Does this treatment sound familiar?

Yeah, consensus science never fails.

The shy, 70-year-old Shechtman said he never doubted his findings and considered himself merely the latest in a long line of scientists who advanced their fields by challenging the conventional wisdom and were shunned by the establishment because of it.

“I was thrown out of my research group. They said I brought shame on them with what I was saying,” he recalled. “I never took it personally. I knew I was right and they were wrong.”

Full story here at Yahoo News.

Congratulations for winning the Nobel Prize, and for having the courage and stamina to stick it out Dr. Shechtman. I hope you will be an inspiration to many others to not let the intimidation of closed minded peers wear you down. Science self-corrects, sometimes taking years to do so and we are witnessing the self correction of climate science consensus slowly take place before our own eyes.

Thanks to Mary Friederichs who submitted the story via our web interface.

======================

UPDATE: R. Gates provides this video in comments:

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Scarface

Svensmark anyone?

It is worth reading the full story linked to on Yahoo.

jorgekafkazar

We need another prize for such cases, the Vavilov Prize.

Steeptown

“Dr Shechtman had to fight a fierce battle against established science to convince others of what he had first seen in his lab on an April morning in 1982.”
This battle against the consensus sounds familiar.

G. Karst

Dr. Shechtman deserves two Nobels:
One for disregarding a consensus, like a true scientist, and another for his work. As to all the psudo-scientists that conform to consensus, they should be stripped of their letters until they attend a remedial course on the scientific method and principals. Naked men – all of them! GK

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead

Verily, Verity, it is very. I can hear the jeers.

Tom_R

There’s no parallel here at all. Global Warming must be true because there’s a super-duper consensus. Besides, that fact that people like Mann bring in millions in research grants proves his science is the Truth.
/sarc

DirkH

From the Yahoo article: “Only later did some scientists go back to some of their own inexplicable findings and realize they had seen quasicrystals without understanding what were looking at, Jackson said.”
That reminds me of Charles Moore, the inventor of Forth and later chip designer. He loves to tinker with the analog effects you observe in digital circuitry. Usually these reflections are regarded as disturbance and chip designers try to suppress them but Moore invents new stuff with it. He takes what is thrown at him.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Moore

Maryf

Anthony–I’m proud to have sent this story to your website. Dr. Shechtman is a true scientist and I’m happy he has been vindicated. You and your readers/commenters have educated me for more than 2 years –thank you all!!

Geoff Withnell

He should not have been ridiculed, but on the other hand, until his findings could be replicated, neither should his results been accepted. Consensus has its uses. However, it should be based on observations, not models.

Max Hugoson

John Marshall – NP 2005, Medicine – Heliobactor Pylori. Cause of stomach ulcers. Also considered a “radical”.

vboring

Funnily enough, climate scientists still see themselves as the anti-establishment hero working to save a disbelieving society.
I’m pretty sure this is how they justify bending the rules.

DirkH

vboring says:
October 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm
“Funnily enough, climate scientists still see themselves as the anti-establishment hero working to save a disbelieving society.”
They’re not dumb enough to not notice that their school completely dominates all the institutes. Presenting themselves as anti-establishment is only a facade created by their PR agencies. You see in the climategate e-mails that they’re VERY aware of their dominance over the peer-reviewed literature.

RandomReal[]

Another example is Peter Mitchell who proposed the chemisosmotic model for ATP synthesis. To pursue his research, he left academia, renovated a mansion which held a lab, and founded a charitable foundation to fund the research.

It makes me think of my two attempts here to reveil the fact that Switzerland as well as Austria as well as Varoe Radio station at Finnmark (Norway, within polar circle) had stations that have registered record high average temperatures for September. This news is neglected but one day snow in the Alps in September however (yes the same month) was brought as breaking news at front page of this website!
What about this Mr. Anthony Watts? Might we – although of a different order – call this a real (or actually better) parallel?

ShrNfr

Sounds like the chap who insisted that bacteria had a role in stomach ulcers. They excoriated him for a long, long time. They were, of course, wrong. Science is about having open minds and closed mouths. The only time you open your mouth is to announce a verifiable result.

Shameless plug of thirteen lessons from Schechtman’s story, following an article by Haaretz:
“Unchallengeable basic tenets” must be considered as transient in any scientific field
Any scientific field that is considered “closed”, “solid”, “total” is ripe for a revolution that will still be burning decades later
New discoveries are surrounded by suspicion and ridicule, accompanied by outright rationalized dismissals
It doesn’t matter if you can show people your discovery. It doesn’t matter if they can replicate your discovery in their own lab. Many will still refuse to believe it. We have not moved an inch since the times of Galileo and telescope-denier Cesare Cremonini
Many of them will change their mind only if the discovery is demonstrated using their old techniques
Scientists-discoverers don’t keep their techniques secret
Many discoveries are observed for many years, before somebody realizes there is a new discovery to be made of those observations
Scientists-discoverers are worried about losing their job because of their discovery
And rightly so
They are even worried of being unable to find any job because of their discovery
You need at least two Professors to support the article describing the discovery, before it passes so-called “peer” review
The famous, influential, powerful people invited to deliver the keynote addresses at scientific conferences, they are very likely wrong on any new topic
We have no idea how many Schechtman’s will forever remain unknown, because they didn’t have the luck and the guts to persevere the way Shechtman did

