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A Call For Give And Take

As former editor of a physics education journal and coauthor of two relativity texts, I have had a lot of contact with what your article [B. Goodman, The Scientist, May 15, 1995, page 3] calls "dissident" scientists, many of whom attack special relativity. In my experience, most are extremely intelligent and inventive. Their arguments are ingenious, and any errors are often difficult to find. Still, there are two characteristics that I have found in many dissidents with whom I have communicated

Edwin Taylor
As former editor of a physics education journal and coauthor of two relativity texts, I have had a lot of contact with what your article [B. Goodman, The Scientist, May 15, 1995, page 3] calls "dissident" scientists, many of whom attack special relativity. In my experience, most are extremely intelligent and inventive. Their arguments are ingenious, and any errors are often difficult to find. Still, there are two characteristics that I have found in many dissidents with whom I have communicated:

Isolation: Most dissidents are not routinely in collegial contact either with professional scientists or with one another. Instead, each typically works alone and approaches others only with what he or she feels are finished theories. The same is true of some small fraction of first-rate scientists, such as P.A.M. Dirac and Julian Schwinger. More often, however, mainstream science occurs in the give and take of a group...

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