In the most recent edition of PhysicsWorld
, there are two articles that on the face of it have little to do with each other: one is about Jan Hendrik Schön, the physicist formerly famous for creating the first organic superconductor and the first single-molecule transistor, and now most famous for having simply made up all of those results out of thin air, the greatest kind of scientific fraud in physics.
The other article is about how the internet is transforming scientific communications, looking at which new means of scientific communication failed (such as Physics Comments and scientists contributing to Wikipedia -- although Scholarpedia
is taking off quickly at the moment, probably because its signed and peer-reviewed authorship model is more in line with academic customs than Wikipedia's semi-anarchistic one) and which succeeded (the arXiv
) in making the dissemination of scientific results quicker and more transparent.
At first glance these two topics appear to have little to do with each other. At second glance, however, they are closely intertwined.