variation
  range of over 30,000%.  An analysis of the data showed a
  component that was relativistic in a c+v Galilean
  sense.[18,19]  With regards to Allen's statement "Einstein's
  original contribution here was to assume that there just is
  no ether, that is, no frame R such that one's speed with
  respect to R affects the speed of light," Einstein and Infeld
  state "This word ether has changed its meaning many times in
  the development of science.  At the moment it no longer
  stands for a medium built up of particles.  Its story, by no
  means finished, is continued by the relativity theory."[20
  p.153,21]

Part of my second letter[22] on this matter, goes as follows:

  ...Concerning Dehmer's comment "In choosing appropriate persons
  to review the numerous manuscripts, the journal editors use
  various methods that reflect their own style and areas of
  expertise," I would like to present the following example of
  how this has worked for me.  On 3 June 1969, I submitted a
  paper, "An Analysis of Inconsistencies in Published
  Interplanetary Radar Data," to PRL.  The last paragraph of the
  referee report sent back August 15 states "It is suitable for
  Physical Review Letters, if revised, and deserves immediate
  publication if the radar data can be compared directly to
  geocentric distances derived from optical directions and
  celestial mechanics."  I revised the paper as the referee
  recommended and resubmitted it 21 August.  The editor, S. A.
  Goudsmit, sent me a reply 11 September, in which he stated that
  the paper had been sent to another referee and rejected.  I
  sent a letter 13 September, complaining about the use of the
  second referee.  I received a reply from Goudsmit on 23
  September, in which he then stated that he had made a mistake
  in saying the paper had been sent to a second referee and that
  it had actually been sent back to the first one.  He did this,
  in spite of the fact that there was absolutely no
  correspondence between the two reports.  They were obviously
  typed on different typewriters, the first was completely
  positive, while the second was strongly negative and made no
  mention of the first report!  I eventually published a revised
  version "Radar Testing of the Relative Velocity of Light in
  Space" in a less prestigious journal.[18]  At the December 1974
  AAS Dynamical Astronomy Meeting, E. M. Standish Jr of JPL
  reported that significant unexplained systematic variations
  existed in all the interplanetary data, and that they are
  forced to use empirical correction factors that have no
  theoretical foundation.  In Galileo's time it was heresy to
  claim there was evidence that the Earth went around the Sun, in
  our time it is heresy to claim there is evidence that the speed
  of light in space is not constant....

The above unfair treatment I received in trying to publish a
paper challenging Einstein's relativity theories, is not an
isolated incident.  As an example, as I mentioned in Chapter 6,
in a June 1988 letter I received from Dr. Svetlana Tolchelnikova
from the USSR, she wrote that thanks to PERESTROIKA she was
writing me openly, but that her Pulkovo Observatory is one of the
outposts of orthodox relativity.  Two scientists were dismissed
because they discovered some facts which contradicted Einstein. 
It is not only dangerous to speak against Einstein, but which is
worse it is impossible to publish anything which might be
considered as contradiction to his theory.  It seems the same
situation is true for her Academy.  Lest one thinks that this
sort of repressive behavior with regard to relativity theory
happens only in the USSR, I have heard or read many horror
stories of this happening to scientists throughout the world.  To
document the nature of the problem within the US, I would like to
make several quotes from a book on this problem by Ruggero M.
Santilli who is the director of The Institute for Basic Research:

