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Thread: A Wiki science Journal?

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    A Wiki science Journal?

    time gentlemen please 1983.jpg
    One of the most exciting sections of this forum is the "Against the Mainstream" because, apart from being extremely interesting and informative, it is in effect a semi-viable layman's publication, in that presented theories and hypotheses are allowed to come to light and be reviewed - quite ruthlessly - by the very astute forum members. Furthermore, the search database is available to the public as a whole rather than cordoned off to an elite that either has access to journals through a university, a research institution, or has considerable dosh on hand.

    Frankly, in many ways this method of review more dynamic and with greater scrutiny than one can expect from published journals - which leads me to wonder - wouldn't it be worthwhile to have an all-encompassing 'WikiScience' online journal where, as in Wikipedia, the peer review is open to the public at large? Sure, I can already hear the critics baying that it wouldn't work because one wouldn't know if the reviewers were lettered experts or rank amateurs.

    Personally, I would find that more exciting and ultimately would produce a much more refined end-product. Thoughts, please?

    Best,

    Stephen

    P.S.; Admins & Moderators: I did a search but could not find much that pertains to this topic. If that be my shortcoming, please place in the appropriate area, or if already discussed ad nauseam, delete. Thanx.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfellow View Post
    ...wouldn't it be worthwhile to have an all-encompassing 'WikiScience' online journal where, as in Wikipedia, the peer review is open to the public at large?
    Why would you believe that the "public at large" is in any way qualified to judge the scientific viability of any idea?

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    ...because it is from the public at large from whence scientists come?

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    No, it's from extensive scientific study and experimentation whence scientists come.
    "There are powers in this universe beyond anything you know. There is much you have to learn. Go to your homes. Go and give thought to the mysteries of the universe. I will leave you now, in peace." --Galaxy Being

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfellow View Post
    ...because it is from the public at large from whence scientists come?
    ...and here I thought it had something to do with having an education in the relevant areas...something the "public at large" simply does not possess.

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    The scientific community is a subset of the public at large.

    Yes, there will be much ill-informed criticism, just as there is no shortage of woo woo ideas here at ATM. If as carefully- and conservatively - moderated as ATM, then I see the exercise as enjoyable and participatory. Shucks, we could do it here: RTM, Review the (current publications?) Mainstream. OP, I support your idea.

    Regards, John M.
    I'm not a hardnosed mainstreamer; I just like the observations, theories, predictions, and results to match.

    "Mainstream isnít a faith system. It is a verified body of work that must be taken into account if you wish to add to that body of work, or if you want to change the conclusions of that body of work." - korjik

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    Perhaps worth toying with a new sub-forum, "Journal Reviews"? I'd promise to be an avid lurker

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfellow View Post
    ...because it is from the public at large from whence scientists come?
    Ballerinas come from the public at large, yet I do not think I could be one.

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    I am not sure that the world is ready for a Wiki-based science journal, but it may be ready for a wiki-based communication portal for actual scientists.

    It would have to have a public face, but would also restrict users to actual scientists. I am not sure how many scientists would want to make entries before going to actual journal and certainly no one would want to publish in-progress work for a major paper. Perhaps are subset of scientists who would use it to publish follow up information on prior publications or details regarding legacy work done by teams where ever they are based.

    Those two items could be considered either education outreach or enhancing public awareness. It would be especially interesting to get details on what organisations, schools and businesses at (a local level) are utilised to make the science happen. Obviously in a journal paper such information is unwelcome as it looks to be a plug. After the fact, such information may be point of community pride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    Why would you believe that the "public at large" is in any way qualified to judge the scientific viability of any idea?
    That is not a welcome gesture. Einstein didn't had a Ph. D degree but his theory was accepted, but of course, with a lot of criticism at first try. I believe, there are a lot of geniuses out there other than those with diplomas who could digest and give a sound commentaries on these things, except maybe on the mathematical things that involved. Why not make this easy for people to grasp.

