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 sciencefiction.com. 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 sciencefiction.com.