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Oct 6, 2011

Nobel Prize winner defied ‘science is settled’ argument.

Cartoon: By Pickering.

A frequent theme these days from the global warming climate change frantics, is that the science has been settled and a consensus has been reached, so STFU. Daniel Shechtman, the discoverer of quasicrystals, for which he has been awarded the Nobel Prize, was told something similar by his peers and endured years of ridicule for his efforts.

Shechtman is probably fortunate that he didn’t do this a few hundred years ago when the scientific consensus was that the earth was flat and the universe revolved around it. Back then, challenging the consensus was considered Heresy and would get you imprisoned or executed in the most indescribably horrible manner, usually both. Back then though religion dominated science in much the same way as the warming faith does today.

So much for scientific consensus, perhaps this guy should have listened to his peers and given up the way GW sceptics are supposed to do:

An Israeli scientist says he endured years of ridicule for the discovery which has now won him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Thirty years ago Daniel Shechtman discovered quasicrystals - a new form of crystal that had a structure many scientists said at the time was impossible.

For years his peers rejected and ridiculed the findings, with the head of his laboratory handing him a textbook in crystallography and suggesting he read it.

At one point Professor Shechtman was even branded a disgrace and asked to leave his research group at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology.

But since then the Professor's quasicrystals have helped change the way chemists conceive of solid matter. …

His discovery was "extremely controversial," the Nobel committee said, noting that the atoms were "arranged in a manner that was contrary to the laws of nature."
Perhaps the statement, "arranged in a manner that was contrary to the laws of nature," should have been, "laws of nature as they were understood at the time."

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