JOHN MATHER IS FARMING OUT BLAME

Folks, a couple of things.

I have come upon a new video lecture by John Mather:

John Mather Maniac Lecture, 20 November 2013

It was made just before this Thanksgiving, and was drawn attention to in the JWST web site. It is just his standard talk with his standard bloviation. However, this time there is a message being broadcast to the public. Mather has begun to publicly farm out blame to various people under the guise of praising them. In effect, he is saying that he himself had nothing to do with deriving the fraud results I am accusing him of. Others obtained those results for him.

This is of course a standard ploy for many science frauds when they get caught (“I was unaware…”).

If you don’t want to watch the hour-long video, look at 39-41 minutes. Here he shows his Nobel-winning discovery of the cosmic blackbody curve. About the intial curve that he had presented in 1990 he says (as nearly as I can reproduce):

I see Rich Isaacman is here also. He was the software team lead that helped us to figure this out right away.

So, Mather is saying that it was this Isaacman person that was responsible for deriving for him the picture-perfect blackbody curve that Mather trustingly accepted and presented to the American Astronomical Society meeting in 1990, and received the telltale “standing ovation”.

About his final report of a blackbody curve with the phenomenal 50 ppm accuracy, he says:

I see Dale Fixsen here in the audience – he was the person who went from what was a likely blackbody to a blackbody within 50 parts per million. So, a special thanks to Dale for his ability to do that.

Now Fixsen and Isaacman may be tickled pink to be given this public crdit, but in reality Mather is hanging them out to dry. They are the true culprits. Mather himself had nothing to do with falsifying of the COBE results! He is just a trusting soul.

While Mather has given credit to associates before, it is the particular language this time that is important. He is “giving credit”. He is saying categorically : They did it.

I don’t see how this stratagem is going to help Mather. We can find any number of instances where he assumed full personal responsibility for the discovery. Remember when he told HuffPo that he measured the blackbody “really really really well”?

The other thing I noticed is that NASA has completely gutted Mather’s much vaunted official Government home page. This is the page that many Internet sites about Mather link to as his cv/bio (including his faculty web page at University of Maryland, and the JWST site.) This is the page that contained his 50 ppm discovery, Nobel Prize etc. The extensive biographical and cv material has all been removed, leaving essentially “business card” type information. While many Goddard scientists habitually have such minimalist home pages, this is not what Mather’s site used to be. Also, he has gone from being a Senior Project Scientist for JWST (in the old site) to a Project Scientist for JWST.

Here is his new homepage on 9 December 2013.

Here is his long-standing old homepage on 4 December 2013.

The current NASA home page is here.

There remains no public cv page for Space Superhero John Cromwell Mather (except for what there is on Wikipedia). He has been reduced to a business card.

In the above video, Mather also announced that he is selling copies of his book himself from out of his office, $10 a pop. Imagine that. Nobel Laureate sets up shop to sell merchandise within a US Govt facility!

The game’s afoot?!

AN UPDATE 03/04/2014: DEFLECTING BLAME CONTINUES

In his 2014 Regents’ Lecture at UC Berkeley, John “50 ppm” Mather again repeated this new message – that he is not responsible for the precision blackbody. Watch this video from 35 min. He says:

and eventually my colleagues at NASA decided to shrink the cerror bars down to 50 parts per million…

[Click to enlarge]
Christopher Scolese NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Director, John Mather NASA, John Mather Nobel Prize, John Mather Nobel Laureate, Dale Fixsen NASA, Rich Isaacman NASA, Big Bang Cosmology Blackbody Spectrum, Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, UC Berkeley Regents Lecture

Christopher Scolese NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Director, John Mather NASA, John Mather Nobel Prize, John Mather Nobel Laureate, Dale Fixsen NASA, Rich Isaacman NASA, Big Bang Cosmology Blackbody Spectrum, Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, UC Berkeley Regents Lecture

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