Sunday, July 13, 2014

Interesting links: peer review, falsifiability

Slow blogging - I've got the usual papers plus working on finishing a really big writing project (more about that soon), combined w/ summer travel.  The posting rate will pick up again in another week and a half.  In the meantime, here are a few interesting links from the last couple of weeks.
  • A thoroughly dishonest scientist (and I guess a couple of other people) were exposed as running an awful peer review scam.  More about this here.  The scam involved creating fake email addresses and identities to mask people essentially reviewing their own and friends' papers.  The worst thing about this whole mess is that it gives ammunition to the anti-science crowd who are convinced that scientific research is a corrupt enterprise - people like the person I wrote about here.
  • Peter Woit has written an interesting review of a book about string theory and whether the scientific method needs to be revised to deal with "post-emprical" theory verification, whatever that means.  I haven't read the book, but the idea of post-empiricism is pretty sketchy to me.
  • Natalie Wolchover has written an article about some fluid droplet experiments that show quantum-like behavior of droplets (e.g., interference-fringe-like distributions, for example).  The physics here is that the droplets are interacting with associated surface waves of an underlying fluid, and the mechanics of those waves self-consistently guides the droplets.  This is similar in spirit to Bohm's ideas about pilot waves as a way of thinking about quantum mechanics.  The authors of the fluid paper are clearly high on this idea.  These are clearly very cool experiments, but it's a huge stretch to say that they should motivate re-thinking our interpretations of quantum mechanics. 


Anonymous said...

"post-empirical" theory verification, haha. I knew those experimentalists were useless, lets just get rid of them altogether.

Anonymous said...

Citation rings, authors and editors involved: one does not even need to look further beyond Texas to find examples... publications, grants, prizes, awards, promotion committees...