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Inspired by the book:
Against the Tide; A Critical Review by Scientists of How Physics and Astronomy Get Done
Edited by Martin Lopez Corredoira & Carlos Castro Perelman.
(Universal Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.A.)
There can be little doubt in the minds of those who are involved in attempting to disseminate research results among the entire scientific community that major problems exist. It is well documented that adopting certain stances will result in an inability to publish in the majority of the so-called high impact academic journals. ... [More...]
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The other side of the coin - the taxpayer - is almost as big a problem as those in science described in this article. In the U.S., a U.S. Congressman from New Jersey and scientist (Ph.D., physics) Rush Holt noted in Science News, March 14, 2009, "Science, I think is not in a good situation now, in several senses. The funding, although not small, is proportionally less than in some other countries that we would compare ourselves with. But what troubles me more is the attitude towards science. I would say that most Americans would say, yes, science is good. But they don't have a clue how it works, how you sustain it, and they refuse to think like scientists." (talics mine in this quote)
There you have it. Between the leadership in science, and the led who are paying the bill, we're up against pretty tall odds. And don't forget. Astronomy and cosmology are areas of science which most people view as "hobby" science or useless science. Getting answers and understanding there have no immediate or short-term payoffs to consumers or politicians, and don't lead to improvements in consumer products or other areas of science and technology which will make them more comfortable or secure. If asked which form of understanding of the way the universe works, the big bang theory or the electric universe theory (an immediate turn-off at a party, right there) the typical person would look blank or, if they were game, would say, "the big bang" because they saw something about that in a recent news clip or on a science channel whilst surfing, or because they had actually read an article on it in a popular magazine and are for it "because it sounds more like what we heard in church last week about the story of creation". No one would guess "electric universe" because a vanishingly small segment of the population has ever heard the term, much less done any reading or thinking about it. Wake up! It just ISN'T THAT IMPORTANT to most people to even bother with this sort of stuff.
Plan on internalizing your successes with EU and plasma cosmology, dear readers. Ain't no one gonna do it for you. As momma taught us, if you want it done right, do it yourself. We need to get some lipstick on this pig and sell it in ways that people understand and identify with. (AS IF!!) Hey, all we can do is keep trying.
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The title alone makes me want to comment briefly on the history of scientific funding, a subject which would be impossible to cover without mentioning the word "alchemy". As scientists attempt to find funding for their research, they often need to make fantastic claims. Alchemists found support from the wealthy by claiming that they could turn lead into gold or even produce immortality. Fraudulent? Perhaps. But with this funding, they went on to make incredible scientific discoveries in chemistry and medicine. Today the same game continues, and people claim they will create black holes, find the precise age of the universe, immortality (again), missile defense, etc. The real discoveries are often far less fantastic in nature but are none the less very real and important.
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