    This book is, in essence, a report on the rather extreme
  hostility I have encountered in U.S. academic circles in the
  conduction, organization and promotion of quantitative,
  theoretical, mathematical, and experimental studies on the
  apparent insufficiencies of Einstein's ideas in face of an
  ever growing scientific knowledge.[23 p.7]
    In 1977, I was visiting the Department of Physics at
  Harvard University for the purpose of studying precisely non-
  Galilean systems.  My task was to attempt the generalization
  of the analytic, algebraic and geometric methods of the
  Galilean systems into forms suitable for the non-Galilean
  ones.
    The studies began under the best possible auspices.  In
  fact, I had a (signed) contract with one of the world's
  leading editorial houses in physics, Springer-Verlag of
  Heidelberg West Germany, to write a series of monographs in
  the field that were later published in ref.s [24] and [25]. 
  Furthermore, I was the recipient of a research contract with
  the U.S. Department of Energy, contract number ER-78-S-02-
  4720.A000, for the conduction of these studies.
    Sidney Coleman, Shelly Glashow, Steven Weinberg, and other
  senior physicists at Harvard opposed my studies to such a
  point of preventing my drawing a salary from my own grant for
  almost one academic year.
    This prohibition to draw my salary from my grant was
  perpetrated with full awareness of the fact that it would
  have created hardship on my children and on my family.  In
  fact, I had communicated to them (in writing) that I had no
  other income, and that I had two children in tender age and
  my wife (then a graduate student in social work) to feed and
  shelter.    After almost one academic year of delaying my
  salary authorization, when the case was just about to explode
  in law suits, I finally received authorization to draw my
  salary from my own grant as a member of the Department of
  Mathematics of Harvard University.
    But, Sidney Coleman, Shelly Glashow and Steven Weinberg and
  possibly others had declared to the Department of Mathematics
  that my studies "had no physical value."  This created
  predictable problems in the mathematics department which lead
  to the subsequent, apparently intended, impossibility of
  continuing my research at Harvard.
    Even after my leaving Harvard, their claim of "no physical
  value" of my studies persisted, affected a number of other
  scientists, and finally rendered unavoidable the writing of
  IL GRANDE GRIDO.*
  * S. Glashow and S. Weinberg obtained the Nobel Prize in
  physics in 1979 on theories, the so-called unified gauge
  theories, that are crucially dependent on Einstein's special
  relativity; subsequently, S. Weinberg left Harvard for The
  University of Texas at Austin, while S. Coleman and S.
  Glashow are still members of Harvard University to this
  writing.[23 p.29]

Even Albert Einstein was not immune from pressure from the
established politicians in the physics community with regard to
the sacred nature of the original special relativity theory,
especially with respect to the postulate of the constant speed of
light.  For example the following quote is from a letter by Dr.
E. J. Post in a continuation of the relativity debate:

    At the end of section 2 of his article on the foundations
  of the general theory, Einstein  writes: "The principle of
  the constancy of the vacuum speed of light requires a
  modification."[26]  At the time, Max Abraham took Einstein to
  task (in a rather unfriendly manner) about this deviation
  from his earlier stance.[27]

With regard to the scientist's image of himself, Dr. Spencer
Weart writes:

    A number of young scientists and science journalists,
  mostly on the political left, declared that the proper way to
  reshape society was to give a greater role to scientifically
  trained peopleÄÄthat is, people like themselves.[17 p.31]

An excellent example of a physicist politician in action was
given by President Reagan's former national security adviser Dr.
John M. Poindexter who has a doctorate in nuclear physics from
the California Institute of Technology, in the 1987 US Senate
Iran-Contra hearings.  Asked about his destruction of the
presidential order, known as a finding, that authorized the
November 1985 shipment of missiles to Iran and described it as an
arms-for-hostage swap, Poindexter denied that he did it to give
the President "deniability."  "I simply did not want this
document to see the light of day," Poindexter said, puffing on
his pipe.  Sen. Warren B. Rudman, the vice chairman of the Senate
panel, said Poindexter's stress on secrecy and deception was
"chilling."    As a second example of the open arrogance and lack
of objectivity and integrity of the modern physicist politician,
I would like to quote from the published retirement address of
the particle physicist Dr. Robert R. Wilson, the 1985 president
of the American Physical Society:

    Just suppose, even though it is probably a logical
  impossibility, some smart aleck came up with a simple, self-
  evident, closed theory of everything.  IÄÄand so many
  othersÄÄhave had a perfectly wonderful life pursuing the
  will-o'-the-wisp of unification.  I have dreamed of my
  children, their children and their children's children all
  having this same beautiful experience.
    All that would end.
    APS membership would drop precipitously.  Fellow members,
  could we afford this catastrophe?  We must prepare a crisis-
  management plan for this eventuality, however remote.  First
  we must voice a hearty denial.  Then we should ostracize the
  culprit and hold up for years any publication by the use of
  our well-practiced referees.[28 p.30]

It might appear that Wilson was just trying to be funny, and that
his arguments do not have a remote possibility of being true.  I
have learned over the years that many of the more prominent
politicians in physics love to clothe serious arguments with
humor.  Wilson is well aware of the fact that APS editors go out
of their way to censor controversial material that could damage
the status and careers of the established politicians, such as
himself.  To demonstrate Wilson's awareness and hypocrisy on this
question, I would like to quote from a letter I published in the
journal SCIENTIFIC ETHICS entitled SCIENTIFIC FREEDOM:

