After decades of being touted for its mathematical elegance and adored for its explanatory power, supersymmetry was finally ready for experimental verification at Switzerland’s famous particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). While the LHC made some important discoveries, most notably the Higgs boson particle (sometimes called the God particle), scientists found nothing at all to confirm supersymmetry. After many a particle was smashed, crashed, accelerated, and spun, no supersymmetric “partners” could be found—a bitter blow for physicists ready to leap to the next frontier.
In the ashes of disappointment, “the specter of evidence-independent science” arose, according to Gleiser and Frank. They note that while some scientists are prepared to forfeit their pet theory in light of a lack of evidence, others are not. Many will just double down on supersymmetry, conjecturing that we don’t have the technology yet to discover the new particles.
“Implicit in such a maneuver is a philosophical question: How are we to determine whether a theory is true if it cannot be validated experimentally?” Gleiser and Frank ask.
It’s surprising they would even ask, in this day and age.
Start with celebratory firings of people who don’t convert to the current craze, or not in time.
Make young postdocs’ careers depend on repeating whatever approved noise they hear.
Treat with suspicion anyone who asks penetrating questions, however innocent, or shows undue attachment to microaggressions like evidence.
There, that wasn’t so difficult, was it? Science faculties will be happier for being indistinguishable from current arts faculties.
In many places, they will even be able to take their bong pipes to work.
See also: Will there still be science in 2020?
and Cosmology when evidence doesn’t matter
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