Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sean is everywhere

I see Sean is giving a talk at NSF next January titled Dark Energy, or Worse: Was Einstein Wrong?.

And he also shows up in Overbye's latest today in the NYT (free sub. reqd.) defending the Big Bang theory (which seems in excellent shape).

Nothing against Sean, but these invites and mentionings tend to coalesce to the same people. The "deciders" start seeing the same name, and when they need a cosmologists (in this case), they figure they can't go wrong picking this person. One might say these people get their name out there for a reason, which is certainly partly true. The thing is, a few years back, I saw the same person invited to something like three conferences in a row and this person gave essentially the same talk. Nothing new, and nothing groundbreaking. So it can get out of hand and can be pretty demoralizing to others.

But, again, it's not the invitee's fault, it's those in power. And Sean is a very good speaker. So do go see him if you're near Arlington, VA.


Anonymous said...

Research is a grant funding business plan with a PERT chart. Results exist in advance. Discovery is unquantifiable risk. Basic research and its creative young faculty are funding anathema.

The 20th century boasted the "least publishable bit." The 21st century trumpets unfalsifiable theory. It celebrates "under-represented" and "privileged" minorities whose diversity output enjoys priority in all things over objective value. Discrimination is keeping score.

Public education became the Department of Education that does not educate (at awesome expense). War is now compassionate, sparing the enemy disempowerment (at awesome expense). Funded research becomes social advocacy in which the verdict always preceeds the trial.

Productivity bonuses perch upon process not product: 45 years of Philippines' 252-hectare IRRI is an undergrad gene-gineering summer project. Obey your beautifully clothed emperor (and his praetorian guard),


L. Riofrio said...

Hi Angry: To reach such a high position as SC has, one must parrot the party line until all originality has been squeezed out. What will happen to SC when the world finds that "dark energy" doesn't exist? I hope you are enjoying my blog too.

Anonymous said...

"But, again, it's not the invitee's fault,[...] And Sean is a very good speaker."

Heh... careful there, don't hurt the back of your hand delivering those compliments!