Friday, January 21, 2011

The pleasant manner to solve fundamental problems of science

Templeton foundation has published the list of large grant awardees: the awardees are supposed to solve the problem of time with the help of 100,000 dollars per awardee on the average. There is also a meeting with the title Setting Time Aright beginning from Bergen with a luxury cruise for an invited elite and continuing as a closed meeting in Copenhagen. There are similar conferences in Iceland and Azores. I do not which are the fundamental problems to be solved in Azores but it must be an enjoyable experience.

The goals of Templeton foundation are noble but sharing money to rich people most of whom have long time ago finished their active period in science is not the manner to achive these goals. What on Earth people who have a regular research funding can do with 100,000 extra dollars: how it helps them to develop their views about time? Do these dollars make them somehow smarter? Sad to say but all this sounds like a corruption: these good-willed people with extra money have become victims of academic sharks.

Templeton could do a lot of good by founding journals which would allow to publish real frontier science censored out from so called respected journals. Templeton could organize open conferences instead of closed meetings of the economic and power elite of science. Templeton could perhaps give a small financial support for scientists living below the poverty threshold. But no big money for individuals since this brings unavoidably to the scheme the people who can sniff the odour of easy money from distance. Real progress in science is made by genuine explorers, not by rich people spending time at luxury cruises.

A good example of an activity leading to a real progress in science with very little money are the journals founded by Huping Hu. Rubbish cannot be published but the threshold for publishing is otherwise low so that referees cannot misuse their power. Everything is based on voluntary work of individuals. No money for anyone since this would bring in wrong kind of people and lead to corruption. Just the possibility to publish, to discuss, and co-operate to do science as a real exploration.


At 2:28 PM, Blogger Kea said...

OMG, I never read about the cruise. You couldn't pay me to go on a claustrophobic cruise, even though I could really do with some income.


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