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(BBC)   "Who do I have to kill to get a podium around here?" Just the secretary, apparently   ( divider line
    More: Stupid, Galileo Galilei, abstracts, American Physical Society, City University of New York, physics, Earth's crust  
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2642 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Apr 2013 at 11:45 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

9 Comments     (+0 »)
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2013-04-18 11:58:05 AM

Wanted for questioning

2013-04-18 12:07:07 PM

"One is always considered MAD, if one discovers something that others cannot grasp!"
2013-04-18 12:36:57 PM  
Peakes had given macabre new meaning to the phrase "dangerous idea", and unwittingly started a practice that continues today.

Shooting people who disagree with you?
2013-04-18 12:45:12 PM  
I was at this conference, and I checked in on the session they're referring to in the article.  Most of the authors didn't show up, and all but one of the ones that did bailed, so I did listen to the guy that stayed.  He was quite articulate and seemed to have a good idea, at least on the surface.  I mean, I don't think it's correct, but he clearly had a well-defined concept that I'm not sorry I listened to.

I really wish people wouldn't refer to such sessions with the word 'crackpot.'  Like the article points out, sometimes people actually have good ideas or at least ideas that can inspire other, better ideas in the right audience, but don't have a normal connection to the physics community.  And if a person really is mentally unbalanced (and these do exist at such conferences), calling them a 'crackpot' and isolating them is a counterproductive response to someone who might be able to contribute if they could get a little help.
2013-04-18 01:12:46 PM  
Take the case of Dan Shechtman, who in 1982 stumbled across an entirely new kind of crystal, but couldn't really explain it. He became known around the "unconventional" sessions at APS meetings. "For two years I did not have anybody who believed my results and was usually ridiculed," he told APS News in 2003. Clarity eventually came, and with it credibility. Prof Shechtman's work ended up winning him the 2011 Nobel prize for Chemistry.

However, such transformations are rare.

They ridiculed Dan Shechtman... but they spend a lot more time ridiculing Bozo the Clown.
2013-04-18 03:50:56 PM  

lilbjorn: Peakes had given macabre new meaning to the phrase "dangerous idea", and unwittingly started a practice that continues today.

Shooting people who disagree with you?

I wondered at that part too.  Has the author spent so much time in academia that they forgot history class and never read a paper?  This stuff happens all the time.  Don't act shocked when it happens in your little bubble.
2013-04-18 04:20:48 PM  
Old news is old?

2013-04-18 05:53:48 PM  
The answer is Adrian Newey.

Oh, I thought the question was, "Who do I have to kill to get ON a podium around here?"  And this answer would be correct, 90.9% of the time.

/the other two answers would be "Christian Horner", and "What the hell do YOU care, you're ALWAYS on the podium!"
2013-04-18 06:59:24 PM  
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