Be proud to be a scientist

The whole faster-than-light-neutrino thing is an absolutely wonderful example of the scientific method at work.

How many other fields of endeavour would handle this the same way?

Can you imagine a salesman saying, “We’ve come up with this product, but we’re a bit surprised to discover that it seems to do something we didn’t expect really, really well! Could you check this for us? Is it as good as we think, or have we just screwed up somewhere?” Mmm.

Substitute a politician, or, better, a religious leader: “Gosh! Errm… We think this might be a miracle… Could all of you skeptics out there check the facts for us and see if we’ve missed some rational explanation?”

You get my point…

This is exactly how science is meant to work. I think it’s wonderful, and it makes me proud to be a scientist.

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Quite! I’m just disappointed by the number saying ‘ir must be an error; the speed limit stands’. People I respected. Shame.

Whenever I desire a dose of physics skepticism about such things (not that it’s necessarily called for in this case) I’m try to check out LuboŇ° Motl’s blog:

This was mentioned today by the entertaining Lawrence Krauss in the second half of Material World (BBC Radio 4). He said that “as a scientist, the two most exciting things you can be are WRONG or CONFUSED because it means you’ve got a lot to learn!”

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