Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pretty Devastating Letter About American Physical Society Shenanigans

From the October 9, 2010 Telegraph:
Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Here is his letter of resignation to Curtis G. Callan Jr, Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society.
Devastating letter, worth reading in full.  Here's an excerpt:
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate.

Anthony Watts describes it as:
This is an important moment in science history. I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door. It is worthy of repeating this letter in entirety on every blog that discusses science.


  1. I was an APS member for many years. It's been a reliably liberal organization for quite some time. I remember APS wailing against Reagan's defense policies and opposing the idea of insisting on verifying nuclear treaties and opposing all of the successful Reagan nuclear policies.

    Some things don't change, but it's nice to see at least some folks recognizing when the political leadership of organizations like APS wander off from their fields of expertise.

  2. I think that APS is but one of several scientific organizations that suffer from proximity to DC (APS is actually in College Park, MD, but that is close enough). I saw Lewis' letter a few days ago (Motl posted it), and it is scathing indeed.However, I doubt that many outside a couple of scientific organizations will even know of it. The LSM will simply take the view that "there's nothing to see here".