Releasing LHC Data

I saw a story on Cosmic Variance that I found vaguely shocking. At the SUSY06 conference, there was a rancorous discussion about whether the data from the Large Hadron Collider should be made public. This is probably my ignorance about how high-energy physics works, but I have trouble believing that the answer is anything other than “of course” (perhaps after an embargo period to reward the people actually working on the detector). Some good news that comes out of the comment thread is that in astronomy such public data is readily available.

2 thoughts on “Releasing LHC Data

  1. The philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend once compared the contemporary assessment of theories in nuclear physics through the evidence of experiments to the interpretation by priests of vague statements issued by the Oracle at Delphi, with theoretical physicists playing an analogous role to the Greek high priests. If just anybody could get their hands on the data from experiments, then the privileged role of the high priests could be be much devalued.

  2. If I hadn’t seen the story, I would have just thought, “Oh, that wacky Feyerabend. He’s just trying to stir up trouble.” Now, I wonder if he isn’t totally right.

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