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Semmelweis, the pioneer of sterile medical practices, died in an insane asylum. Those who discovered anesthesia died penniless. The pioneers of sterile surgical practices, Lister and Keen, were treated shabbily. Louis Pasteur may have marched microbiology, and hence medicine, off in the wrong direction, by plagiarizing Antoine Béchamp. Emil Grubbé was not exactly "welcomed" for discovering radium therapy. Rife, Naessens, Reich and many other pioneers of medicine have been subjected to vilification and endless legal and professional attacks. Those are standard examples of the fates of scientific pioneers. Nikola Tesla has been written out of the history books. That list can go on and on. A craving for power and control typifies the members of the American government, those who run the world's institutions, most corporate leaders, etc. The world of science is no different, especially as men dominate it. A pithy observation during the Gilded Age was that “pioneering don’t pay.”
With the rise of science came the Industrial Revolution, and science was an integral part of its progress. Consequently, science needed to be controlled by the capitalists, and it has been. Attacks on scientific pioneers by their “peers” is standard human behavior, no different with scientists than any other group of people. Also, certain scientific and technological breakthroughs can be very bad for business, upsetting the rackets. Therefore, true innovation is largely dead in many industries, such as transportation, energy, medicine, etc. The greater the concentration of power in the industry, the more scientific advances are stifled and crushed. Also, as an example, industrially-sponsored/influenced "scientists" such as Harold Hodge, Gerald Cox, Trendley Dean, David Ast, Edward Largent and others turned an industrial waste, fluoride, into a "medicine," while scientists such as Phyllis Mullenix had their careers destroyed for reporting data that contradicted the propaganda.
England's most distinguished electrical engineer, Sir William Siemens, who had tried solving the electrical lighting problem for ten years, greeted Edison's announcement with, "Such startling announcements should be deprecated as being unworthy of science and mischievous to its true progress." Edison soon perfected his light and publicly demonstrated electrical lighting in Menlo Park, lighting the streets around his laboratory. The public came from miles away to see the night lit up by electrical lighting. Edison was demonstrating the "impossible" to the public. What was the reaction of science then?
Professor Henry Morton lived near Menlo Park, and could not be bothered to stretch his legs to go see for himself. Morton instead wrote that he protested "in behalf of true science." Morton wrote that Edison's experiments were "a conspicuous failure, trumpeted as a wonderful success. A fraud upon the public." Professor Du Moncel said, "One must have lost all recollection of American hoaxes to accept such claims. The Sorcerer of Menlo Park appears not to be acquainted with the subtleties of the electrical science. Mr. Edison takes us backwards." Edwin Weston, an expert in arc lighting, said that Edison's claims were "so manifestly absurd as to indicate a positive want of knowledge of the electric circuit and the principles governing the construction and operation of electrical machines." While the public was strolling under the radiance of the electrical lighting in Menlo Park, Sir William Preece, who had studied under Faraday, and was the chief engineer of Britain's Post Office, addressed the Royal Society in London, where he read a paper under the day’s murky gaslights. Preece said that Edison's electric lamp was "a completely idiotic idea."
Einstein once observed that human stupidity is seemingly infinite. The danger is thinking that scientists possess less of it than the public at large, when sometimes they possess more.
Department of Energy scientists tried explaining away what their Geiger counters told them about Brown's Gas transmuting radioactive material during the 1990s. They had to perform mental summersaults and nearly gouge their eyes out to deny what their eyes and brains told them, but they accomplished it. Getting a diploma from a university does not confer intelligence or make somebody a true scientist. About 99% of those with engineering degrees have little creative talent. Mr. Mentor once told me that most engineers are plodders. They can be given some numbers to crunch or drawings to make, and they will dutifully perform their tasks, bringing back their results when finished. Not that the work may not be valuable, but there is often little creativity or mental horsepower brought to bear on such activities. Those mundane activities are similar to what Kuhn called “normal science.” The vast majority of educated people cannot think past their textbooks, whether it is in science, mathematics, history, politics, accounting, etc. Creative insight is what drives scientific and technical advances. Without that “right side” of the brain working, analysis and technical drudgery provide little insight, and for those mired in such quagmires, comprehending the possibility of flight or other textbook-challenging ideas is nearly impossible, as Planck observed.
The academic experience proves little, and negative learning often takes place. Some of the best inventors and engineers were either self-taught or were mediocre students. Einstein barely made it through his curriculum. Edison was self-taught, attending school for three months of his life.
For centuries, scientists attempted to explain what the auroras were. In 1896, Kristian Birkeland of Norway boldly struck out in the right direction in explaining the auroras when he theorized that electrons from the sun caused the auroras, being deflected to the poles by earth's magnetic field, and the resultant auroras were like magnetic storms. His bold theory was on the right track, but not embraced. Instead, he was fiercely attacked by his peers for his "crazy" theory, and died a broken man in 1917. His work was derided and suppressed for many years, the effort being led by an English physicist named Sydney Chapman. Eventually Hannes Alfvén challenged the auroric citadel that Chapman perched atop, revived Birkeland's theories, and Alfvén was stonewalled by
A major reason the world knows about Einstein's theories of relativity is because they posed no immediate economic threat to powerful interests in 1905. If relativity posed an immediate threat to the Rockefeller Empire or the other robber baron industries, the world may have never heard of relativity, as it would have been suppressed from the outset.
-tesla's idea of giving affordable electricity to everyone on the planet.
Originally posted by amantine
I don't see why large corporations would try to silence scientific discoveries. It makes much more sense to promote new discoveries to be the first company to have them.
Originally posted by Jonna
Some company, I don't recall which one perhaps GE, made a light blub that could last 20 years. Think about it; people would only have to buy lightbulds every twenty years and the companies would all go out of business.
Originally posted by TheBandit795
Everyone hasa right to dream Byrd... Anyway, another thing: Why is it that everytime the media covers some strange and/or extraordinary, the "skeptics" practically always get the last word? Even if what they say is hogwash?