National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France A. Córdova has a six-year contract which does not expire until 2020. The Trump Administration is keeping her on, for now. But it seems that to keep her job, she had to promise to do her job differently. On February 22, Congressman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, wrote:
NSF Director France Cordova has publicly committed NSF to accountability and transparency and restoring its original mission to support science in the national interest. These policies were made permanent and expanded by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA), which was enacted in January
It seems to me that this commitment would also cover not maintaining a fraudulent discovery as legitimate science before the nation. Yet, Córdova is doing precisely that. Just yesterday, she wrote:
It’s been a little over a year since the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that the project it had funded for more than 40 years, LIGO, had detected gravitational waves resulting from two merging black holes 1.3 billion lightyears away.
This is a pointed statement reaffirming the fraudulent discovery. So much for the accountability and transparency promised to the American public.
Additionally, it is an imputing to the Trump Administration a gigantic, decades-long, billion-dollar fraud for which this Administration is completely innocent.
In the same piece, she also writes:
Additionally, we may hear from India on which location they have officially selected, and their plans for a third LIGO interferometer that could get up and running in 2024.
LIGO India, which was moving at lightning speed, has stalled. The reason it has stalled is that the Indian Government is having second thoughts on buying into the premise that LIGO science is correct. This should be brought out in public by both sides (US and India). Instead, Córdova is promoting the cover story that the stalling is due to site selection issues.
The stalling of India LIGO is a very strong public verdict – unintended though it may be – on the LIGO discovery. A scientifically advanced nation is questioning LIGO. For Córdova to put a different spin on it is to purposefully deceive the American public.
Science in national interest? Indeed!
The remainder of this post is rather dreary, but very important. I want to show clearly that site selection is NOT the real issue for Indian LIGO. There have been numerous clear public statements by Indian LIGO leaders and Indian Government officials that the site selection process had been formally and properly concluded. Here are a few such very recent statements:
December 20, 2016
AURANGABAD: The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory-India (Ligo-India) project has gathered pace, with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) recently issuing project directives to the Hingoli district administration.
The DAE has also submitted Rs 38 lakh towards land measurement for the world class project.
According to directives, no construction activity is preferred within a 5-km periphery of the identified site in Aundha-Nagnath taluka. Besides, different restrictions have been set in place on mining and highway passages, railway lines and flights among other activities.
“The DAE gave us a set of measures to ensure noise pollution remains within permissible limits at the project site. Accordingly, a range of compliances were already found fulfilled,” Tadvi said.
The authorities said the project site is located at a certain distance from the Yeldari irrigation project and will be in the vicinity of Siddheshwar, Anjanwada, Nandgaon, Chawadi and Dudhala villages.
Tadvi said that land measurement would be completed soon, following which the process of acquisition will be initiated. “We do not foresee any problems in acquiring the land as a major portion of it belongs to the government,” he said.
He said that the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 will be invoked while taking possession of private land to ensure best possible compensation for landowners.
The authorities said that the rural belt of Aundha-Nagnath taluka in Hingoli district has been selected for the project as it is relatively less vulnerable to seismic activity and man-made noise pollution.
January 18 , 2017
“We’ve just acquired land for the project in a place we can’t disclose right now. But to build the project – which will be one of the most sensitive detectors in the world – we’ll need people not just skilled in theoretical physics, but geology, material science and engineering,” said Ray Chaudhury, who was chairing the session.
February 8, 2017
The Indian government has selected a site in Maharashtra state, but construction has yet to begin, says LIGO-India spokesman Tarun Souradeep, a cosmologist at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune.
In sum, NSF Director France Córdova has made a new covenant with the Congress of the United States to be accountable and transparent. But NSF continues right along in its dishonest and deceitful ways with regard to LIGO. It is bringing those corrupt practices right into the Trump Administration.
This is one swamp that needs to be drained!