Hidden Variables
About the scientific community - Printable Version

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+--- Thread: About the scientific community (/showthread.php?tid=15)

About the scientific community - Schmelzer - 12-30-2015

There are several problems which have to be discussed, and will be discussed if this forum will be used, which would be appropriate in this subforum.  

First, there are the objections of the worst sort of anti-relativistic "alternative" scientists, who think that the scientific community is ruled by some evil relativist conspiracy. Some relativists may want to defend modern science, and the appropriate place for such battles is this here.  

On the other side, there will be relativists who defend the scientific mainstream, and explain how scientific peer-review works.  So, they will explain the anti-relativists why their ideas, theories or proposals will not be published - because they do not meet even elementary requirements for scientific papers.  They have to explain them what a scientific theory is, that it needs some mathematical apparatus, that it has to be able to derive some predictions about experiments, and so on.  Of course, one can expect that for many, if not most anti-relativists this education is not really helpful, because they will be, anyway, unable to write a publishable scientific paper.  One should not forget, last but not least, that a graduate student succeeds to publish a paper, this is considered a very big success, and undergraduate students have essentially no chance - so that there is no reason to think that laymen have a chance.  Nonetheless, to explain how peer review works, and the criteria used there, is important, and here is the place to explain such things. 

There may be, of course, complaints about peer-review being prejudiced against particular hidden variable theories.  I would have to say that such claims have some base in reality - from my own experience.  But, however prejudiced, my experience also shows that it is not completely impossible to publish an ether theory. Whatever one thinks about such prejudice of peer-review, here is the place to discuss this. 

But there are also other imaginable objections about the actual organization of modern science.  My main objection is that, if society wants independence of science, it has to give scientists some sort of job security.  The actual organization of science is the opposite of job security - it is an extremal form of job insecurity.  Young scientist usually get only grants, which are short time jobs, from one to three years.  After this, they have to look for a new job.  Because in many states giving them another short time job at the same place is impossible - this is sold by politicians as "protection against firing" or so - to fire them becomes obligatory, so that they have to look for a job elsewhere, usually in another country, and again only for a short time. This extremal job insecurity gives the consequences which have to be expected - young scientists are extremely dependent of following the actual fads of the scientific mainstream.  

The appropriate place to discuss such general questions about the organization of science would be here too.