Louise Riofrio, a cosmologist, has been asked to speak at the Imperial College in London on March 29th at the Outstanding Questions for the Standard Cosmological Model conference. She has some interesting and controversial theories. Her most controversial idea seems to be the GM=tc^3 equation which...well it's way beyond my paygrade...but seems to indicate that the speed of light is slowing. Physicists are unsure of what it means but she seems to be onto something. It is at least sparking some discussion and she is rated enough to get invited to the aforementioned conference. So far so good....but wait...there is a campaign to get her uninvited.
From Miss Riofrio's Blog:
From: Don Barry [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 19 March 2007 00:51
To: De Nadai-Sowrey, Graziela C
Cc: Simeon Warner
Subject: A crackpot has slipped through your screens..
I notice that you have given a slot to Louise Riofrio in one of your
sessions in your upcoming conference.. She's listed in your
section as affiliated with James Cook University, Queensland. A simple
will reveal that JCU/Queensland does not list her in any capacity.
She's been a frequent crackpot pest trying to post papers on the
server. If you take a look at her blog,
all should become clear. It's actually rather hilarious in spots.
In any event, you may get some comic relief as people become somewhat
glass-eyed on the last day of a conference.
Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph Team,
Oookay. I'm not a physicist, I'm an undergraduate oceanography major so for all I know, she might be a crackpot, but she has some interesting ideas and was invited to give her viewpoint. In the above E-mail Mr. Barry indicates that she is not affiliated a JCU Queensland at all, but according to her blog her records got hacked. She is listed as affiliated with James Cook U in this lecture program and here as well as in these two abstracts from the Harvard Website. It would seem that Mr. Barry is wrong.
Indeed, Mr. Barry, it seems is quite a piece of work, according to his astronomy dept bio...he is a Chomskyite Marxist Leninist
OTOH he does use a slide rule which is way cool.....but can't really compensate for his moonbattery.
I'm still wondering what his bio has to do with astronomy.
More on the mad on Louise Riofrio gives certain scientists here. She may well be wrong, science, especially very hard to observe things like these is a LEARNING and EXPLORING experiment but she seems to at least be asking the right questions, not trying to ignore or silence the questions of others.
OK bear with me as I have a tangentially related political digression for a moment. Feel free to scroll past...
Given the observable, objective failures of large scale Leftism in bringing about prosperity since people really began experimenting with it during and after the French Revolution, why do many scientists, who are, in theory, all about observing cause and effect, still adhere to this.
In spite of all the evidence of history, the above mentioned moonbat scientist at Cornell is an adherent to a philosophy that killed a comparable number of people in the last 80 years to those that were killed by all the religious wars in Europe and the Levant in the last thousand. He extols an economic plan that has never worked absent US subsidies or huge infusions of cash from local resources (see Norway) , one that really doesn't work well at its best and is absolutely catastrophic at its worst.
He is not an aberration.
Whiskey tango foxtrot?
I dunno, I have 3 theories.
1: A university by necessity, is essentially a socialist, bureaucratic structure with a big implicitly Malthusian component (research monies). Thus to operate in that system one must understand and apreciate the system. Being totally in the system at all times doesn't help.
2:To get to the highest levels of academia often requires that one spends ones entire careerer in a university environment so there is, ironically for such learned people, a certain amount of provincialism that informs their viewpoint.
3:Peer pressure. The left is very good about punishing heretics, if one does not extol politically correct viewpoints one does not get invited to the cool parties. More importantly, one might not get tenure, so there may be an subtle but active weeding of more dynamic viewpoints.
I don't think that things are quite as bad as some suggest, but I think it it does influence scientific debate. Global warming is a case study...
Global warming is happening
There likely IS an anthropogenic component.
But given that the whole solar system is also warming should we go whole hog into Kyoto, despite the fact that it gives a pass to non western polluters (some of the worst in fact).
Kyoto is an egalitarian socialist dream, it punishes the evil west and in particular the hated USA, It uses bureaucratic machinations to put the sort of centralized planning in place that has pretty much been a bust previously, but now is presented as an emergency earth saving measure.
Now I don't want to continue the transcendentally stupid experiment of deffacating in the atmosphere with tons of pollution every year and see what new wretched things happen, but the sort of dynamic "boing boingy:)" solutions, that are more likely to generate long term solutions than a top down statist approach. In the near term, nuclear power, small scale solar where practical and biofuels to the extent they don't egregiously displace food crops perhaps assisted with gene modified crops are a good bet.
Of course the first and last of my near term items are double-plus-ungood to the left...and therein lies the rub.
The semi-religious nature of leftism is not in any way conducive to open debate and inquiry the attempt to shut up L. Rofinio is symptomatic of this. *
Anyway, my own wingnuttery aside, Those of us at Brickmuppet Blog (and, of course, the Brickmuppet's Crack team of Science Babes) wish the Babe in the Universe a successful speech received in the spirit of open mindedness and intelligent discourse. In the unlikely event she is a crank utterly without merit then she will make an ass of herself as certain IDiots did and her theories can be put to rest. If upon careful analysis her theories do not quite pan out, then eliminating them or perhaps modifying them will narrow down our search for the truth in this area and thereby expand our body of knowledge. If she's right then she certainly deserves not to be silenced, not just for her career but the good of mankind.
There are no real arguments for not hearing such an august individual, save the jealous rantings and cybermischief of an angry passive aggressive quidnunc.
*I don't mean to suggest in any way that Leftism is a religion:
Religion is the belief in that which cannot be proven or disproven...Leftism is the belief in the demonstrably false.