It is amazing that there exist quite some private foundations in the United States who care about science and are enthusiastic about funding scientific projects. However, a lot of them, if not all, don’t seem to know how they should support science in a complementary way when compared to government funding agencies like NSF and DoE.
One of the critical features in scientific research is the application of the so-called peer-review process before a scientific paper is officially published in a journal. Ideally, peer-review, at least seemingly in its original purpose, should serve as a measure of quality control that benefits both the authors and the readers. However, nowadays, it becomes more and more like an obstruction to the advancement of science, in particular, in terms of radically new ideas and directions.Continue reading “Time to reform peer-review”
In a nostalgic review article titled “Twenty years of the Weyl anomaly” [Michael J Duff, Class. Quantum Grav. 11, 1387 (1994)], Duff recalled the history of his discovery of the Weyl or conformal anomaly in quantum theory with Derek Capper. Continue reading “How can a new idea be accepted by eminent physicists?”
A lot of times science advances by incorporating or interpreting old ideas under new scenarios.
For example, Lorentz first proposed the so-called Lorentz transformation, but it was Einstein who correctly interpreted and applied it in his theory of special relativity. Yang and Mills first came up with the SU(2) gauge theory idea for studying nuclear isospin. But it was Glashow, Weinberg, Salam , and ‘t Hooft who found the best application of the idea to the electroweak interaction eventually leading to the most celebrated unification theory (called the Standard Model) for all three gauge interactions of the known elementary particles.
I had been totally immersed in further development of my supersymmetric mirror models early this year. The COVID-19 pandemic did not draw my attention until about a month ago when it hit the US really hard. Then all of a sudden it really changed me, not only my life but also my way of thinking. I could not focus well on my favorite mirror-matter projects. I should have finished my invisible-decay paper weeks earlier. Instead it has made me pondering more on what a dream world or society should or could be like. With an open universe of physical objects in mind, what an open world of creatures and an open society of human beings could we imagine?
I just submitted a paper for the essay contest held at FQXi. I focused on topics from quantum indeterminism to no theory of everything, to a dynamic Universe with hierarchical underlying laws, all the way to the justification of our pursuance of open science, open society, and open world.
Gödel’s undecidability results (incomplete theorems) demonstrate that no consistent math system is complete, i.e., one can always construct statements that can not be proved or disproved within the same system. Hilbert’s dream of unification of all mathematics may be busted. Similarly, quantum indeterminism indicates that physics and the Universe may be indeterministic, incomplete, and open in nature, and therefore demand no single unification theory of everything. All my recent works on mirror matter theory and supersymmetric mirror models seem to support such an open world ideology.
To demonstrate the risky or controversial aspects of my work on mirror matter theory, I’d like to share more comments extracted from various review reports from the expert physicists when refereeing my work. See here for early comments on my work. Clearly, the controversies are getting escalated on my new work on a dynamical view of the Universe as even relatively open-mined arXiv decided to deny my submission (see here). The list of the following review comments is sort of in the order from positive to negative.
This subject is a hot topic, and the results are very interesting in light of future experimental measurements for the light quark sector.
Not long ago, I posted one article on how to improve arXiv.org and make it the best science publication system. One of my concerns about arXiv I pointed out was about the issue of over-regulation. Now I feel the issue is more serious than I thought.
I submitted my last paper to arXiv a week ago for the little celebration of the anniversary of my first mirror matter paper. But the administrators decided to put it on hold for an announcement. I don’t know what I did in the paper to trigger such a cautionary action. But it is just a pure scientific paper and probably one of the most important of my works. Apparently they have no interest in solving the issue soon. I have no choice but have also submitted it to a traditional journal. At this moment, I am not sure who will publish it first if they do in the end.
Exactly one year ago, I posted my first paper about mirror matter theory on arXiv.org. I wanted a little celebration and therefore submitted my latest work to arXiv yesterday. It is probably the most complete and astonishing of all – building a dynamic theory or staged models to describe the universe from the very beginning when the arrow of time started all the way to the Standard Model physics we know best about today.
The paper was supposed to show up on arXiv yesterday. Unfortunately, arXiv administrators decided to put it on hold and obviously ruined my anniversary celebration a little bit. It was a surprise to me as this is my first on-hold experience with arXiv. I don’t know what in my paper is so alarming to arXiv administrators or moderators. Maybe they regard it a crackpot? Or maybe this is just another example of over-regulation on the arXiv side. I just hope it won’t become another long ordeal like the ones I have been enduring with the journals.
How can we have all scientists publish their works on equal grounds? How can we make sure that the good ideas and results get published fairly instead of falling through the cracks? How can we prevent the major journals publish fake/bad results because of limited or insufficient reviews?
How can we prevent an elite circle publish their works easily while bullying others or new comers outside the circle? How can we prevent one biased referee/editor killing the publication of one brilliant paper? How can we use every critical eye in the scientific community to vet a manuscript before it gets published?
Here my goal is to imagine an ideal publication system for science, at least basic science. We can start with physics. But it may apply to other disciplines as well.