Sunday, March 04, 2012

Interstellar Command: The Ansible

Brian Cox has had a rough time on the Internet: various influential science blogs have taken him to task for his BBC-2 Christmas show, where he explained quantum mechanics to a motley collection of celebs. His sin was to suggest that a slight change in electron energy levels in the studio (Brian rubbing a diamond) would cause instantaneous changes to electrons across the universe.

The level of personal abuse in physics blogs can be astonishingly high. This is an example of Sayre’s law – ‘academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low.’ The converse is Heinlein’s maxim that ‘an armed society is a polite society,’ but it's too soon to propose that we arm all physicists.

I've had a bit of a break writing for I've been busy with my current client assignment and I wasn't sure the weekly science features were getting much purchase with the site's target audience. I'm now writing 'contributions' and book reviews.

Read the article discussing Brian Cox's talk over at