Re: the April 13 letter "Taxpayer money goes into black hole."

I’m a retired scientist and agree with the gist of the writers comments about the Black Hole project. My concern however is directed more at BIG SCIENCE, which this project represents.

It has been reported that 5 petabytes of data were collected from 8 observatories, that was examined and processed by 200 scientists over a period of 2 years, to produce an image that a consensus proclaimed ‘best’ fits a computed, model prediction. The cost was $50-60 million, probably an underestimate.

So, does this image represent actual reality or our ‘imagination’ of it? What were/are the arguments against the legitimacy of this interpretation (the issue of falsifiability)? Will it ever be replicated, and at what cost? Apart from this it has provided good jobs and lots of fun to a lot of smart people, but is it Science?

Geoffrey Fox

East side

Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.

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