Friday, February 11, 2005
1. D. ALLAN BROMLEY: FORMER APS PRESIDENT DIED YESTERDAY AT 78.
Moshe Gai informs us that Allan was stricken yesterday at lunch. He died on the way to the hospital. One of the world's leading nuclear physicists, he was also an outspoken proponent of science and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1988. In a 1989 meeting with George H.W. Bush to discuss the position of Science Advisor, the President's first question was about cold fusion. Bromley had just learned the results from a collaboration he had arranged to test the claim. There were no neutrons. Confidently he told the President that the reports out of Utah were in error.
2. PROLIFERATION: TAUNTING IS ONLY AGAINST THE RULES IN THE NFL.
Let's see if we've got this right: based on unfounded rumors of nuclear weapons in Iraq, the U.S. committed itself to a war that has so far cost the lives of more than 2,000 American troops and another 10,000 wounded. Perhaps 18,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, and more than 6,000 military. This carnage has cost us $153 billion, and there's no end in sight. Although he had no weapons of mass destruction, we're told the Iraq war is justified because Sadam is a really bad guy. Kim Jong Il is no sweetheart either, and N. Korea is dancing in the end zone with its nukes.
3. PUBLIC ACCESS: APS POLICY INCORRECTLY STATED BY WHAT'S NEW.
Last week, WN misstated the position of Editor in Chief Marty Blume on public access, for which I profoundly apologize. In Marty Blume's words, "We already allow authors to post the final versions of their papers on eprint archives anywhere (which would include the NIH's pub med central) and to make them available immediately. This is already done with many articles posted on the Cornell arXiv, and we have seen no effect on subscriptions." The new NIH policy announced last week by Elias Zerhouni goes a step further: authors are "asked" to post on public Web sites.
4. IS "JOHN OF GOD" A HEALER OR A CHARLATAN? IS ABC NEWS NUTS?
In an hour long report last night, Primetime Live co-anchor John Quinones traveled to a remote area of Brazil to find out if "John of God" is really a miracle healer as his followers claim. Wake up ABC! It's the 21st Century. In a position to help millions of viewers understand that they live in a rational universe, ABC has chosen instead to tell them that their sad superstitions are open scientific questions. To give the program credibility they turned to "one of the world's most respected surgeons, Dr. Mehmet Oz." Oz is no doubt a fine surgeon, but he has touch therapists in his operating room helping patients "connect to the healing energy everywhere." When ABC dumped Michael Guillen as science editor, (WN 27 Dec 02) it seemed like a good sign. But it looks like they still don't get it.