Posts Tagged ‘Tim Gowers’

Is there a difference between a scientific blog and scientific journal?

Friday, January 14th, 2011

In my blogroll, I link to Tim Gowers’ blog. He is a very eminent mathematician, and so it is interesting to see what motivates him to write a blog about mathematics. This latest post goes a large way to explaining why. He starts by speculating about the features of some piece of research that might render it conventionally unpublishable, highlighting two reasons; (1) it is not original and (2) it does not lead anywhere conclusive. He then goes on to show how either outcome might nevertheless be useful to someone, even if unpublishable conventionally. The rest of his post then concentrates on the cap-set problem in pure mathematics. It boils down to the observation that the community as a whole might often spot something that individual might have a blind spot for. Or, that others may in turn be inspired by lines of research which had apparently led nowhere for the original poster. Tim of course is favoured by having often 80+ comments appended to each of his posts!