    I attended the American Physical Society Council meeting at
  the 1985 Spring APS meeting in Washington,D.C.  The only real
  debate that took place during the meeting was over the motion
  to set up a million dollar contingency fund from the profits
  derived from library subscriptions to the Physical Review
  Journals.  The point was that there was no real problem
  raising large amounts of money.  Toward the end of the
  meeting, the President, Robert R. Wilson, expressed concern
  over the problem of government censorship of publication and
  presentation of papers at meetings.[29]  The current increase
  in censorship dealt mainly with various aspects of
  lasers,[30] which apply to "Star Wars" research.[31]  Wilson
  proposed the idea that he could write letters to the
  concerned government officials stating the APS Council's
  resolution that "Affirms its support of unfettered
  communication at the Society's sponsored meetings or in its
  sponsored journals of all scientific ideas and knowledge that
  are not classified."
    I stated that it would be hypocrisy for him to send such a
  letter since the Council does not practice what it preaches. 
  The Society's PR journals openly censor publication of papers
  based on the philosophical prejudice of editors and anonymous
  referees.  Wilson dryly remarked that, "You have made your
  point!"[32]

The point being that I had used the same argument in the
following letter published in Physics Today:

  Scientific freedom

  I would like to comment on Robert Marshak's editorial "The
  peril of curbing scientific freedom" (January, page 192).  At
  an APS symposium in Washington, D.C., in 1982, our Executive
  Secretary William Havens gave an invited paper whose
  arguments were similar to those presented in Marshak's
  editorial.  In answer to my comments, which concerned the
  inconsistency of his arguments in view of the fact that the
  Physical Review journals used a policy of censorship similar
  to that proposed by the government, Havens agreed with the
  argument that there is no such thing as an objective
  physicist, but defended the Physical Review policy on the
  grounds that it saves paper and people are free to start
  their own physics journal.  I suspect that the government
  officials concerned with creating the new censorship policy
  who attended the symposium probably felt that national
  security is a better reason for censorship than saving paper,
  and, after all, anyone is free to move to a different
  country.
    The APS Council has approved a POPA resolution on open
  communication (January,page 99).  The resolution states that
  the Council "Affirms its support of the unfettered
  communication at the Society's sponsored meetings or in its
  sponsored journals of all scientific ideas and knowledge that
  are not classified."  The policy of unfettered communication
  at APS-sponsored meetings is an established practice, but it
  has not been the policy of the APS Physical Review journals. 
  A Physical Review Letters editor has arbitrarily rejected a
  current paper I submitted without sending it to a referee.  I
  suspect the true reason for the rejection was the fact that I
  had the audacity to publish a letter in PHYSICS TODAY that
  was critical of the journal's editorial policy (January 1983,
  page 11).  If the Council follows up on its resolution by
  adopting a policy of allowing APS members the right to
  publish in the Physical Review journals, the concerned
  government officials will see that the resolution is more
  than hypocritical rhetoric, and may see the wisdom of
  adopting a similar policy![33]

Despite the hypocrisy, Wilson published an editorial titled "A
threat to scientific communication" in the July 1985 issue of
Physics Today that includes the following:

  Membership in The American Physical Society is open to
  scientists of all nations, and the benefits of Society
  membership are available equally to all members.  The
  position of The American Physical Society is clear. 
  Submission of any material to APS for presentation or
  publication makes it available for general dissemination.  So
  that there could be no doubt as to where our Society stands
  on the question of open scientific communication, the Council
  adopted a resolution on 20 November 1983 that concludes:

    Be it therefore resolved that The American Physical
    Society through its elected Council affirms its support
    of the unfettered communication at the Society's
    sponsored meetings or in its sponsored journals of all
    scientific ideas and knowledge that are not
    classified.[34]

A few months after the publication of my above "Scientific
freedom" letter that tended to show the APS Executive Secretary
in a bad light, the editor resigned!  He was well known for his
editorials on just about every subject of interest to modern
physics, yet he wrote nothing about his intention to resign or
his long tenure as editor.  The only mention of his resignation
was the following short notice:

  Search committee established for Physics Today editor

  At the end of 1984, the tenure of Harold L. Davis as editor
  of PHYSICS TODAY came to an end.  He has left the American
  Institute of Physics to pursue other interests.  AIP 
  director H. William Koch noted that during Davis's 15-year
  stint as editor, PHYSICS TODAY became an important vehicle
  for communication among physicists and astronomers and
  reached a larger public as well.  The magazine, he said, has
  earned its reputation as authoritative, accurate and
  responsive to the needs of the science community it
  serves.[35]

