Proof of the old adage: "If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't" The news that neutrinos were detected rocked the world; if it were true, one of the fundamental principles of the theory of Relativity would have been undermined. Criticism of the findings were immediate, but were quickly embraced by the "alternative science" community. Repetitions of the experiment failed to reproduce the results, suggesting systematic error on the part of the OPERA team. In retrospect, it is clear that the team leader, Antonio Ereditato, rushed to publication against the better judgement of others on his team. This is not so much a reflection on Ereditato as it is on the dangers of internet driven publication; in the past, scientists had the leisure to review their work before submitting it to their peers. It could take years before a paper eventually found its way into a journal, and months after that before the findings were picked up by the popular media. Now, faced with the dictum "publish or perish," scientists are forced to release their results as quickly as possible, if only to "scoop" other researchers in the field. This has resulted in spurious "discoveries," such as superluminal neutrinos and arsenic breathing microbes. It is regrettable that the story has taken the course it has; Ereditato was no doubt a sincere and dedicated scientist. This should serve as a warning both to the scientific community to thoroughly check one's work, and to the general population to thoroughly evaluate the latest scientific results before accepting them as "fact."
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