Dr. Bryan G. Wallace
FARCE OF PHYSICS
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 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 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. 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  and . 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." At the time, Max Abraham took Einstein to task (in a rather unfriendly manner) about this deviation from his earlier stance. 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 peopleДДthat 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. IДДand so many othersДДhave 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. The current increase in censorship dealt mainly with various aspects of lasers, which apply to "Star Wars" research. 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!" 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! 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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! 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. "InsteadДДas Sir Charles Darwin once described itДДthey 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 notionsДДthat is to say, the axiomatic basis of physicsДДin 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 judgmentsДДfreedom 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. 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, 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 ДД a cherished argument in scientific circles ДД 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.... 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 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. 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, which was really emission/absorber theory, with a lot of help from the future. They could not embrace time asymmetry, but Gill 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. 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... 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. 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.