What to do with a totally unclassifiable enigma?

  • Thread starter acott
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  • #1
acott
Hello,

I am French, engineer in banking IT and I do not speak English very well.

I would have a query for researchers and administrative woldwide search :

(This is not for students, if there is a more suitable forum, please say so, I do not know science forums in the US).

Suppose a person from the public without any degree or interest in science, accidentally notices an anomaly or riddle (enigma) evaluated by 100% of the researchers who examined it (physicists, even if there is only one third of physics) : "of great scientific interest". This because it includes an "unpublished" ; the first resolution "possible" (exact or not) of a very old paradox in physics.

And suppose that person can not publish himself because it would be additions of researchers that would have made a real enigma.

And suppose this enigma is, according to the researchers; "totally new, unexpected and unclassifiable" such that there is no longer any researcher close to the subject for a hundred years. The nearest domain being obsolete. The enigma is no longer part of any current field of research.So it is very difficult to find a researcher who can deal with it, and with a suitable "research framework".

In the organization of research, what has been planned in such case (general) ?

Note that a type response ; "It depends" would not make sense, it should not depend on anything other than 100% of researchers who examine it, evaluate that it is of great scientific interest.

In France, however, such a case is supposed to be too improbable, so not planned. And falls into an administrative flaw (the research being public).

Thanks
 

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  • #2
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It will become forgotten, since there is no way I knew of that it would be appropriately reviewed and published.
  • If the researcher isn't known to some community, nobody will spent valuable time to read it.
  • Scientists receive such papers by dozens a year - too many to be seriously considered. Even we get those in abundance despite that we do not allow it.
  • The objective chances that one gem is among those dozens is practically zero.
  • If the enigma has been forgotten in the sense that it cannot be classified by its subject, then it is probably not of interest at all.
  • In former times, people had to write letters to communicate with colleagues, and they often posed them question which there was no answer to or only known by themselves. Pierre de Fermat was a master in this habit. This didn't make the problem valuable in a rational sense.
  • It is easy nowadays to publish results. The question is, whether relevant people will read it. There are hundreds of new papers in every single area of science each year published in the standard journals, which are already impossible to read them all. How can we expect that people read papers of unknown origin?
  • If the author isn't connected to adequate research groups, then chances are, that he isn't equipped with the necessary knowledge either. This results in the hypothesis that he will be wrong. Perhaps this is not the ideal case, however, given all of the above, explainable.
 
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  • #3
russ_watters
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@fresh_42's response was great, but I have a side comment on this:
And suppose this enigma is, according to the researchers; "totally new, unexpected and unclassifiable" such that there is no longer any researcher close to the subject for a hundred years. The nearest domain being obsolete. The enigma is no longer part of any current field of research.
That really doesn't make any sense. How can something be new and obsolete at the same time?

Regardles, humans did not write the laws of the universe and we can't declare them "obsolete". Human-created theories or concepts can become obsolete, but only when superceded by a new more useful/accurate one, with the useful parts incorporated. And that also means they do not in fact stop researching the discarded concept, but rather every confirmation of the new formulation is further evidence that it was correct to discard that concept.

A possibly on-the-nose concept that was discarded 100 years ago is the aether. Nobody is specifically looking for it or looking to disprove it right now, but that doesn't mean they aren't still constantly piling more dirt on its grave.
 
  • #4
acott
It will become forgotten, since there is no way I knew of that it would be appropriately reviewed and published.
  • Scientists receive such papers by dozens a year - too many to be seriously considered. Even we get those in abundance despite that we do not allow it.
  • The objective chances that one gem is among those dozens is practically zero.
  • If the enigma has been forgotten in the sense that it cannot be classified by its subject, then it is probably not of interest at all.
The gem is sure, certain, it is there. As I said, it is no longer at this stage.

I have no opinion on it since the beginning, and I do not care ; it's not a theory or a personal idea, it's just an obvious anomaly that I saw by chance. I only report the researchers' opinions and follow their advices.

The difficulty is the unclassifiable side. And it was confirmed at the administrative level because two young researchers (in France) wanted to work on it, and they gave up because too difficult to find or create a "research framework" adapted, because of the unclassifiable side.

An experienced researcher in physics at a large Paris faculty, and a prominent representative of research ethics, was indignant at this situation. And even if he works on quite distant subjects, he is ready to make a report to send to the administrative ones (which remain to be found).

In fact, you assume that the organization of research is flawless, and that as soon as the scientific interest is real, the research is automatically concerned. And you deduce that if the research does not take care of it, it's automatically that there is not a real interest, or that the researchers were polite and lied about the real interest.

But what I am saying is that the scientific interest of such an anomaly can be extremely high, if it does not correspond to any current field (thus no researcher close to the subject), the research is dysfunctional (in France at least). A real flaw.

The researchers themselves find this situation aberrant. They see several causes; specialization and related career constraints, publishing too. And they send back to the administration with their support.

In practice (in France) as soon as a researcher is a little experienced, he no longer has interest in leaving his specialty, even less for a subject that does not correspond to any current field.
That really doesn't make any sense. How can something be new and obsolete at the same time?
What is obsolete is the "closest" domain. It is the researchers who have often cited it. Except that compared to this "closer", this enigma is not the direct continuity and appears as completely new and unexpected. And it goes far beyond the limits of this obsolete domain.
 
  • #5
russ_watters
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This is so vague, I don't see how anything useful can come of this discussion. Thread locked.
 

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