Fraud and Funding in Physics and Cosmology

Dear readers of my blog, I hope most of you would commiserate with my enduring a lot*** of intellectual bullying from the guardians of science and yet I’ve continued to do my hobbyist best to wake up the physics and cosmology communities. What are my options other than letters, postcards, email, blogs, tweets, DMs, Discords, comments, forums, and phone calls? That’s about it. Chalking? Hold that thought.

***From the overall spectrum and scale of suffering, I haven’t endured “a lot” at all. I understand that, and hope my efforts in imagining nature lead to minimizing true suffering of all individuals in the long run. My trials and tribulations are minor in comparison, but parochially, my journey to enlighten the physics and cosmology communities has been quite distressing in my lived experience! I’m allowed to whinge about my personal dealings with the guardians of the physics patriarchy, aren’t I? Well, I’m going to do so because I am quite incensed by their intransigence, intellectual dishonesty, and fraud.

How would you contact an academic to inform them they are living in a dream world castle in the air and you can help them back to terra firma, reality, and nature? It is no wonder that the deluded are rather put off or do not respond. They think I am nutz! This topsy-turvy world, eh? This syndrome is a direct repercussion of false priors.

The scabs that form around septic false priors are almost impenetrable to treatment. Note to those who will excise and heal the scientific method — scientists should not be righteous during a crisis in their field.

J Mark Morris

We are where we are. Brass tacks, tough love, let’s start gathering information on the major sources of funding for physics and cosmology and begin contemplating identifying those who are funding nonsense research, or those who are receiving funding for nonsense research, which is a total tragedy for all involved, I get it. Everyone would be better off to cancel that funding and redirect it on something that actually makes sense.

The National Science Foundation


“With an annual budget of about $11.3 billion for fiscal year 2024 (up from $8.3 billion in fiscal year 2020), the NSF funds approximately 25% of all federally supported basic research conducted by the United States’ colleges and universities.”

Wait, wut?! The NSF is a whale.
GR/QM/LCDM are barnacles.
Oh, got it.

You can get a feel for government funding of CERN here. You can find information about the Department of Energy grants here. A higher level view from Wikipedia is here.

The NSF website makes it easy to find thousands of nonsense research grants. Go to advanced search. Enter in a term for a nonsense area of physics and cosmology. Voila. Here is an example, edited for brevity, with a search for “big bang”. This is a $600K grant to a highly respected physicist, who despite searching for cracks in LCDM, is quite unaware they are observing from a leaning tower of false priors. I’ll highlight the terms in the abstract that are corrupted by false priors.

Award Number: 2108126
Title: The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: searching for cracks in the Lambda Cold Dark Matter model
NSF Org: AST Division Of Astronomical Sciences
Start Date: August 01, 2021
End Date: July 31, 2024
Awarded Amount to Date: $596,466
Organization: Princeton University

Abstract: The Planck satellite was a mission that mapped the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the echo from the Big Bang, in unprecedented detail between 2009 and 2014. Now, with new data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope in Chile, this project will be able to improve upon the measurements of anisotropies in the CMB. This will allow the team to improve upon cosmological models by determining better estimates for the amount of clustering of galaxies in the universe. 

This project will demonstrate whether the Lambda-Cold-Dark-Matter (LCDM) model sufficiently describes the new CMB data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope. The new measurements of the polarization power spectrum will reveal whether any significant tensions exist within early-universe data for the LCDM model. By applying techniques from CMB power spectrum analysis the project will demonstrate how well the cosmological model fits a later-universe probe: clusters detected via the Sunyaev Zel'dovich effect, with masses estimated by cross-correlating with gravitational lensing from the Dark Energy Survey. 

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria."

Is it fraud to receive government funding for research of nonsense? How does intent factor into this equation? I presume that the researchers have no clue of the extent to which they are researching in an ill-conceived dream world. Does that make them less accountable? How will this play out as the point charge universe emerges as the solution to the 150 year tragedy of physics and cosmology? Think about that. What would you do as a researcher the moment you realize the grant(s) you are receiving are formulated on the basis of nonsense false priors? Do you call up the NSF and say, “Umm, yeah, could you stop sending me those monthly checks?” The moment the scientists realize they are in this vulnerable position is when fraud becomes a factor. The receiving entities, such as universities and research institutions, will need to sort this out quickly. I can already imagine the lawsuits piling up once the public realizes the amount of waste that has occurred and that we are now in fraud territory.

Arghh, it sometimes gets to me a bit that these scientists are going to have an opportunity to cash in on the point charge technology era. On one hand it doesn’t seem fair that those who were lost all of a sudden get a huge windfall. On the other hand, it’s really not their fault they are lemmings piled into a leaning tower of false priors. Obviously I have mixed up thoughts on this, probably jaded by my experiences with the intellectual brutality of the guardians of physics. I think everyone will have plenty of opportunity after the anguish. That’s a good thing.

In reality, my rational self assumes that most of these scientists are decent people, trying to live their best lives, and who are toiling to figure out nature in a hopelessly not even wrong paradigm. I continue to advocate that as a professional field, physicists should show leadership around the entire surface of the crisis and think deeply about what the crisis signals and how to behave as a result. If they had such an attitude and bi-directional outreach, we could have been on to the next era by year end 2018. What does that matter really given we are already 125 years behind schedule? I don’t know, I suppose I could croak and no one else would catch on for decades or centuries?

J Mark Morris : Boston : Massachusetts

p.s. I find it amusing to imagine the upcoming intellectual skirmish between physicists, cosmologists, astronomers, geometers, and philosophers as shown in this iconic video. I’m hoping the chemists will stay above the fray and lay to claim to the entire territory of particle physics.

2023 Update : I made a formal complaint to NSF. No action.