Friday, 11 October 2019

The lithium-beryllium wars, continued

In May I posted about a public spat playing out on the arXiv between one member of a (former) collaboration, M. Gai of UConn, and other members, led by D Schumann of PSI.

My previous post was prompted by a lengthy note submitted to the arXiv by Gai (1905.06999) in response to a brief note by Schumann et al. (1904.03023v1).  

Earlier this week Schumann et al. superseded their note with version 2 (1904.03023v2), which is a substantially different document, going in to detail with an analysis of the history of the project and where they contend there are scientific errors.  Alongside this is some general statements about scientific research (e.g "It  is  the  dream  of  every  serious  researcher  to  contribute  with something  essential to the progress in  his/her  field  of  science.") as prelude to a continuation of the personal argument against Gai in terms of appropriate scientific and collaborative behaviour – so we may well see a response from Gai in due course. 

I find it tempting to read all this stuff slightly hiding my eyes behind my fingers, to avoid seeing things that make me cringe too much.  In the concluding section, Schumann writes "We have also to admit, that, making the entire quarrel public by posting comments and reply to comments further and further on, is not the way one should handle friction in a collaboration. These problems should have been solved internally before publishing anything."   Well, quite.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of astrophysics, as I did in a recent comment on another post, note that the "lithium problem" is one of the more-important unsolved problems in astrophysics and cosmology.