Her willingness to call this out makes her support of men in women's sports all the more puzzling.

whoa. You're right, that is a disconnect.

I just hope it does not take 40 years for scientists to call out the equally made-up gender specials...

In some cases, the new particles’ task is to make a theory more aesthetically appealing, but in many cases their purpose is to fit statistical anomalies. Each time an anomaly is reported, particle physicists will quickly write hundreds of papers about how new particles allegedly explain the observation... After the anomaly has disappeared, those papers will become irrelevant.

Any physicists here can explain what this means? What kind of statistical anomaly, are we talking measurement error? (idek what they are measuring!) If "anomalies" disappear with some predictability after showing up how are they even anomalies that need explaining? Are people getting deliberately overexcited about measurement errors or random fluctuations because they provide an opportunity to write bullshit papers? This sounds like a near unimaginable waste of brainpower and tech resources.

[–] Intuitive 1 points Edited

Anomalies here means groundbreaking claims made by experimental physicists. Physics is basically an aggregation of observed principles, where many of the physical principles are considered almost sacred: scientists would be more willing to believe that Earth has gone flat, than concede that one of the principle was violated, for example there was some isolated system where energy wasn't conserved.

Sometimes, due to bad experimentation or a genuine hole in our theories, experimentalists arrive at results suggesting that one of our deeply held belief in physics might be false. Some of these results even are hard to replicate because they take so long or very expensive equipment so that only big centers like CERN can carry out these experiments. Now if CERN reports that they found something inconsistent with our physics, people are going to churn out some papers, not just to explain but to also have some primacy on the topic if the topic turns out to be a genuine problem.

This was the case in September 2011, when CERN announced that they have discovered a particle which broke the speed of light. This resulted in a lot of papers being published, some discussing how could it be possible and if it was possible what theories must be revised and whatnot. This also lead to the imagination of a particle "tachyon", something that can break the speed of light. After 8 months, it was clarified that the faulty readings were due to a faulty element of the experiment's fibre optic timing system.

But at the same time, these kind of holes also sometimes lead to a genuine revolutionary revision of our theories. For example, Newtonian mechanics wasn't able to explain a small discrepancy in the orbital dynamics of planet Mercury. A lot of people thought it was just human error or whatnot, but it wasn't until Newtonian mechanics was revised for General Relativity by Einstein that we were able to accurately account for the discrepancy.

In a nutshell, a lot of academia is about churning out papers and increasing the h-index, and at the same time finding problems to work at. During Covid, a lot of biologists, epidemologists, computer scientists, physicists and mathematicians were publishing out papers attempting to model the dynamics of Covid. This is not only because it gives them the primacy if any one of them stuck on a good model but also because sometimes different tools from different fields can work perfectly on some problem. This is certainly the case with using Deep Learning for medical imaging. So while there is an overblown incentive amongst academics to attempt to solve varied problems, it is also useful because it provides a wide range of techniques to attack the problem.

Thanks for this! I was thinking it must mean something like this, and it's very interesting to get specific examples of it.

I think you are exactly right. The main problem and driving force is the way that physics (and science in general) works currently. The more papers you have, the higher your index is, which in turns means more financial resources, money etc. This means that to stay relevant you need to have a high number of papers, and i think you just hit the nail on the head that they are just using random flukes to write tons of shit papers that no one will read in order to stay relevant and have a high paper count. It's all bullshit. I'm happy I'm out of academia

It gives them the chance to postulate a new particle and (if found) immortalize them as the discoverer of the particle.