Since then, I've been unable to publish any further letters in
Physics Today, no matter how important the subject.  For example,
I made the startling discovery that the NASA Jet Propulsion
Laboratory was basing their analysis of signal transit time in
the solar system on Newtonian Galilean c+v, and not c as
predicted by Einstein's relativity theory.  There is a short
mention of the major term in the equation as the "Newtonian light
time" but no emphasis on the enormous implications of this fact! 
I tried to force this issue out into the open by submitting a
letter to Physics Today 9 July 1984, with the cover letter to the
editor indicating that I had sent a carbon copy to Moyer at JPL
for his comment on the matter.  The following is the text of the
letter I submitted:

  The speed of light is c+v

    During a current literature search, I requested and
  received a reprint of a paper[36] published by Theodore D.
  Moyer of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  The paper reports
  the methods used to obtain accurate values of range
  observables for radio and radar signals in the solar system. 
  The paper's (A6) equation and the accompanying information
  that calls for evaluating the position vectors at the signal
  reception time is nearly equivalent to the Galilean c+v
  equation (2) in my paper RADAR TESTING OF THE RELATIVE
  VELOCITY OF LIGHT IN SPACE.[18]  The additional terms in the
  (A6) equation correct for the effects of the troposphere and
  charged particles, as well as the general relativity effects
  of gravity and velocity time dilation.  The fact that the
  radio astronomers have been reluctant to acknowledge the full
  theoretical implications of their work is probably related to
  the unfortunate things that tend to happen to physicists that
  are rash enough to challenge Einstein's sacred second
  postulate.[22] Over twenty-three years have gone by since the
  original Venus radar experiments clearly showed that the
  speed of light in space was not constant, and still the
  average scientist is not aware of this fact!  This
  demonstrates why it is important for the APS to bring true
  scientific freedom to the PR journal's editorial policy.[33]

I received a reply 4 January 1985, from Gloria B. Lubkin, the
Acting Editor following the Davis resignation, in which she said
they reviewed my letter to the editor and have decided against
publication.  Since that time I've had two more rejections.  On
14 January 1988 I submitted the following letter that contained
important published  confirmation of my c+v analysis from a
Russian using analysis of double stars:

  Relativity debate continues

  In a letter in the August 1981 issue (page 11) I presented
  the argument that my analysis of the published 1961 radar
  contact with Venus data showed that the speed of light in
  space was relativistic in the c+v Galilean sense.  On 17
  October 1987 I received a registered letter from Vladimir I.
  Sekerin of the USSR.  The translation of the letter by Drs.
  William & Vivian Parsons of Eckerd College states:

    "To me are known several of your works, including the work
  on the radar location of Venus.  Just as you do, I also
  compute that the speed of light in a vacuum from a moving
  source is equal to c+v.
    I am sending you my article "Gnosiological Peculiarities in
  the Interpretation of Observations (For example the
  Observation of Double Stars)", in which is cited still one
  more demonstration of this proposition.  It is possible that
  this work will be of interest to certain astrophysicists in
  your country."

  On 13 January 1988 I received a final translation of the
  paper which was published in the Number IV 1987 issue of
  CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE AND REGULARITY ITS DEVELOPMENT from
  Robert S. Fritzius.  The ABSTRACT states:

  "de-Sitter failed disprove Ritz's C+V ballistic hypothesis
  regarding the speed of light.  C+V effects may explain
  certain periodic intensity variations associated with visual
  and spectroscopic double stars."

Since I realized that there was little chance that Physics Today
would publish the letter, after the passage of about 3 months, I
submitted a similar letter to the journal Sky & Telescope. 
Within 2 days of mailing the letter, I received a reply from the
Associate Editor Dr. Richard Tresch Fienberg, in which he stated
that if a research result as unusual as this is being confirmed
by Soviet scientists, then the appropriate department of SKY &
TELESCOPE for the announcement is News Notes, not Letters. 
Accordingly, he wanted me to send him copies of my original paper
and the English translation of the new Soviet work. I sent the
requested material, and within several weeks received a letter
from him saying that they have decided not to review my papers on
the relative velocity of light in their News Notes department at
this time.  Dr. Fienberg was a co-author of a recent paper
published in the journal that states that their Big Bang
arguments are based on Einstein's general theory of
relativity![146]  
   Since Einstein's theories and his status as a scientist are at
the core of the problem of modern physics being an elaborate
farce, I will quote from various statements he has made with
regard to the issues that have been raised.  In a June 1912
letter to Zangger he asked the question:

  What do the colleagues say about giving up the principle of the
  constancy of the velocity of light?[37 p.211]

  With reference to the question of double stars presenting
evidence against his relativity theory, he wrote the Berlin
University Observatory astronomer Erwin Finlay-Freundlich the
following:

