Talk:Eric Lerner

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Notice: Elerner is banned from editing this article.
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Posted by Thatcher131 03:01, 3 December 2006 (UTC) for the Arbitration committee. See Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience.

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External links modified[edit]

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Chief scientist[edit]

Regarding this revert: diff, the statement:

  • ...chief scientist of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc.[1][2]

References

is cited to two primary sources. That's why I used "self-described" to the front of "chief scientist". Who appointed Lerner to be the chief scientist? Are there 3rd party reliable sources that describe him as a scientist? K.e.coffman (talk) 02:22, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for taking this to the talk page. (I wish more editors were doing that here, hint, hint.) The way I see it, it's just the place where he has set himself up (nothing like, for example, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory). So it's not like an important honor. And the title does not otherwise make him a "scientist", so what needs sourcing is simply that it is his title. For WP:Academic pages, we generally accept primary sources associated with the subject for simple biographical facts, but not for subjective evaluations of significance. So I do not think "self-described" belongs there. --Tryptofish (talk) 02:30, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
@Tryptofish, I agree with you that this is the correct place for this discussion. What I have seen increasingly happening over at the WP:Fringe theories/Noticeboard is that editors are using the page as a "call to arms" - a sort of "Hey guys, I have seen this article which looks a bit fringy/pseudoscience. Can we have more eyes on it". This leads to discussion about the article at the noticeboard, rather than the relevant Talk page. Just my observation. DrChrissy (talk) 17:04, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Can we discus the article?Slatersteven (talk) 17:12, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Slatersteven, sometimes issues arise in a thread which are slightly off-topic. Within reason, it is acceptable to discuss these, usually indicated as being slightly off-topic by being in small-face type. This is exactly what I did. Apparently chiding editors for not sticking exactly to what you would like the discussion to be will not win you friends. DrChrissy (talk) 22:04, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, DrChrissy, for the comment. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:03, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Would it then be simpler to say "founder and president of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics"? This would leave out the self-designation. K.e.coffman (talk) 02:34, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Personally, I don't care one way or the other about that, although if he self-describes that way, it may make better sense to leave it in. Depends on what other editors, who seem to care a lot about the word "scientist" here, think. --Tryptofish (talk) 02:42, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Seems to me that if we indicate he is president and founder of the company where he is also "Chief Scientist", most readers will be able to tell that this is his designation rather than some sort of appointment. I think "self-described" doesn't quite capture what happened since titled positions in his company, presumably, are subject to formal declaration either for regulatory or tax purposes. jps (talk) 12:38, 8 February 2017 (UTC)


How is the space show a primary source, is it his show?Slatersteven (talk) 13:22, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Well, it is a primary source in the sense that it is an interview and they interviewers are not attempting any factchecking or analysis, as far as I can tell. jps (talk) 15:17, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
So it is in fact a secondary source, and it is not an interview it is a biography. The interview is a separate article on their site.Slatersteven (talk) 16:06, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
We don't know that they didn't do any fact checking. If the space show is an otherwise reliable source (and that is up for debate from where I sit, unless there's an existing consensus about it), then they made this claim secondary by making it in their own words, rather than including it as part of a quotation from him. That being said, I don't doubt they asked him what his title was before writing this. But a secondary source is one who takes info from primary sources and analyses it, which seems to be the case here. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:20, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
I didn't mean to imply that his title of "Chief Scientist" actually needs any fact checking. However, the actual content of the interview is rather, um, disappointing in terms of fact checking. jps (talk) 20:05, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Another source [1], I think this is RS.Slatersteven (talk) 13:26, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Isn't this a blog? jps (talk) 15:17, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Possibly, but he is on their staff as a science writer [[2], so it may be RS.Slatersteven (talk) 16:02, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
In the area of plasma cosmology, I have found that "science writers" have been less-than-reliable narrators for what is and isn't correct. jps (talk) 20:10, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
How about this? [3]?Slatersteven (talk) 16:06, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
The Capital Letters certainly indicate that his title is "Chief Scientist". I think we can be satisfied that this is actually what his title (or, at least, one of his titles) is! jps (talk) 20:03, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
As I said earlier, this isn't a big deal to me (and indeed if someone is president and founder, then they are clearly high-ranking in the organization, whether or not we also add the chief scientist title), but it continues to seem to me that saying that sources associated with the page subject describe his title as "chief scientist" is altogether a different thing than saying in Wikipedia's voice that he is a scientist, and consequently, the sourcing standards become much lower. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:03, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

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