Fusion review board

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Richard Hull
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Fusion review board

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:43 pm

Classically, I have been the arbitor of who is admitted to the Neutron club within unstated rules for 12 years. Recently, clearly codified rules and expectations have be placed in a FAQ within this forum, forcing me and the applicant to conform to such rules. I am a bit weary of having to be the "heavy" speaking from Mount Olympus on refused admissions. I feel that I am still capable of initial judgement, however.

Recently a claim was made for "an oakleaf cluster". In military parlance, an oakleak cluster is an additional award to a medal already earned and attached to the medal owner's already extant ribbon signifying a double award. In this case it was a submission for the distinction of "Smallest fusing fusor" award. (Oakleaf cluster on his previously awarded Neutron club membership.) I refused on the basis of the weakness of the reported data and images. Other fellow fusioneers might not have been so quick to judgement. (Though none took up a fight on the applicant's behalf, championing his cause.)

In an effort to be fair and just, I have added, at the end of the FAQ related to neutron club requirements, a possible examination by a "fusioneer review board" in instances where an applicant might question a "refused admission" judgement on my part and demand a board of review on his claim and data of proof of performance.

It is hoped that such a board be made of of at least 5 long time fusioneers who still contribute to the forums. Such an election might best take place here in open forum or at HEAS as Paul will be there, or is scheduled to be. We often have an afternoon conclave concerning fusor. net at HEAS to discuss what is happening here and to put forward suggestions, corrections, new rules, etc.

It is my feeling that the board may be called to convene for three reasons.

1. An applicant lodges a complaint against a first pass judgement, feeling he has issues with same.
2. A review board member lodges a complaint concerning a judgement whether it be either in favor of admission or refusal of admission.
3. Several non-board subscribers feel a judgement has been issued in error or with prejudice.

In all cases, any such ruling as may come down from the board will be final. Thus far there have been no issues related to this, but a path to impartial judgement is hoped to be established.

As the neutron club is the greatest achievement here by any individual, its prestige is to be jealously guarded as well as the respect and honor won via the hard work and sacrifice of its members.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Tom McCarthy
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Re: Fusion review board

Post by Tom McCarthy » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:40 pm

Maybe it'd be possible for say the five admins/mods to propose themselves (if they'd like to volunteer) and say then 5-10 non-admins or mods would be proposed by yourself Richard or Carl etc. such as Chris Bradley, Rich Feldman to mention two.

After the initial group of possible members was chosen could there then be a vote on it by non-veteran and admins?

Just a runaway thought, but I think it'd help make the board a group that wasn't seen as a sort of dictatorship, but fairly chosen.

Tom

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Richard Hull
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Re: Fusion review board

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:52 pm

Nice try Tom, but non-fusioneers have never made the journey, regardless of how well read or their continuous and well informed posting over the years. Only those who have had to do the work of fusion, fine tune instrumentation and who understand all minutia within the process could make critical, informed decisions on any evidence submitted by a claimant and, by the same reasoning, be able to quiz or ask important related questions for clarification.

No, only fusioneers in the neutron club who have been around for a while need apply for review board membership. Stalwart and sturdy men, all.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Tom McCarthy
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Re: Fusion review board

Post by Tom McCarthy » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:59 pm

Sorry, I didn't state my thoughts correctly...

I meant that a number of guys/gals who've walked th' walk and can talk th' talk ;) should be proposed as members.

After this, people who are not members of the neutron club could cast a vote on who they would like to see part of the review board from the proposed members i.e. Chris Bradley or Rich Feldman as an example - No offense anyone, they're just two who came to mind.

Does this make sense?

Tom

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Carl Willis
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Re: Fusion review board

Post by Carl Willis » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:03 am

The "Neutron Club" has historically been Richard's own creation to administer himself, which he's done transparently and equitably. I recall only one situation where I fundamentally disagreed with his decision to admit someone to the Club, but that was early in its existence when its definition was still tenuous.

The bottom line is that transparency and objectivity in the criteria are more important than WHO is making the decision. A non-fusing newbie with a well-developed understanding of counting statistics, significance tests, and the prevailing burden of proof for our historic Neutron Club admissions should, in principle, have a very good idea of whether a particular submission belongs there or not. On the other hand, only years of experience can enable someone to sniff out the subtle odor of deliberate fraud, and only people with a reliable scientific background should be trusted with equitably setting the evidentiary bar for extraordinary claims. Luckily, we haven't had to deal with much in either of those departments.

Here's my alternative proposal for democratizing and systematizing entry to the Neutron Club:

-Nomination by someone other than the "applicant," which must reference the applicant's post satisfying all the criteria for admission.
-Second the nomination by someone already in the club
-Discussion and debate, if any, by the whole community
-Accession to the club automatically one day following the second, UNLESS any other member of the club has an objection, in which case discussion continues.
-An objection can be overruled by any third member of the club, after which accession to the club follows for the applicant. If no third member of the club overrules the objection, it stands, and the nomination has failed.
-The same individual may be re-nominated and seconded (by different parties) on the basis of an improved record in evidence.

-Carl
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Re: Fusion review board

Post by richnormand » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:59 am

Suggestion.
The scientific community has been somewhat successful with the peer review process.

In submitting the evidence (paper, experiment, whatever) the receiving "editor" (Richard for example here) gets the feedback from (anonymous to the author by in large) referees chosen for their contribution in the particular field (typically two or three for a scientific publication). In case of disagreement a fourth one is called in. Usually a well known person in the field. Here, it could be one or two well experienced fusioners just agreeing via email to Richard or even publicly on the forum that the evidence meets the criteria.

From what I have seen the present process has been open and transparent, but I can relate to Richard's comments.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Fusion review board

Post by Richard Hull » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:01 pm

Thanks for the input guys. After a phone conversation with Carl, the absolute need for a sitting review board has not been shown based on past experience. However, one could be pulled together quickly here if needed. The important issue is that there is a path not only to the neutron club that has been fully spelled out in the FAQ, but a path for checks and balances exists, if needed. This can be put in motion by any claimant or extant member of the Neutron club should the need arise in future where a result at application seems in question.

My main thrust here is to be open and willing to have my own judgement challenged in cases that might arise in future.

Carl is correct, I did create all of the gradations and stratifications in an effort to allow people to be elevated to various peer groups throughout their fusion experience here and to serve as a record of genuine achievement based on deed and not bluster. Each group represents a different level of experience and learning while untaking the effort to achieve personally directed, hands-on fusion.

I probably have made more of this than needed, but I hope all the newbies and others striving to do fusion realize that we will be fair yet demanding in the admission to the neutron club and that there is a path for grievances related to its entry.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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