Wise words from David Appell. But this is the blogosphere, so that isn’t going to happen. And Hal Lewis would be disappointed if we did; after all, he is trying to make a splash with his nonsense. As DA puts it So someone named Hal Lewis has resigned from the American Physical Society in a snit over their position on climate change, and this is supposedly “fracturing” the scientific community. Who is Hal Lewis? I’ve been studying physics for 30 years, and I’ve never heard of him. In the unlikely event that you want to read what HL has to say, the usual idiots have it all laid out.
And so the game is: who is Hal Lewis? Almost as amusing as Who is William A. Sprigg, Ph.D.? who was the last mold-breaking Absolutely Key Scientific Figure dredged up by the septics. Anyway, that one is long forgotten, so we need to find HL. He doesn’t have a wikipedia entry as I write this: HL redirects to [[Hal Lewis (Aku)]] (ha, I spoke too soon. [[Harold Lewis]] now exists. And is rubbish. Sigh).
He has written a book: Technological risk (1992): Risks seem to abound in our everyday lives, especially the risks flowing from the explosion of our modern technology, with its pesticides, pollution, nuclear power, microwave radiation and chemical trace elements in food of all kinds. Two questions face all of us: how real are these risks and, if real, how do we manage our lives in order to avoid personal damage from them? The book examines these questions, delving into the nature and true seriousness of risk (as opposed to how bad the risk seems to be), into how we measure risk and how we regulate it. Lewis includes the latest scientific information on carcinogens and the greenhouse effect (my bold). W00t. That sounds nicely relevant. Why Flip a Coin is less so. Anyway, I’ve ordered a copy of the Risk book, so we can have fun with that.
So, where are the papers? You can’t have a scientific career without papers. There are some early ones – The Multiple Production of Mesons from 1948 with Oppenheimer, no less. Or Multiple Scattering in an Infinite Medium, 1950 – worthy maths-ish thing, I’d guess. But past the late-50′s early 60′s it suddenly gets very thin indeed. I’d guess, without knowing more, that he gave up science and moved into admin.
Eli is good at this stuff. Perhaps he’ll chime in. Which reminds me: Lewis was spotted earlier. But back then he was just one sig of several, and no-one cared that they didn’t know who he was.