Looking for a SEA Change?

I’ve previously mentioned examples of the manipulation or suppression of scientific information by organisations such as the Bush Administration. See for example a recent post on hurricanes and global warming. Various scientists have made it their business to speak out against these types of wrongs, either as individuals in the line of fire, as individuals noticing it in the news and blogging about it to as many as care to read, and as part of organisations here and abroad.

Well I’d like to point out a new organisation I heard about* called “Scientists and Engineers for America”, and I am pleased to share with you that their website says:
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Hamiltonian Support

In the continued public discussion of the treatment of Yau’s reputation by the New Yorker article (by Sylvia Nasar and David Gruber), to which I earlier referred (see here, and see the post about Yau’s response here), there has been a recent significant development. I don’t mean the press conference of last week, held by Yau’s entourage (…did anyone see that? I could not log on… there is archived video avaialble here. I still can’t view it…reports are welcome).

No, I’m talking about the public letter attributed to Richard Hamilton, the mathematician at Columbia University […] Click to continue reading this post

Yau Fights Back?

Well… yikes! Remember my article on the New Yorker piece on the Fields Medal, the Poincare Conjecture, and the mathematicians Perelman and Yau? Remember that I said:

I cannot comment upon whether the hero of the story (Grigory Perelman) is as heroic as painted, or whether the villian of the piece (Shing-Tung Yau) is really as villainous. The anecdotes that are used to do the painting may well be able to be supplemented by other anecdotes that tell another story, as is sometimes the case. I simply don’t know.

Well, it seems that Yau is quite sure that it is not going to stop there. There was a letter sent to the New Yorker and the authors of the article (apparently) on his behalf by legal counsel. It is discussed and can be found on a web page under Yau’s name. The page is in the form of a press release, and I quote: […] Click to continue reading this post

Very Superstitious, Ladders ’bout To Fall

Apparently, we are hard-wired for superstition and religion. This is according to Bruce Hood, of Bristol University, in the UK. I learned this from an article in the Guardian by James Randerson, which you can read here. The good professor: suggests that magical and supernatural beliefs are hardwired into our … Click to continue reading this post

More Scenes From the Storm in a Teacup, I

Aaron Bergman has written an extensive review of Peter Woit’s attack-book on string theory. I’ll let you read the thoughtfully written 11-page pdf document linked there. I think that Aaron deserves some sort of medal or other award for making the effort. Peter responded here. Note from the title that … Click to continue reading this post