cc Lord Rees
We have to remember that all the frustrating nonsense with Cook and Tombe had a silver lining, or perhaps two.
Since both Pepper and Josephson are Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, will The Master of Trinity, Lord Rees, do anything about it? Is it possible for an administrative structure to take over when obvious professional incompetence on such a scale among those below him is so clearly demonstrated?
I am not saying that Pepper or Josephson should have been able to respond usefully to "The Catt Question" . However, realising that they had no useful comment on such a crucial, fundamental question, they had a duty, as administrators, to find some procedure for saving the discipline of Electromagnetic Theory. Failing this, they had a duty to say that they found no workable procedure.
Will Josephson reply to this email by saying so now, or by saying that the matter is unimportant? Sometimes, and this is one, one's academic and administrative duty means that one must pursue a fundamental problem, not try to brush it under the carpet. For instance, at the least, they could support an attempt to publish "The Catt Question" in a learned journal. Otherwise, without their support, the learned journals are too frightened to publish such an apparently fundamental question as "The Catt Question".
50. Professor Brian Josephson
"In the early 1960ís, physics lecturers at Cambridge University learned to take particular care when a certain young man from Cardiff was in the class. According to contemporaries, Brian Josephson could sniff a flawed proposition a mile off. Errant dons risked polite demolition afterwards."
Prof Brian Josephson
from Heaviside "Whether good mathematicians, when they
die, go to Cambridge, I do not know."
While the results claimed may seem surprising,the Cavendish Laboratory has been host to many surprising discoveries during the 125 years of its existence, and the controversial nature of the claims was not seen as good cause to follow the herd and veto his making a presentation.
The manifestations of scientific prejudice, well documented by Michel Schiff in the book The Memory of Water, can be extraordinary; another reason why we felt it important to invite Dr Benveniste to talk at our colloquium and be able to present his results to scientists in an uncensored form. I am grateful to The Independent for following on with its article.
Professor Brian Josephson
published in The Independent, March 22nd., 1999.
Pollock lecture by Josephson "He was one of the instigators of the web site archivefreedom.org, which publicises cases of the bureaucratic censorship of research that does not fit in with conventional thinking."
Martin Rees: Well the Royal Society is of course our national academy of sciences, and its role is partly to sustain scientific excellence in the country to link with other academies in other countries. But I think within the UK it has a role in trying to ensure that the level of debate on all the issues where science impacts on policy and ethics is raised as high as possible. And I think in this country we have quite a good record in some respects; for instance debates about embryo research and stem cells have been conducted on a fairly reasonable level, partly because the scientific community did engage with parliamentarians and journalists at an early stage. In the context of GM crops we werenít so successful, but thatís partly because that had become a polarized issue and commercialized before the decisions were taken.
Robyn Williams: .... ....