    I remember this movie, a Bruce Willis blockbuster (forgot the title), when a big meteor is about to hit thgis planet, there is this nerd guy who explained things as " this anomaly...and that anomaly"... and cut by a general to speak in layman;s term. The beauty of it, you could explain it in an easy way, why complicate things.

    I believe in Copernicus when he said that "God created the universe in simple ways".He proved it when he put the model of the solar system in simpler explanation, rather than Ptolemy;s complicated mathematical reasonings

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirjon View Post
    That is not a welcome gesture. Einstein didn't had a Ph. D degree but his theory was accepted, but of course, with a lot of criticism at first try. I believe, there are a lot of geniuses out there other than those with diplomas who could digest and give a sound commentaries on these things, except maybe on the mathematical things that involved. Why not make this easy for people to grasp.
    Einstein got his Ph.D. in 1905...

    I remember this movie, a Bruce Willis blockbuster (forgot the title), when a big meteor is about to hit thgis planet, there is this nerd guy who explained things as " this anomaly...and that anomaly"... and cut by a general to speak in layman;s term. The beauty of it, you could explain it in an easy way, why complicate things.
    I can't help but mention that you example comes from fiction and just not any fiction but one of the least scientific Hollywood "space films" ever. The Armageddon page on the original Bad Astronomy page is very long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfellow View Post
    Frankly, in many ways this method of review more dynamic and with greater scrutiny than one can expect from published journals - which leads me to wonder - wouldn't it be worthwhile to have an all-encompassing 'WikiScience' online journal where, as in Wikipedia, the peer review is open to the public at large? Sure, I can already hear the critics baying that it wouldn't work because one wouldn't know if the reviewers were lettered experts or rank amateurs.

    Personally, I would find that more exciting and ultimately would produce a much more refined end-product. Thoughts, please?
    I'm not clear about one thing... are you suggesting that this science wiki get started on BAUT, or that it should be started some place, but not particularly affiliated with BAUT?

    If the former, I am completely against the idea, since it has little to do with BAUT's mission and for all the reasons given in multiple past discussions as to why ATM is run the way it is on BAUT.

    If the latter, I don't love the idea (for many of the reasons already mentioned in thread), but I don't despise it either. If you think much of the idea, then go do it, the wikipedia software is available and I've seen wiki's on much less serious topics. Try it and let us know how well it works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I'm not clear about one thing... are you suggesting that this science wiki get started on BAUT, or that it should be started some place, but not particularly affiliated with BAUT?
    I intend my quiery as a completely heuristic question with no agenda or intent. Merely curious as to forum members opinions on the advantages or pitfalls of a science community more engaged with the vox populi of the net.

    As one of the more fortunate individuals, I have academic access to most of the available journals, but what about some brilliant individual with no academic connections? That person might be stifled for lack necessary input. Would it not be better if scientific inquiry was an open source available to the public?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfellow View Post
    As one of the more fortunate individuals, I have academic access to most of the available journals, but what about some brilliant individual with no academic connections? That person might be stifled for lack necessary input. Would it not be better if scientific inquiry was an open source available to the public?
    I think there is a difference between making the information available more widely and opening the review process up. The former seems like a nice idea but I can see all sorts of potential problems - such as how is it paid for.

    The latter would just create a lot of work and it isn't clear how value it would provide. Who is going to manage the reviews and filter the sensible criticism from the, "Dr Bonker's theory is obviously wrong because it contradicts my own personal theory of rotating 2D information-holographic cosmology"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I think there is a difference between making the information available more widely and opening the review process up. The former seems like a nice idea but I can see all sorts of potential problems - such as how is it paid for.
    As with any new venture, problems will abound. The Wikipedia manages to struggle along, so I don't see the income flow as an insurmountable problem.

    The latter would just create a lot of work and it isn't clear how value it would provide. Who is going to manage the reviews and filter the sensible criticism from the, "Dr Bonker's theory is obviously wrong because it contradicts my own personal theory of rotating 2D information-holographic cosmology"?
    Sorting the sensible from the absurd is an activity that Wikipedia struggles with every hour of the day, and one can go through an exhaustive wake of online documentation to see how the process works on a given topic. Despite this - or because of this - Wikipedia maintains a fairly reliable quantity of data which is supported, maintained and guarded by the vox populi.