John Whitman

Dr Shechtman ,
Congratulations on your Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey with us.
John

John Whitman

“A good scientist is a humble and listening scientist and not one that is sure 100 percent in what he read in the textbooks,” [Nobel Prize in chemistry winner Dan] Shechtman said.
(from an AP article written by Aron Heller)

————–
That is a remarkable quote by Dr Shechtman. For me it will provide an effective cautionary warning against all PNS and consensus based quasi-scientific bureaucracies like the IPCC.
John

klem

These kinds of stories of long awaited vindication are truly inspiring. They make you cheer out loud.

Jeff

Scarface says:
October 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm
Svensmark anyone?
First : Grats to Shechtman! Courage of ones convictions when the world is against you as in this case should be rewarded.
I remember the section in a video where Svensmark was heckled like a bad comic right in the middle of his presentation. And then to have the revered head of the IPCC slam him to boot!
Does anyone remember the Cloud Chamber Experiment with a small radioactive source in High School? Millions saw that experiment and never made the connection. I hope his vindication rises to level of Shechtman.

klem

It also makes you wonder how the folks running the Nobel organization for Sciences can get it so right, but the folks at the Nobel for Peace, hmmm not so much…

Congratulations Dr. Dan Shechtman, not just for your remarkable discovery but for having the balls to fight for what you knew was right.
I wish some of the IPCC climate science brigade would have some of your strength to stand up and be counted. Not just about the science, but the cargo cult methods used to support the conjecture of CAGW. One man of integrity can change the world.

Anybody notice it was the American scientific community that originally rejected him? We’ve got the government so much into research in this country that the bureaucratic mindset is polluting our efforts. Which is how people like James Hansen and Michael Mann can thrive.

Douglas Dc

One of my favorite Sarah Williams poems:
The Old Astronomer to His Pupil
Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet,
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now.
Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet,
And remember men will scorn it, ’tis original and true,
And the obliquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.
But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men’s fellowship and smiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles.
You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant’s fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. .

Gail Combs

jorgekafkazar says:
October 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm
We need another prize for such cases, the Vavilov Prize.
_________________________________________________________________
Agreed.
At least Dr. Shechtman was not murdered.

Gail Combs

Max Hugoson says:
October 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm
“John Marshall – NP 2005, Medicine – Heliobactor Pylori. Cause of stomach ulcers. Also considered a “radical”.”
________________________________________________________
He was the first person I thought of too. At least we still have some true scientists around among all the errrr, I can not think of a polite phrase….

Grant

According to Fox News Linus Pailing mocked him as a “quasi scientist” and that quasicrystals were impossible. Science had settled the matter don’t you know.

Challenging the conventional wisdom is most often, the best way to challenge the conventional wisdom. The other option could be to shoot the conventional wisdom in the face, but that’s not getting you anywhere.

R. Gates

I was fortunate to hear a lecture he gave several years ago. Very inspirational and a fascinating person. Here’s a nice Youtube video on his findings:

Tom Jones

The best is the story about Linus Pauling. Max Planck’s witticism that “science advances one funeral at a time” is wonderfully demonstrated. The great men of science are truly dangerous.
Shechtman, who also teaches at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, said he never wavered even in the face of stiff criticism from double Nobel winner Linus Pauling, who never accepted Shechtman’s findings.
“He would stand on those platforms and declare, ‘Danny Shechtman is talking nonsense. There is no such thing as quasicrystals, only quasi-scientists.'” Shechtman said. “He really was a great scientist, but he was wrong. It’s not the first time he was wrong.”

I heard a great comment by a lunar scientist friend of mine yesterday after saying that he had looked at over two years of radar data from the Moon.
There are things that we know are true about the Moon that are absolutely wrong.
He was one of the early supporters of lots of water on the Moon as well and took years of abuse for it. He has only been vindicated for that in the last couple of years.

Tim Fitzgerald

Alfred Wegener was opposed by a “consensus of scientists” for his theory of continental drift.
Celia Payne-Gaposchkin was opposed by a “consensus of scientists” for proposing that our sun was made up primarily of hydrogen, not iron.
There are many other examples.
Tim

stevo

Yes, yes, sometimes people are right even though everyone thought they were wrong. But just because everyone thinks you’re wrong, it doesn’t mean you’re right. The vast majority of the time, when everyone thinks you’re wrong, it’s because you’re wrong.
REPLY: Well if traffic and public opinion polls on AGW are any indication Stevo, the majority thinks you are your buds at SkS are wrong, and it is now becoming the “vast majority of the time” So when is SkS going to respond to my offer, or is John Cook and Dana1981 simply going to cover their ears and go lalalalalalalal! so they can keep insulting people by calling them deniers? – Anthony

John M

A surprisingly thoughtful commentary on consensus in Nature of all places. Even more surprising, it’s not paywalled.

