Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dear Friends:

I appreciate all the support you have given to this blog and the ideas therein. Because of you and others, I have taken the unusual step of announcing a speaking engagement ahead of time to a large number of people. This has influenced more than one person to make the journey to London. Unfortunately, it also draws the controversy that seems to follow Riofrio and GM=tc^3. As of this writing, someone is working very hard to have my closing talk removed from the schedule.

A similiar controversy occurred before the Texas Symposium in 2004. After my name appeared among the presenters, someone associated with the SNAP Project sent email to Stanford denying my affiliation. Greg considered this PhD's email "bizarre," since I was studying at Stanford. Fortunately professional behaviour prevailed and my presentation went ahead smoothly.

I have done nothing to harm these people, yet they are desperate to prevent you from hearing me. They will deny that a woman has a theory, and do their best to stop her from publishing. If it were in their power, they would prevent her from doing research at all. What sort of human being would whack a speaker from the schedule? I trust that, as before, cooler heads will win out over jealousy.

My own plans will not change, and I will be in London next week. At this moment my talk is still on the schedule for 12:30 PM March 29. I will happily meet every one of you who wants to meet. This blog will continue to publish. I will continue to write papers and occasionally publish them. That is the least I can do to thank you for your support.

Those of you who are unhappy or who can verify that I exist, you can email the organising committee:

Richard Lieu: lieur@email.cspar.uah.edu, Carlo Contaldi: c.contaldi@ic.ac.uk, T. Kibble: tkibble@ic.ac.uk

UPDATE: Since the anonymous perpetrator considers himself a computer expert, I have demonstrated how to hack a system. The results are posted here, and you will be very entertained.

13 Comments:

Anonymous a quantum diaries survivor said...

Hey Louise,

what you describe is horrible. That someone should take the time to work against a researcher with bold ideas, to prevent him or her from describing them at a public venue, is a thought for the horror room of science.

You mention the e-mails of organizers, but I do not understand exactly the accompanying sentence. Should supporters openly mention to them that we want to listen to your talk ? Or is it better to sit silent and wait ? Sometimes, creating a case may backfire.

I can promise the organizers that if they take your talk off I will take mine off the participants' list, if you think it helps.

Let us know better what could be a supporting action.

Cheers,
T.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous a quantum diaries survivor said...

Errata:

I will take mine -> I will take my name ...

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Sam said...

Louise,

don't let the buggers get you down.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

03 20 07

Louise:
I am sorry to hear about this mishap and wish you the best. Also consider the motivations behind the push to get you removed. Could it be that you being a woman has nothing to do about it and that your theory simply needs to be tightened up? Why not use this as an opportunity to address those who critisize your theory with justifiable responses?

As you like to write, many scientists have not always had the support of their peers. The flip side is that some of these mavericks have been correct, while some woefully incorrect. You can use this time to develop new ideas AND tighten up existing ones.

Take Care.

10:25 AM  
Blogger nige said...

Mahndisa,

That advice you give is useful for everyone, especially string theorists and mainstream cosmologists. It is good advice.

Louise has deliberately tried to keep her theory brief, simple, predictive, and inoffensive, so maybe the problem is that it is just a bit too straightforward for some, who want extremely complex, non-predictive theories?

Louise: good luck with this.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Louise, I think it has very little to do with you being a woman, and a lot to do with the theory itself. If your formula is right, then that upsets a lot of funding apple carts. Remember what happened to Chandrasekhar?

11:28 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Louise, I hope that the good sense, which saw you put onto the schedule initially, will prevail. If it does not, the blogosphere will continue its battle. Good luck. Take it as a good sign that your theory is right. After all, if it was completely wrong, who would bother pulling out the guns?

2:20 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

I appreciate every one of you giving your input on this. Tommaso, hopefully no email campaign will be necessary.

Sam, I often wish to be on the Big Island in a bikini, but some things need to be done.

Mahndisa, I will be happy to address all questions after my talk at 12:30. I appreciate your concern, even when we disagree. If I did not do this our children might learn faulty science for centuries.

Nige, I also wish that Mahndisa's exacting standards were applied to strings or "dark energy." You will sympathise with how it feels to be ignored. There should be room for theories like yours, for there could indeed be an e^3 factor in there.

Ed, nice hearing from you. I remember what happened to Chandrasekhar, he won a Nobel Prize. (Because hc is constant, the Chandrasekhar limit is not affected by c change.) I hope you enjoyed the post about Expedition Six.

Kea, when I talk you will be there in spirit.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Paul & Michael said...

Clearly, your best bet in the Uk is to spread the word that George Bush doesn't want you to speak.
In any case, SAY WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY!
Good luck (we don't know if you are right, but we hope that you are),
Paul and Michael

5:50 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Chandrasekhar won the Nobel prize, but first he had to wait for Eddington to die before other physicists would publicly agree with him.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Yes, but which other physicists, Ed? Do we care?

10:16 AM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

I'm still pissed. The effort to get you removed seems excessive. Certainly the letter from the guy at Cornell is pure sociology and has no scientific comment at all.

I'm not at all certain that this has anything to do with gender.

I am reminded of what my friends say when they see someone driving badly. It seems that when they can get a glimpse of the driver, they are always able to find a prejudicial explanation for their driving behavior. One can blame the error on the driver being old, young, a yuppie, a poor person, a minority, somone in a suit, an SUV driver, a blue collar worker, a woman, or a man. If you can get a glimpse at their bumper sticker, so much the better.

But to get back to this subject, kudos to Tommaso for standing up against this.

Carl (The guy who, well, experiences a second childhood by squealing the tires of a Miata.)

3:21 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Kea, it might not matter to us now, but it mattered a great deal back then. Eddington was huge in the physics world, and nobody dared to contradict him. Chandrasekhar had to wait 25 years for Eddington to die before anyone would (publicly) support his theory.

6:27 PM  

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