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    We need more scientific mavericks
    Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2014 @ 20:58:12 EDT by vlad

    General "Gotta love this letter published in the guardian.com this week. It comes from a number of scientists throughout the world who are obviously frustrated with the barriers being thrown up around them — financial, antiquated procedures and techniques to name a few — and would like to see changes.

    When you speak of scientific mavericks, you might look directly at Improbable Research's annual Ig Nobel awards which recognize the arguably leading edge of maverick scientific work." (Slashdot)

    The Guardian Letter:

    "Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts," said Richard Feynman in the 1960s. But times change. Before about 1970, academics had access to modest funding they could use freely. Industry was similarly enlightened. Their results included the transistor, the maser-laser, the electronics and telecommunications revolutions, nuclear power, biotechnology and medical diagnostics galore that enriched the lives of virtually everyone; they also boosted 20th-century economic growth.

    After 1970, politicians substantially expanded academic sectors. Peer review's uses allowed the rise of priorities, impact etc, and is now virtually unavoidable. Applicants' proposals must convince their peers that they serve national policies and are the best possible uses of resources. Success rates are about 25%, and strict rules govern resubmissions. Rejected proposals are usually lost. Industry too has lost its taste for the unpredictable. The 500 major discoveries, almost all initiated before about 1970, challenged mainstream science and would probably be vetoed today. Nowadays, fields where understanding is poor are usually neglected because researchers must convince experts that working in them will be beneficial.

    However, small changes would keep science healthy. Some are outlined in Donald Braben's book, Promoting the Planck Club: How Defiant Youth, Irreverent Researchers and Liberated Universities Can Foster Prosperity Indefinitely. But policies are deeply ingrained. Agencies claiming to support blue-skies research use peer review, of course, discouraging open-ended inquiries and serious challenges to prevailing orthodoxies. Mavericks once played an essential role in research. Indeed, their work defined the 20th century. We must relearn how to support them, and provide new options for an unforeseeable future, both social and economic. We need influential allies. Perhaps Guardian readers could help?

    Donald W Braben University College London
    John F Allen Queen Mary, University of London
    William Amos University of Cambridge
    Richard Ball University of Edinburgh
    Tim Birkhead FRS University of Sheffield
    Peter Cameron Queen Mary, University of London
    Richard Cogdell FRS University of Glasgow
    David Colquhoun FRS University College London
    Rod Dowler Industry Forum, London
    Irene Engle United States Naval Academy, Annapolis
    Felipe Fernández-Armesto University of Notre Dame
    Desmond Fitzgerald Materia Medica
    Pat Heslop-Harrison University of Leicester
    Dudley Herschbach Harvard University, Nobel Laureate
    H Jeff Kimble Caltech, US National Academy of Sciences
    Sir Harry Kroto FRS Florida State University, Tallahassee, Nobel Laureate
    James Ladyman University of Bristol
    Nick Lane University College London
    Peter Lawrence FRS University of Cambridge
    Angus MacIntyre FRS Queen Mary, University of London
    John Mattick Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney
    Beatrice Pelloni University of Reading
    Martyn Poliakoff FRS University of Nottingham
    Douglas Randall University of Missouri
    David Ray Bio Astral Limited
    Sir Richard J Roberts FRS New England Biolabs, Nobel Laureate
    Ken Seddon Queen's University of Belfast
    Colin Self University of Newcastle
    Harry Swinney University of Texas, US National Academy of Sciences
    Claudio Vita-Finzi FBA Natural History Museum

    Via: KeelyNet.com



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    "We need more scientific mavericks" | Login/Create an Account | 1 comment | Search Discussion
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    Re: We need more scientific mavericks (Score: 1)
    by vlad on Sunday, March 30, 2014 @ 20:43:01 EDT
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.zpenergy.com
    Originally they were probably trying to make it work, but humans don't take failure easily ...  so, a little fake would be fun, eh? ;-)

    Top 10 Perpetual Motion Machines for 2013

    Now, the HopeGirl seems to mean business and has finally open-sourced her Quantum Energy Generator (QEG) giving the blue-prints free to the world:
    http://hopegirl2012.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/qeg-open-sourced/ [hopegirl2012.wordpress.com]

    The jury is still out on this one, says Sterling Alan from pesn.com:
    Quantum Energy Generator (QEG) Open Sourced [pesn.com]


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