  "I am very curious about the results of your research...," he
  wrote to Freundlich in 1913.  "If the speed of light is the
  least bit affected by the speed of the light source, then my
  whole theory of relativity and theory of gravity is false."  
  [38 p.207]

In a 1921 letter concerning a complex repetition of the
Michelson-Morley experiment by Dayton Miller of the Mount Wilson
Observatory, he wrote:

  "I believe that I have really found the relationship between
  gravitation and electricity, assuming that the Miller
  experiments are based on a fundamental error," he said. 
  "Otherwise the whole relativity theory collapses like a house
  of cards."  Other scientists, to whom Miller announced his
  results at a special meeting, lacked Einstein's qualifications. 
  "Not one of them thought for a moment of abandoning
  relativity," Michael Polanyi has commented.  "InsteadÄÄas Sir
  Charles Darwin once described itÄÄthey sent Miller home to get
  his results right."[38 p.400]

With regard to the question of scientific objectivity he states:

     The belief in an external world independent of the
  perceiving subject is the basis of all natural science.  Since,
  however, sense perception only gives information of this
  external world or of "physical reality" indirectly, we can only
  grasp the latter by speculative means.  It follows from this
  that our notions of physical reality can never be final.  We
  must always be ready to change these notionsÄÄthat is to say,
  the axiomatic basis of physicsÄÄin order to do justice to
  perceived facts in the most perfect way logically.  Actually a
  glance at the development of physics shows that it has
  undergone far-reaching changes in the course of time.[39 p.266]

With respect to his own status he argues:

     The cult of individuals is always, in my view, unjustified. 
  To be sure, nature distributes her gifts unevenly among her
  children.  But there are plenty of the well-endowed, thank God,
  and I am firmly convinced that most of them live quiet,
  unobtrusive lives.  It strikes me as unfair, and even in bad
  taste, to select a few of them for boundless admiration,
  attributing superhuman powers of mind and character to them. 
  This has been my fate, and the contrast between the popular
  estimate of my powers and achievements and the reality is
  simply grotesque.[39 p.4]

In an expansion of this argument, he states:

     My political ideal is democracy.  Let every man be respected
  as an individual and no man idolized.  It is an irony of fate
  that I myself have been the recipient of excessive admiration
  and reverence from my fellow-beings, through no fault, and no
  merit, of my own.  The cause of this may well be the desire,
  unattainable for many, to understand the few ideas to which I
  have with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless struggle. 
  I am quite aware that it is necessary for the achievement of
  the objective of an organization that one man should do the
  thinking and directing and generally bear the responsibility. 
  But the led must not be coerced, they must be able to choose
  their leader.  An autocratic system of coercion, in my opinion,
  soon degenerates.  For force always attracts men of low
  morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that
  tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels.[39 p.9]

On the question of scientific communication, he states:

  For scientific endeavor is a natural whole, the parts of which
  mutually support one another in a way which, to be sure, no one
  can anticipate.  However, the progress of science presupposes
  the possibility of unrestricted communication of all results
  and judgmentsÄÄfreedom of expression and instruction in all
  realms of intellectual endeavor.  By freedom I understand
  social conditions of such a kind that the expression of
  opinions and assertions about general and particular matters of
  knowledge will not involve dangers or serious disadvantages for
  him who expresses them.  This freedom of communication is
  indispensable for the development and extension of scientific
  knowledge, a consideration of much practical import.[39 p.31]

With regard to Einstein's opinion on peer review of scientific
papers:

     In the course of working on this last problem, Einstein
  believed for some time that he had shown that the rigorous
  relativistic field equations do not allow for the existence of
  gravitational waves.  After he found the mistake in the
  argument, the final manuscript was prepared and sent to the
  Physical Review.  It was returned to him accompanied by a
  lengthy referee report in which clarifications were requested. 
  Einstein was enraged and wrote to the editor that he objected
  to his paper being shown to colleagues prior to publication. 
  The editor courteously replied that refereeing was a procedure
  generally applied to all papers submitted to his journal,
  adding that he regretted that Einstein may not have been aware
  of this custom.  Einstein sent the paper to the Journal of the
  Franklin Institute and, apart from one brief note of rebuttal,
  never published in the Physical Review again.[37 p.494]  

On the question of peer review, I would like to make some
comments with regard to the article APS ESTABLISHES GUIDELINES
FOR PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT that was published in the journal
PHYSICS TODAY.[137]  My first comment on the American Physical
Society guidelines concerns the fact that the C. Peer Review
section tends to contradict the intent of the guidelines on
ethics.  In the second paragraph of the section we find the
sentence:

  Peer review can serve its intended function only if the members
  of the scientific community are prepared to provide thorough,
  fair, and objective evaluations based on requisite expertise.