    If this dynamic process can work successfully and maintain basic factual information, why should it not work in the fields of science?

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    Oh... It would seem that the Baut administration moved this subject to the black hole

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirjon View Post
    That is not a welcome gesture. Einstein didn't had a Ph. D degree but his theory was accepted, but of course, with a lot of criticism at first try.
    Abraham Pais, in his biography of Einstein, says Einstein got his degree in July of 1905, the same year he published on special relativity (and all the rest). He had certainly completed his exams and coursework long before that. He'd been working at the patent office for 3 or 4 years I think.
    I believe in Copernicus when he said that "God created the universe in simple ways".He proved it when he put the model of the solar system in simpler explanation, rather than Ptolemy;s complicated mathematical reasonings
    Copernicus's model, in most ways, was more complicated than Ptolemy's, even having more epicycles. Part of the problem was that he put the center of the Earth orbit at the center, apparently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirjon View Post
    That is not a welcome gesture. Einstein didn't had a Ph. D degree but his theory was accepted, but of course, with a lot of criticism at first try. I believe, there are a lot of geniuses out there other than those with diplomas who could digest and give a sound commentaries on these things, except maybe on the mathematical things that involved. Why not make this easy for people to grasp.
    It's a common myth promoted by ATM people who don't want to bother learning the mainstream first that Einstein was someone without a solid formal education in physics, but that's just plain wrong. He had a masters in physics before he started working in the patent office where his work in part involved evaluating the scientific validity of the claims.

    He's an example that a Ph. D. isn't needed to make good work in physics, but he definitely isn't an example that it's possible to make a successful physics discovery without knowing mainstream physics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    Copernicus's model, in most ways, was more complicated than Ptolemy's, even having more epicycles. Part of the problem was that he put the center of the Earth orbit at the center, apparently.
    Copernicus has the Sun in the center. See De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. Folio 9 verso (13MB PDF file).
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    Quote Originally Posted by gfellow View Post
    Originally Posted by Swift
    I'm not clear about one thing... are you suggesting that this science wiki get started on BAUT, or that it should be started some place, but not particularly affiliated with BAUT?
    I intend my quiery as a completely heuristic question with no agenda or intent. Merely curious as to forum members opinions on the advantages or pitfalls of a science community more engaged with the vox populi of the net.

    As one of the more fortunate individuals, I have academic access to most of the available journals, but what about some brilliant individual with no academic connections? That person might be stifled for lack necessary input. Would it not be better if scientific inquiry was an open source available to the public?
    Given that, I'll put on my moderator hat and move this thread from Feedback to Science & Technology.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    The former seems like a nice idea but I can see all sorts of potential problems - such as how is it paid for.
    I do not see any problem here. I would pay for valuable, scientific feedback for my theory.
    I really knocked to many physicists' doors but most of them has no time to read or discuss immature ideas "in progress". That is why I value BAUT so much. I would donate if I could.

    And I claim, there is completely lack of institutions that would give chance for people like me and offer such review.
    The only one I know was Meta Research, but they suspended the professional review service when Dr. Van Flandern died in 2009.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Copernicus has the Sun in the center. See De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. Folio 9 verso (13MB PDF file).
    I couldn't tell from the diagrams there, and my latin is a little rusty. I'll look into it a little more.

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    There is a way that a more "vox populi" kind of approach might occur. Journals are already moving online, and some have a very different referee process than has been typical. Often with the old model, a single knowledgeable referee is selected, and their opinion determines how a paper gets changed or rejected from publication. Usually the submitted papers are of high quality and need little help, sometimes they have large oversights that the referee does not catch. So the referee process is not all things to all people, but it works all right. Still, if an online journal simply put up its submissions into a general place accessible for a short while to everyone, and anyone could interject a comment, it might make for better papers. A lot of nonsense would need to be ignored, but some valid points by knowledgeable people could be raised-- issues that a single referee could easily miss. The problem would be getting people to want to spend time doing that, for very little recognition, but maybe a particularly useful contribution could be invited as a co-author, and that might produce enough motivation to draw out quality contributions.

