I found Nissani on the www at http://www.is.wayne.edu/mnissani/PAGEPUB/HISTORY.HTM
His paper is an example of what we very much need, if only because he mentions "bereavement" as one factor facing an entrenched scientist when confronted with paradigm change.
" .... Marris argues that the process of abandoning a conviction is similar to the working out of grief."
John Dore has been involved with me for decades, but refuses to accept there there are a number of non-immoral factors urgng an entrenched scientist to avoid proposals for paradigm change. I think the concept of "bereavement" is valuable when an entrenched scientist is presented with the possibility of the removal of electricity. We can project back to the reaction to the attempt to remove caloric or phlogiston in this context. It should be clear to John that such an idea would have been traumatic, and in some sense it would remain traumatic even if the victim (the entrenched scientist) was, in the usual sense, open minded. Contrary to John's attitude, and also to Harold's, I think it is important and valuable to look for less immoral reasons for the avoidance of paradigm change. As with this example, note that a sense of bereavement is not normally regarded as immoral, but merely part of the human condition. We should consider that the psychological damage to a scientist asked to give up electricity, or caloric, or phlogiston, may be in the same class as wanting him to face up to unnecessary death of a near and dear.
I think it is important to look for non-immoral reasons for the behaviour of scientists when they suppress scientific advance. Otherwise, if we insist, as Harold does, that their behaviour is always immoral, we have to conclude that science is populated by immoral people, which I do not believe. What about the idea of thinking that a particular group is immoral if they want to avoid unnecessary deaths? I note that John persistently asks why the new paradigm is more useful, and says that this point has to be made to an entrenched academic. That is, if a death is avoidable, it should be avoided.
----- Original Message -----
From: Ivor Catt
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2011 12:37 PM
Subject: Re: censorship
Recently one of my daughters spoke positively about my work in my (and your) field.. I have sent a copy of this to my daughters, and would like to tell them that we were your guests in your farm in Tuscany.
What you wrote (below) is extremely valuable and important. There are two reasons for this.
1 Anything you say that agrees with my statements shows that those statements are not merely the whim of an individual.
2 What you wrote below adds considerably to the ideas I am developing, and I very much want more from you, as you suggested you would volunteer. Material like your below will go straight onto my website. Do you have a webbsite, or do you want me to put your material on mine?
The idea that as we approach paradigm change the censorship increases, or perhaps only the suggestion, is very important indeed. Anything to strenghten this assertion would be very valuable.
By the way, do a Google search for "peer review" + "paradigm change". This leads to my recent epigram; "Peer Review outlaws Paradigm Change"
I need to assure you that in electromagnetic theory we truly do approach paradigm change, which is that when a battery lights a lamp after being conected by two wires, electric charge and electric current are not involved. That is obviously a proposal for paradigm change, quite as major as the ending of phlogiston or of caloric. I would like you to think under the assumption that what I say in this paragraph is true, and draw the appropriate conclusions. You will appreciate that this is not in the same class as your Guido Riccio scandal. That is why I was tentative about asking for your help, but what you wrote below reassures me that you have potentially a major contribution to make.
You will remember that some time ago I tended to complain that you and Harold did not supply the insights and advances that were needed, but on re-reading your excellent book I had to apologise to you.
That is a major contribution, and it is very unfortunate that it is not fully on the www. More or less all my books are fully on the www. Also of course it has a very unfortunate title.
Your linking "academic censorship" with "academic freedom" is very important. With Hillman, I was introduced to the "Academic Freedom" activists, who I concluded would not help us at all. They were about an academic losing his job for the wrong reasons. However, I suspected that they all wanted only the right kind of person to have an academic job in the first place. That excluded you and me.
My recent attempt to introduce "Sociology of Science" people into my work - for instance to inform them over what I have found - seemed to be fruitless. They seemed to work on the socilogical impact of science on society, and ignore the sociology within science, which is our subject. I would be very interested in whether you confirm this impression. (That is, do the "Sociology of Science" fraternity ignore sociology within science? If so, do they ignlore T S Kuhn?) I think this is perhaps a restatement of what you said below; " The sociologists of science are part of the academic establishment." Is my statement in this paragraph the same as your statement?
----- Original Message -----
To: Ivor Catt
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 7:42 PM
Subject: Re: censorship
Many thanks for the email. Great to hear from you, and I hope you are back in top shape to continue the battle, after the long hiatus.
I am not exactly sure how I can respond to your email in an effective manner, but here are a few thoughts based on my experience and my studies:
Academics basically do not like to discuss academic censorship, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps a main reason is that the rhetoric of academia professes academic freedom, which is the opposite of censorship. Charges and claims of censorship are sometimes brushed aside by appeals to peer review and alleged quality control. If it doesn't pass peer review, it doesn't deserve to be published. If by chance it sneaks through peer review, that reviewer, editor, and journal made a bad mistake and should no longer be considered a reliable academic forum. They might be considered something akin to traitors within the profession. (Censorship is the tactic and work of right wing politicians and evangelical fundamentalists, and certainly not the work of respectable academics who firmly believe in academic freedom and open debate with open-ended critical analysis.)
Factors of collegiality can seem to embolden the censorship at every stage in the process. This can be true for sociology of science as well as for specific academic/scientific disciplines. The sociologists of science are part of the academic establishment. There is a tendency in this case to give "balanced" studies on the subject, with a few bad apples not endangering academic freedom, open scholarly debate, etc, and with claims that censorship is being confused with normal quality control that is guaranteed by peer review.
All of this discussion takes on a greater sense of intensity and urgency when a paradigm change is at stake, because not just specialists, but a large segment of academia is at risk of embarrassment. As a result, the censorship apparatus might be put into high gear at the same time that discussion of censorship of the case is itself censored. A recent book, Knowledge in the Making, which has"Academic Freedom" in its subtitle, has a closing chapter, "Caution ! Paradigms May Shift." (Discussion in this case seems mainly directed to lawyers, however.)
I hope that these ideas are of some help. If you wish further information or ideas, please let me know. Somewhere along the line, I would suggest you put two books by Serge Lang to good use: The File (1981), and Challenges (ca. 1998 or sometime later) Best regards, Gordon