With reference to this point, as shown by my quotation of my
published letter,[33] the former APS Executive Secretary William
Havens agreed with the argument that there is no such thing as an
objective physicist, but defended the Physical Review policy on
the grounds that it saves paper and people are free to start
their own physics journal.  I would like to point out the obvious
fact that if there is no such thing as an objective physicist, it
follows that there is no such thing as an objective peer review
of a physics paper!  While it may be true that the APS Physical
Review policy saves paper for the journal, people are free to
start their own physics journals, and many of them have done so. 
The result has created a crisis situation, not only for physics,
but for the rest of science as well.  An illustration of this
problem is an article published in the New York Times newspaper
by William J. Broad titled Science publishers have created a
monster, the article was reprinted on page 1D of the February 20,
1988 edition of my local St. Petersburg Times newspaper.  The
article starts:

     The number of scientific articles and journals being
  published around the world has grown so large that it is
  starting to confuse researchers, overwhelm the quality-control
  systems of science, encourage fraud and distort the
  dissemination of important findings.
     At least 40,000 scientific journals are estimated to roll
  off presses around the world, flooding libraries and
  laboratories with more than a million new articles each year.

An abstract of some statements taken from the rather large
article are as follows:

  ..."The modern scientist sometimes feels overwhelmed by the
  size and growth rate of the technical literature," said Michael
  J. Mahoney, a professor of education at the University of
  California at Santa Barbara who has written about the journal
  glut....Belver C. Griffith, a professor of library and
  information science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said:
  "People had expected the exponential growth to slow down.  The
  rather startling thing is that it seems to keep rising...."But
  experts say at least part of it is symptomatic of fundamental
  ills, including the emergence of a publish-or-perish ethic
  among researchers that encourages shoddy, repetitive, useless
  or even fraudulent work....Surveys have shown that the majority
  of scientific articles go virtually unread....It said useless
  journals stocked by university libraries were adding to the
  sky-rocketing cost of college education and proposed that
  "periodicals go first" in a bout of "book burning."...An added
  factor is that new technology is lowering age-old barriers to
  science publication, said Katherine S. Chiang, chairman of the
  science and technology section of the American Library
  Association and a librarian at Cornell University....
  Researchers know that having many articles on a bibliography
  helps them win employment, promotions and federal grants.  But
  the publish-or-perish imperative gives rise to such practices
  as undertaking trivial studies because they yield rapid
  results, and needlessly reporting the same study in
  installments, magnifying the apparent scientific output....In
  some cases, authors pad their academic bibliographies by
  submitting the same paper simultaneously to two or more
  journals, getting multiple credit for the same work....A final
  factor is the growth of research "factories," where large teams
  of researchers churn out paper after paper....

An article titled Peer Review Under Fire states the following:

  ...Despite its crucial role in the era of "publish or perish,"
  scientific peer review today limps along with its own disabling
  wounds, asserts Domenic V. Cicchetti a psychologist with the
  Veterans Administration Medical Center in West Haven, Conn.  In
  his comparative review of peer-review studies conducted over
  the past 20 years by various researchers, Cicchetti finds
  consistently low agreement among referees about the quality of
  manuscript submissions and grant proposals in psychology,
  sociology, medicine and physics....The belief that basic
  research deserves generous funding because new understanding
  springs from unexpected, serendipitous sources ÄÄ a cherished
  argument in scientific circles ÄÄ implies that no one can
  accurately forecast which work most needs financing and
  publication, points out J. Barnard Gilmore, a psychologist at
  the University of Toronto in Ontario....Gilmore envisions a
  future in which journal and grant submissions reach a far-flung
  jury of scientific peers through computerized electronic mail. 
  Rather than jostling for space in prestigious journals, authors
  would vie for the attention of prestigious reviewers and other
  readers who subscribe to the electronic peer network. 
  Reviewer's computerized suggestions and ratings would determine
  a submission's funding or publication destiny....[138]

I believe that Gilmore's idea holds the key to the resolution of
the problem of scientific communication, except it would be far
more effective to have a hard copy paper journal that would be a
permanent archival record of the democratic debate of the far-
flung scientific peers.  The computer far from being the cure, is
actually the major source of the problem.  A word processing
program on a computer is a creative writing tool that makes it
possible to create a vast array of different very involved
abstract hard to understand articles using the same data base. 
This business of acquiring status by publishing in a prestigious
journal after a peer-review is the core element of the problem. 
If one acquired status by obtaining a large positive vote from
one's peers, one would try to write easy to understand
comprehensive articles with significant results and arguments,
thereby diminishing the size and cost of the scientific
literature.
   My second comment is based on the following paragraph that
starts the D. Conflict of Interest section of the APS article:

  There are many professional activities of physicists that have
  the potential for a conflict of interest.  Any professional
  relationship or action that may result in a conflict of
  interest must be fully disclosed.  When objectivity and
  effectiveness cannot be maintained, the activity should be
  avoided or discontinued.

