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Thread: Scientific Revisionism

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumzed View Post
    Yes she was part of a team and was happy to acknowledge this, but actually did much of the work and did not get much attribution. I don't think this happens as much today as it did then.
    I don't think it was the done thing in Cambridge to be attention-seeking though. The kind of atmosphere in the place at that time was those who were there were there because of the love of their subject. That fulfilled them. Indeed I think it is an entrance condition that you come to Oxford or Cambridge because you love what you do. Those who are careerists are seen in a bad light and will never get past the first interview, because they are all like that. So far from being a tough competitive place, it was a place where everyone helped each other in a very civilised way. That is in fact their secret as to how they did do well. It works on trust and a sense of humility. So what you read about her will be in seen through the lens of modern feminist ideology, which simply did not exist at that time, so it open to misinterpretation. When I heard her speak she had absolutely no bad feelings about it at all and felt very grateful to have just been in the right place at the right time.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lankou View Post
    I will bear that in mind I have my six monthly armful of blood tests next week that includes liver function.

    goes for muscle as well.

    But that dodgier to calculate as the distribution curve is so wide. in extremes of doubt the only way to know for sure if you just had a heart attack is two blood tests 12 hours apart. if the first has high levels of flotsam in the blood and thecsecond much lower, it means you did, and yiur liver cleaned up ...
    --
    "The Inland Revenue is not slow, and quite rightly, to take every advantage which is open to it under the Taxing Statutes for the purposes of depleting the taxpayer's pocket. And the taxpayer is in like manner entitled to be astute to prevent, so far as he honestly can, the depletion of his means by the Inland Revenue"

    Lord Clyde: "Ayrshire Pullman Motor Services V Inland Revenue, 1929"

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    There's one woman that stands out from the crowd though. Her name is Emmy Noether. Would you like to see a modern-day biographical presentation of her life's work? I mean she's quite a hit with the modern woman and all of that. Check this out!


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12hIAbb5fxI



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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron von Lotsov View Post
    There's one woman that stands out from the crowd though. Her name is Emmy Noether. Would you like to see a modern-day biographical presentation of her life's work? I mean she's quite a hit with the modern woman and all of that. Check this out!


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12hIAbb5fxI


    I agree about her work and fundamental insights but did not see the point of the video at all (gave up with it). I am not sure what point you are making - That most people will not have heard of her, despite her brilliant insights and that this was because she was a woman perhaps? Most people would not have heard of Ada Lovelace had it not been for her being somewhat aristocratic and has had recent biographical references because of the interests in modern computing.

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    As a matter of interest the discovery of Pulsars happened whilst I was at Manchester Uni (as you said were you, though some years later). It was quite big news and the initial signal sources were called LGM (Little Green Men) because it was a little time before anyone thought that such pulses could be produced naturally. As part of the physics course I wrote a paper summarising other's published works on how the time dispersion of the pulses with wavelength could be used, with a model of the interstellar medium within the galaxy, to estimate their distances. It was this that gave me some interest in astrophysics and cosmology and that I still have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grumzed View Post
    I agree about her work and fundamental insights but did not see the point of the video at all (gave up with it). I am not sure what point you are making - That most people will not have heard of her, despite her brilliant insights and that this was because she was a woman perhaps? Most people would not have heard of Ada Lovelace had it not been for her being somewhat aristocratic and has had recent biographical references because of the interests in modern computing.
    Oh come on, these people are mentioned more times than I have hot dinners. There's always something in the popular press when it comes to computer history with Ada in it. They created a language in her name as well. That girl is certainly not short of publicity, I can tell you. There's Curie of course. I think she is number one in the mentions ranking, but Noether is not one the tabloids know about. She's more perhaps what the modern school teacher would know if the lesson involves say women in science. In my opinion she is the only one who has done outstanding work. I mean it is not just one thing, but loads of extremely important maths. Actually that was what reminded me of her, since i was reading a bit of maths today and her theorem came up in it. Oh yes and about the video, well it made me laugh. You have to see the bit where they mention her work. I wonder though, what would you put the chances of then knowing who David Hilbert was? I've never seen him mentioned ever in the papers.
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  7. #17
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    Having spent my working life in semiconductor design and including RF design, Hilbert's work is very well known to me of course, but I would agree not well known to the general public. If your point is there are many people of science who are well known but there are also many whose work may be more important and profound but who are not generally known by the general public, then I agree. To clarify, Hilbert obviously gets a lot of mentions (at least Hilbert Transforms and Hilberts Spaces) in scientific papers but not in the general media. I assume you are pointing out that there are many important people of science that are not well known to the general public because the general media has not "discovered" them and that women's contributions are not special in this regard - and in fact may now be more likely to be heralded today because they are women.?? If so, I think this may well be right.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumzed View Post
    Having spent my working life in semiconductor design and including RF design, Hilbert's work is very well known to me of course, but I would agree not well known to the general public. If your point is there are many people of science who are well known but there are also many whose work may be more important and profound but who are not generally known by the general public, then I agree. To clarify, Hilbert obviously gets a lot of mentions (at least Hilbert Transforms and Hilberts Spaces) in scientific papers but not in the general media. I assume you are pointing out that there are many important people of science that are not well known to the general public because the general media has not "discovered" them and that women's contributions are not special in this regard - and in fact may now be more likely to be heralded today because they are women.?? If so, I think this may well be right.
    Well you have to wonder why these girls on the video have been taught all about Noether when (according to Wikipedia) Hilbert was the most important mathematician in 200 years and absolutely no one outside of those who need to know, actually do know of him. It's always that German bloke! Me thinks with Ada, she gets an easier ride because everyone knows what a computer is, so she is like a mascot. She kind of made those dull machines colourful, so fair play.