The very idea that science best expresses its authority through consensus statements is at odds with a vibrant scientific enterprise. Consensus is for textbooks; real science depends for its progress on continual challenges to the current state of always-imperfect knowledge. Science would provide better value to politics if it articulated the broadest set of plausible interpretations, options and perspectives, imagined by the best experts, rather than forcing convergence to an allegedly unified voice.

(Let’s be careful how we embrace this, lest the editor have to resign.)
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111005/full/478007a.html

kramer

Mocked, insulted, ridiculed… You sure this guy isn’t a skeptical climate scientist?

Jeremy

I want an anti-prize bestowed on those who act hostile to individuals such as this in this manner.
I say if you managed to win a nobel prize in a science for discovering something new, those who ostracized you should be stripped of any scientific awards they’ve received.
This closed-minded behavior has to be discouraged somehow.

Steve E

@vboring says:
October 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm
“Funnily enough, climate scientists still see themselves as the anti-establishment hero working to save a disbelieving society.
I’m pretty sure this is how they justify bending the rules.”
You’ve nailed it! They see themselves as Schechtmen. They don’t see themselves as the close-minded consensus, though that clearly is what they are.

Richard

I had posted this earlier: (A Prophet without honour?)
“This year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to an Israeli scientist who “fought a fierce battle against established science” .. the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Wednesday.”
“fought a fierce battle against established science” .. hmmm… seems to be a not uncommon thing in science.
Like established science said stress causes ulcers and not bacteria.
Turned out that ulcers cause stress and not the other way round and that ulcers were caused by something entirely different – the h pylori bacteria.
Sound similar to the anthropogenic CO2 story?

Durr

“(Let’s be careful how we embrace this, lest the editor have to resign.)”
The author still implies the IPCC’s main selling point is correct though.

Steve E

Tom Jones says:
October 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm
“He [Pauling] would stand on those platforms and declare, ‘Danny Shechtman is talking nonsense. There is no such thing as quasicrystals, only quasi-scientists.’” Shechtman said. “He [Pauling] really was a great scientist, but he [Pauling} was wrong. It’s not the first time he [Pauling} was wrong.”
…like his [Pauling’s] entire new age belief in vitamin C and its so-called incredible powers…
Excuse me while I take my ginko-bilbao, fish oil, condroitin, echinachea, wheat grass, fruit juice, asa, cocktail… 😉

Andrew Harding

Maryf says:
October 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm
Anthony–I’m proud to have sent this story to your website. Dr. Shechtman is a true scientist and I’m happy he has been vindicated. You and your readers/commenters have educated me for more than 2 years –thank you all
Mary, thank you for bringing this story to WUWT. I found it fascinating and at the same time inspiring that someone could stick to what they believe in, despite criticism from their peers.
I wish the same could be said for the advocates of AGW, who should also be educated by WUWT.
Unfortunately education rarely affects bigotry.

jaymam

The names of the people who gave Dr. Shechtman a hard time and ridiculed him, should be published as a lesson for others who are wrong.

Douglas DC

Yes, this happened to my wife and I took her Pop to a Gastro-enterologist , Who called the
Heilobactor idea “Hokum” he got insulted when we wanted a referral to a Doctor who thought
Marshall was on the right track. We actually were banned from the clinic Dr. Klown was in…
All because my wife said “I have read about…”
Gail Combs says:
October 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm
Max Hugoson says:
October 5, 2011 at 2:55 p
“John Marshall – NP 2005, Medicine – Heliobactor Pylori. Cause of stomach ulcers. Also considered a “radical”.”

Good interview with Shechtman on NPR
http://www.npr.org/2011/10/05/141087726/nobel-winning-chemist-fought-hard-for-acceptance
The Pauling connection is especially important. Nasty old Pauling also blocked the biochemistry research of Art Robinson, who had to take his work on aging and metabolism “private”. Robinson later became one of the pioneers on the factual side of climate research.

Doug Badgero

The lesson from this is that neither “Everyone thinks you’re wrong, so you’re wrong.” nor “Everyone thinks your right, so you’re right.” are logical arguments.

yoyu hate me, bc I may be smarter

Same thought, and this is the reason why:
http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/92prom.html

yoyu hate me, bc I may be smarter

Oh, and give a shout out to Iowa Sate, where he also works.

J. Harland Bretz was another one who suffered from ridicule.It took around 2-4 decades for the main geology field to catch up with him.While he did not explain the source of the waters much.His explanations on the effects of the water actions on the land was very good.
From History Link.org
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=8382

Frank K.

As a graduate of Iowa State University (Mechanical Engineering), I am very proud of Dr. Shechtman and my old alma mater. Well done!