On page 1337 of a December 19, 1980 news article published in
SCIENCE you will find the following statements:

     It was quite an admission, but there it was in a December
  1979 editorial in the Physical Review Letters (PRL), the
  favorite publishing place of American physicists: "...if two-
  thirds of the papers we accept were replaced  by two-thirds of
  the papers we reject, the quality of the journal would not be
  changed."...The fact that only 45 percent of the papers
  submitted to PRL were accepted for publication helped the
  journal gain an unintended measure of prestige.  In the end,
  the prestige associated with being published in PRL outweighed
  the original criteria of timeliness and being of broad
  interest....

Peer review is like communism, it sounds good in theory, but
because of human nature, does not work very well in actual
practice.  If the APS Council is serious about scientific ethics,
they would eliminate the section on peer review, and do their
best to wean physicists away from this destructive practice in
the PR journals.  Perhaps they could publish versions of the
journal where the authors would be completely responsible for the
content of their papers.  The journal could reduce costs and
response time by having the authors submit camera ready
manuscripts that could be reduced to 1/4 size, and there would be
no reprints, but anyone, including the author, would have the
right to make as many copies as they wanted.  I suspect that such
a journal would flourish, and even replace many of the so-called
prestigious journals.  I would not be surprised to find its
format copied by many of the remaining journals, and that this
new trend would help resolve the current scientific communication
and ethics problems.
  There seems to be a growing willingness of US newspapers to
print articles critical of relativity theory.  For example, I
came across an article in the 3/10/91 edition of my local
newspaper that was reprinted from The New York Times.  The title
of the article was Einstein's theory flawed? and the article
starts with:

     A supercomputer at Cornell University, simulating a
  tremendous gravitational collapse in the universe, has startled
  and confounded astrophysicists by producing results that should
  not be possible according to Einstein's general theory of
  relativity....

In the body of the article Prof. Wheeler was mentioned as
follows:

     Dr. John A. Wheeler, an emeritus professor of physics at
  Princeton University and an originator of the concept of black
  holes, said: "To me, the formation of a naked singularity is
  equivalent to jumping across the Gulf of Mexico.  I would be
  willing to bet a million dollars that it can't be done.  But I
  can't prove that it can't be done."

In a 5/22/91 telephone call from Robert Fritzius, the man I
mentioned in Chapter 6, who accompanied me to the 1st Leningrad
Conference, he said that he had sent a reprint of his recently
published paper[142] to Prof. Wheeler, and that Wheeler had sent
back a very nice reply.   The title of the paper was The Ritz-
Einstein Agreement to Disagree and mainly concerned the 1908 to
1909 battle between Ritz and Einstein that ended with a joint
paper.[143]  In the 5. CONCLUSIONS Robert states:

  ...The current paradigm says that Einstein prevailed, but many
  of us never heard of the battle, nor of Ritz's electrodynamics. 
  So if an earlier court gave the decision to Einstein, it did so
  by default.  Ritz, at age 31, died 7 July 1909, two months
  after the joint paper was published.

An extremely interesting part of the paper was the 4. SECOND
THOUGHTS? section where Robert writes:

     Einstein, in later years, may have had second thoughts about
  irreversibility, but because of his revered position with
  respect to the geometrodynamic paradigm was probably prevented
  from expressing them publicly.  We do have three glimpses into
  his private leanings on the subject.  In 1941 he called Wheeler
  and Feynman's attention to Ritz's (1908) and Tetrode's (1921)
  time asymmetric electrodynamic theories.  [This was while
  Wheeler and Feynman were laying the groundwork for their less
  than successful (1945) time-symmetric absorber theory,[144]
  which was really emission/absorber theory, with a lot of help
  from the future.  They could not embrace time asymmetry, but
  Gill[145] now proposes to revitalize absorber theory by
  creating a generalized version without advanced interactions.] 
  Two pieces of Einstein's private correspondence touch
  indirectly on the subject of time asymmetry.[37 p.467]  In
  these letters Einstein expresses his growing doubts about the
  validity of the field theory space continuum hypothesis and all
  that goes with it.

