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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somebody good needed to say this..., 13 Jun 2013
This review is from: Farewell to Reality: How Fairytale Physics Betrays the Search for Scientific Truth (Kindle Edition)
...before somebody bad closed down the funding! Science is an open-ended quest for better understanding, & all ideas must be welcome in this. Jim Baggott has no objection to open-minded enquiry: what he cavills at - as he makes clear in his Preface - is the tendency for careless commentators (& even some hard-up physicists) to peddle conjecture as though it were supported theory. Such speciousness is corrupting of the special relationship between practising researchers & their (paying) public, who deserve scientific speculation, not misleading twaddle. Some of the fault often lies with presentation, but whatever the source, hard-won scientific progress is ill-served by sloppy communication. No such criticisms could stick to this book, which is healthy, wholesome food for any curious mind.
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Initial post: 24 Jul 2013 12:55:52 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Jul 2013 13:00:23 BDT
Hi Christopher

If you think there's danger of a growing gap between most scientists and the people who provide their pay, labs, equipment etc. you might want to start with the scientists themselves. Not the crash test dummies but the ones on multi-million /$ projects.

How many trips do we need to make to Mars before someone calls it a day since no one seems to know what they'd do with the information even if they actually found signs of life - other than use it to lever more funding, perhaps?

And whilst it was a moment of delightful honesty, how wise was it for a member of the CERN team to go on a TV science programme and likewise admit that he had no idea what practrical use their expanding knowledge was to anyone outside their own area of research?

Scientists are the ones dismantling their own ivory towers because they fail (through arrogance or ignorance, I don't know which) to acknowledge that when they are receiving not just millions but billions in financing they (a) invariably have their hands out for yet more handouts, and (b) apparently see no reason to produce results which repay, even in part, the vast funds they have already used up.

By the way, this view is NOT my interpretation by simply a repeat of what scientists have said in actual interviews seen on the public media.
In light of that I doubt that Baggott's book will make any significant difference to the situation.
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