    Still, a larger problem that online journals face is being accepted as publications that advance the careers and reputations of their authors-- right now I wouldn't risk trying to take my hard work to a journal that I can't be sure I'd receive ample credit for publishing in. Such journals are just too unproven at present, and are going up against established journals with a long record of advancing the careers of their contributors (which is why people will pay to have their articles published there).

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    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    I couldn't tell from the diagrams there, and my latin is a little rusty. I'll look into it a little more.
    The relevant diagram is:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by HenrikOlsen; 2011-Nov-18 at 04:50 AM. Reason: New image.
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    I don't know how carefully that picture is drawn, but it does look like the center of all the orbits is the center of the Earth orbit, not the Sun-- if there is intended to be any difference. The orbits are clearly concentric, anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I don't know how carefully that picture is drawn, but it does look like the center of all the orbits is the center of the Earth orbit, not the Sun-- if there is intended to be any difference. The orbits are clearly concentric, anyway.
    I shouldn't have cropped the text from the top of the image, I've updated the image in the previous post to include the relevant part of the text which I marked.

    "In medio uero omnium residet Sol", he definitely has the Sun in the center.

    Not sure how often Latin quotations are used as arguments here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    I shouldn't have cropped the text from the top of the image, I've updated the image in the previous post to include the relevant part of the text which I marked.

    "In medio uero omnium residet Sol", he definitely has the Sun in the center.

    Not sure how often Latin quotations are used as arguments here.
    That picture is a simplified, not-to-scale sketch of the Copernican model. It does not show the orbital radius ratios accurately, and as concentric circles it does not come close to accounting for the actual orbital eccentricities, especially for Mercury and Mars. To reconcile those motions with combinations of uniform circular terms, as I think I understand it, Copernicus had to resort to eccentric deferent circles and epicycles. His epicycles did not correspond to Ptolemy's annual epicycles, but were higher-order stuff that approximated the variations of the actual variable speed ellipses as later discovered by Kepler. His model ended up rather messy compared to Ptolemy's, in which the equant-regulated circles were actually decent approximations of Kepler ellipses at the low eccentricities of most of the planets.

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    An excellent overview...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Such journals are just too unproven at present, and are going up against established journals with a long record of advancing the careers of their contributors (which is why people will pay to have their articles published there).
    Yet despite the fact that the non-profit approach offers no monetary incentive or professional advancement, countless non-paid, seriously dedicated individuals maintain and expand the present Wikipedia. With all the science forums that abound, it seems to me that the energy and sophisticated manpower is out there, waiting to coalesce.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    I shouldn't have cropped the text from the top of the image, I've updated the image in the previous post to include the relevant part of the text which I marked.

    "In medio uero omnium residet Sol", he definitely has the Sun in the center.
    OK, I see, the figure is not really the model. So Copernicus knew that the Earth distance to the Sun varied over the year, and offset the Earth orbit, from the central Sun. I guess that makes sense-- if his whole point was going to be that the Sun was the key player in the solar system, it would be odd to put the center of the Earth's orbit at the center!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfellow View Post
    Yet despite the fact that the non-profit approach offers no monetary incentive or professional advancement, countless non-paid, seriously dedicated individuals maintain and expand the present Wikipedia. With all the science forums that abound, it seems to me that the energy and sophisticated manpower is out there, waiting to coalesce.
    It may well be-- I always marvel at how much time people are willing to spend on Wiki articles, with no compensation or recognition at all! But then, look at how much time we spend on these forums. I guess it just means that people will do what they are interested in doing, regardless of whether it brings them fame and fortune. But if I'm writing a scientific article, I think of it more as work than as fun, so I want some compensation for it-- generally in the form of professional recognition. This may just be the way the scientific community is currently organized-- it might be changing.

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