...And Well-Informed, Responsible Opposition

I was appalled at Michael J. Moravcsik’s commentary on the SSC (THE SCIENTIST, June 1, 1987, p. 11). I welcome the expression of differences when they are based on well-informed points of view. The first of his four points might generously be interpreted in that way. The other three are glaringly factually incorrect and, therefore, quite irresponsible. First, elementary particle physics is today’s “physics of the very small.” The previous two generations of that most

Edwin Goldwasser
Sep 6, 1987

I was appalled at Michael J. Moravcsik’s commentary on the SSC (THE SCIENTIST, June 1, 1987, p. 11). I welcome the expression of differences when they are based on well-informed points of view. The first of his four points might generously be interpreted in that way. The other three are glaringly factually incorrect and, therefore, quite irresponsible.

First, elementary particle physics is today’s “physics of the very small.” The previous two generations of that most “reductionist” (to use Bob Schrieffer’s word) field of fundamental research have been atomic physics and nuclear physics. Surely those fields have no apologies to make for their contributions to our science, our culture, our technology, or our industry. So, high-energy physics is not a field that “suffers” from Big Science syndrome. Rather, it is a field that has arrived at a point where it knows a set of questions that are important to...

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