Sunday, April 30, 2023

In Defense of Merit in Science

Biology professor Jerry Coyne writes:
In the end, we’re grateful that our paper will be published. But how sad it is that the simple and fundamental principle undergirding all of science—that the best ideas and technologies should be the ones we adopt—is seen these days as “controversial.”
They had to publish their paper in the Journal of Controversial Ideas. More mainstream journals rejected the paper with comments like “the concept of merit ... has been widely and legitimately attacked as hollow.”

I do think that the XX century will be a high-water mark for science. We will never see another century with so many exciting scientific advances. Our civilization is in decline.

1 comment:

  1. No, Roger, I disagree.

    It was the 19th.

    20th was full of the likes of the LP (Logical Positivism) and their ilk.

    But coming to the end of the 19th and beginning the 20th, I also remember Heaviside, not just Planck or Lorentz. Trade publications, you know... That's where he published his findings. An honourable man. I mentioned him along with Maxwell and Lorentz, in the best paper I've written so far.

    But, yes, to make that bit of a concession, you are right, in a sense...

    You know, Roger, once the Alabama Materials Professors from near the fag end of the last century, and the likes of Bill Gates/Clinton improve, things will improve. Then, even SF Bay Area can improve. Regardless of the inventors like Al Gore.

    They all just have to decide. That's all!

    They are Americans, you know! Free Will! ... Not the Dolphin of the mid 1990s, but Free Will!

    They just have to decide, and voila! ... Regardless of Bill Clinton/Gates!!!

    ... Looks like, yes, you are quite right, in the collective sense. After all, none of the Bills have ever shown any sign of improving. [Free Will! [LOL!!]]

    Anyway, thanks for letting me write at your place.