    Anyway I'm inundated with propaganda where it pulls these obscure women out of a hat and starts to tell the public they are the most important of scientists and so forth, like the one in the dark matter lieomentry. Our country and its professional institutions are terrible for this. Where once they were engineers they are now the new soviet propaganda merchants, All the time telling their readers what they know to be wrong. On each occasion I have checked the truth and you get these highly obscure contributions blown out of all proportion. What that woman was doing in my first video was actually the dogsbody work of taking all the images of galaxies and measuring their rotational speed and logging them, which would be a similar kind of job to filling test tubes in a pharmaceutical company. If one test tube happened to be the new wonder drug it is hardly the person who mixed the chemicals up in a trial who figured it all out. That's what I mean by lying, where technically one could weave a thread of explanation, but all the time it is designed to mislead, often through omission of important facts. As for Ada, anyone could have been the first programmer in Babbage's workshop if they were as eccentric as he was, and were a reasonably logical thinker, since if you think about it, the first computer would not have been a particularly complicated machine. Noether though is, as I have admitted, the odd one out. That work was on the level of being as important as relativity in retrospect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron von Lotsov View Post
    Different people are now credited with scientific discoveries than the people credited at the time. You see the trouble is that scientific discoveries are too unequal. One thing I saw a while back was where a computer scientist had a sex change and is now credited as one of the ten most influential women in the history of computer science, with no mention of his sex change. That was the person who design the BBC microcomputer. OK so it's a kind of lie by omission.

    Now if that were not a big enough lie I come across a totally direct lie about who discovered dark matter. Well you can look it up in Wikipedia if you like, but it was not Vera Rubin. Dark matter was known about way before then, and she was just a researcher slogging away logging evidence, which is hardly discovering it. So here we have a 2018 American documentary which begins with a ton of lying, like a dodgy used car salesman.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbWbbol52Vo

    It's nice to see the viewers point it out though.




    Ken's a man though.
    Without wanting to appear sexist, very few women have the mental capacity to invent things. That doesn't mean they don't serve a purpose, but I feel their talents lay elsewhere.
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  10. #20
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    Yes and this is why I find the odd one out to be so out on a limb. Noether is said to have invented many things in maths, a bit like the clichéd Einstein figure is supposed to have done in physics. It's just we don't see any more Noether types. I wonder though, because she was close to David Hilbert, and he was the top man in maths.

    Actually there's another top mathematician around who is still alive today, and he's a funny bloke, but he said he was just very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. There were two great men at Cambridge and neither said a word to the other. He sat in on both their lectures and learned what they each knew and put that together and made a very important discovery, so that's just bloody hilarious. He says he is where he is today because two men didn't talk to one another! Michael Atiyah is his name. His father wrote a book call The Thin Blue Line, which was the line between madness and genius.
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