Some Pre-Nobel Prizes

This year’s Nobel Prize, presumably to be given for the prediction of the particle known today as the “Higgs boson”, will be awarded next week.  But in the meantime, the American Physical Society has made a large number of awards.  A few of them are to people whose work I know about, so I thought … Read more

And the New Rich and Famous Man Is: Sasha Polyakov

As I think most of us in the field expected, professor Alexander Polyakov was selected from among the nominees as the winner of  a cool $3 million check  Fundamental Physics Prize today. 

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Reminder to Readers

A pause from the usual stuff for a necessary reminder: please keep the comments of a non-personal nature. Talk about the science; if someone makes a mistake, say so, but don’t attack their personalities and intelligence. While I was away from the computer there were a number of comments that turned very nasty toward an individual, and I don’t want that happening here. I did some editing of the worst stuff, but I’d much rather not have to.  Yes, I know some very nasty personal things about me have been said in past comments; but while you’re free to defend me when that happens, please don’t say anything offensive about someone else.

The relevant comments, however, did have some content, which I’ve tried to leave in place.  They were relating to the Milner $,$$$,$$$ prizes (here’s the NY Times article.)  Once-respected Nature News, whose reputation is in precipitous decline within high-energy physics, did a story on the Milner prize in which the only people quoted (other than awardees saying “ooh” and “aah”) were Milner himself and blogger Peter Woit. No matter what you think of the prize [and I have my own serious concerns], it is shocking that an article in Nature on this subject does not quote a single scientist, within or outside the field, whether for or against the prize. I’ve asked for an explanation. Have scientists become invisible? Do we have no rights to express our own opinions anymore?  Are we destined to have our fates and research determined by former science students who haven’t been in the field for decades but have become extremely wealthy and/or extremely vocal?  Hello?  Is anyone sensible still out there?

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