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Hontas FarmerRSS Feed of this column.

Currently I am an adjunct professor at the City Colleges of Chicago and the College of DuPage . My research focuses on astrophysics from massive star formation to astroparticle physics. Born and... Read More »

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Sexual Harassment in academic scientific context, why did it shock us?    What we learned over the last six months is that scientist male and female are still human.   Humans when placed in social context will behave like social and sexual animals that we all are.  Schools are not a safe space from this due to simple human nature.   That said, being the thinking animals that we are we need to know how to control and at least manage those impulses.  Now that the shock has worn off, the veil has come off, and we know scientist are just human.  Some common sense would’ve avoided all of this.

Information is not destroyed but it is even more scrambled up than anyone thought by black holes. I have used the framework of relativization, to compute the temperature of the proposed firewalls.  It would be about 1.410 septillion Kelvin.   Relativization which has been developed in open peer reviewed literature and conference presentation in to a comprehensive theory combining General Relativity with Quantum Field Theory.  Black holes shred information, then burn it in a furnace hotter than millions of Suns. 
LIGO the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory may announce the detection of gravitational waves tomorrow at 10:30AM Eastern time.  I will watch it  and  live tweet it.  The question of the day for most normal people will be...  What are gravitational waves?  See below for the answer to this question, and below that a live stream of my tweets on the subject as it happens.  


UPDATE:  The Perimeter Institute a hub of theoretical physics research will have their own livestream following the LIGO press conference. 

UPDATE2: Updated to display a collection of my tweets on gravitational waves during and near the time of the press conference.

Sexual Harassment in federally funded research should be considered a federal crime.   This blog post originates as a comment on this blog at Forbes  "Advice For The Reformed Harasser On Rejoining The Scientific Community" by Janet D. Stemwedel.  

Her third point is way off and looks really bad in light of the fourth point.  I want to say I agree with the spirit and intention of this article and most of the points made within it.    (You know what's coming next.) 

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist I and many other astrophysicists look up to has been accused of rape by Tchiya Amet  who was a student at UT Austin at the time that Neil DeGrasse Tyson was a graduate student TAing her Astronomy 101.  As if that wasn’t awful enough Tchiya Amet lived with it for 30 years.  Then when she comes forward with a blog post about it her story is met with over a year of solid deafening silence.   That this has occurred, and that the response to it has varied from very little support to outright hostility is what I find most disturbing.

At all levels of academic science men outnumber women by a great deal.  Whites outnumber black by a even larger margin regardless of sex or gender.   Out LGBT are outnumbered by an even larger margin.  Without loss of generality I hypothesize that MOST of the sexual, racial and other tensions in the science lab is at root caused by this lopsided representation of people.

 

TL;DR: Male behavior + few females = Sexually Hostile astronomy workplace for women. That is the real #astroSH.  The court of law can help with this.