   To understand the nature of the problem you need to understand
20th century science as it really is, and not what it pretends to
be.  An excellent article on this was published in Science by
Prof. Alan Lightman and Dr. Owen Gingerich.  In the Discussion
section of the paper we find the following paragraph:

     Science is a conservative activity, and scientist are
  reluctant to change their explanatory frameworks.  As discussed
  by sociologist Bernard Barber, there are a variety of social
  and cultural factors that lead to conservatism in science,
  including commitment to particular physical concepts,
  commitment to particular methodological conceptions,
  professional standing, and investment in particular scientific
  organizations.[147]

Dr. Chet Raymo, a physics professor at Stonehill College in
Massachusetts, and the author of a weekly science column in the
newspaper the Boston Globe, in a FOCAL POINT article published in
Sky & Telescope, expands on the above paper with the following
arguments:

     Science has evolved an elaborate system of social
  organization, communication, and peer review to ensure a high
  degree of conformity with existing orthodoxy...
     In a recent article titled "When Do Anomalies Begin?"
  (Science, February 7th), Alan Lightman of MIT and Owen
  Gingerich of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  describe the conservation of science.  They acknowledge that
  scientists may be reluctant to face change for the purely
  psychological reason that the familiar is more comfortable than
  the unfamiliar...
     Usually, say Lightman and Gingerich, such anomalies are
  recognized only in retrospect.  Only when a new theory gives a
  compelling explanation of previously unexplained facts does it
  become "safe" to recognize anomalies for what they are.  In the
  meantime, scientists often simply ignore what doesn't fit...
     For some people outside mainstream science, the path toward
  truth seems frustratingly strewn with obstacles.  Like everyone
  else, scientists can be arrogant and closed-minded...[148]

The editor of the American Physical Society journal PHYSICS AND
SOCIETY, Prof. Art Hobson, wrote an editorial titled Redefining
Physics, and it starts as follows:

     My friend Greg burst into my office the other day shaking
  his head and asking "What are physicist good for, Hobson?  Why
  would anybody want to hire one?  What is special about
  physics?"  He complained that PhD programs prepare graduates
  who do things that only physicists care about, graduates who
  settle into other departments where they prepare other students
  to do the same thing.  How can we change the barely self-
  perpetuating system?  Even relatively small reforms, such as
  the Introductory University Physics Project's recommendations
  for bringing introductory physics into the twentieth century
  (let alone the twenty-first), are difficult.  The system has
  great inertia.
     Greg is a successful quantum optics experimentalist.  He
  loves physics.  He is one of our department's best teachers. 
  Despite having every reason to feel good about the future of
  physics, he doesn't.  He is not an isolated case.  Judging from
  recent surveys conducted by Leon Lederman and others, evidence
  of low morale in the entire scientific community has been
  building lately.

Within the body of the editorial, Prof. Hobson writes:


     Congressman George Brown, Chair of the House science and
  technology committee and one of science's best friends in
  Congress, has recently written on these matters.  Excerpts from
  one of his articles are reprinted above.  His strong words are
  worthy of our attention.[149]

Some of the more interesting excerpts from one of Congressman
Brown's articles are as follows:

     For the past 50 years, U.S. government support for basic
  research has reflected a widespread but weakly held sentiment
  that the pursuit of knowledge is a cultural activity
  intrinsically worthy of public support...
  ...Lobbyists for the scientific community have been perhaps
  excessively willing to bolster this rhetoric by claiming for
  basic research an exaggerated role in economic growth...
  ...In fact, there are many tangible and intangible indicators
  of a decline in the standard of living in the United States
  today, despite 50 years of increasing government support for
  research...
  ...In the absence of pluralistic democratic institutions,
  science and technology can promote concentration of power and
  wealth and even autocratic and dictatorial conditions of many
  kinds.  An excessive cultural reverence for the objective
  lessons of science has the effect of stifling political
  discourse, which is necessarily subjective and value-laden. 
  President Eisenhower recognized this danger when he stated that
  "In holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we
  should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger
  that public policy could itself become the captive of a
  scientific-technological elite."...
     The fundamental challenge for all of us is not to increase
  funding for research, it is to enhance the societal conditions
  that permit research to thrive: educational and economic
  opportunity, freedom of intellectual discourse, and an
  increased capacity for all human beings to achieve their
  individual potential within a just and humane global
  society.[150]

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