Letter From Lou Ellen LaFollette
To Members of The Natural Philosophy Alliance,
My husband made the initial connection with Dr. Cynthia Whitney and the Journal Galilean Electrodynamics. After my husband’s death in 2008, Dr. Whitney referred me to the Natural Philosophy Alliance (NPA), since my interests and background are not primarily in mathematical physics, but in bio-chemistry, biology and psychology. While recognizing that everything is governed ultimately by the laws of physics, as we move up the ladder of structural complexity, other laws come into play.
The NPA is all about its members. It is an organization which provides the opportunity for young and old, retired and actively employed, professional and non-professional scientists to come together and exchange ideas and critique each other’s work.
As with famous inventors, science is done in garages and on kitchen tables. Inventors can usually manage to get their product to market, but science is a closed shop. If one doesn’t have the proper credentials and the proper paradigm, one is not accepted into the scientific community. The founders of the NPA understood this and they wanted greater opportunity for those interested in science to be able to participate. Newton, for example, did have scientific connections, but he did the bulk of his scientific work alone, on the farm, at home, because the plague had closed the schools. Tesla is another example. Tesla’s insights are still waiting for the scientific community to pay attention. The closed shop of science is more about conformity than radical exploration.
To repeat, the NPA is all about its members. The NPA is not primarily a non-profit charity. The NPA became a non-profit charity because Greg Volk had the idea, that if funds could be solicited from funding sources, other than membership dues, that the NPA might be able to make modest research grants to various members and provide money for Dave’s hard work. This would further strengthen the support which the NPA provides to its members. Now the tail has begun to wag the dog. Barry Springer, the current Chairman of the Board, whom Greg brought “on board,” is of the opinion that members hamper the ability of non-profit organizations in their goal of raising money for “charity.” The object of this NPA “charity” would be science in general rather than individual members of the NPA. NPA members refer to the “closed shop” of science as “Mainstream Science.” What Barry Springer is proposing, is that the NPA become “Mainstream Science Light.” Only certain individuals, with the proper credentials and the proper view of the world would be “promoted.” The rest would be allowed to stand in awe and wonder.
To repeat, again. The NPA is all about its members. Members of an organization have a “right” to attend meetings of the leadership of the organization, or, at a minimum, to receive copies of meeting minutes. Granted, Greg and Dave never dis this but it’s still not an excuse for Barry. Members also have a “right” to regular financial reports, quarterly and/or annual, even if Greg and Dave refused to proved these in the past. Members also have a “right” to be consulted on any changes in the rules or procedures of the organization which affect the members. These fundamental “rights” are not reflected in the new By Laws for the NPA, and they never were in the past. These By Laws were developed by Barry Springer and were accepted by the NPA Board, including Greg Volk. These By Laws need to be changed to reflect greater accountability and transparency on the part of the NPA Board of Directors.
When organizations are open to a wide variety of individuals, things can be hectic. The alternative is stifling conformity. The NPA can develop an organizational culture which is respectful and courteous and even expand its tolerance of ideas, without abandoning its commitment to openness and acceptance. Greg and David represent great role models in this regard. Greg has read and remembers every member’s work. He questions and critiques, but is never demeaning. David has solutions for every problem and creates possibilities where none existed before. Both Greg and David are always readily available to members.
There are members who want to see the NPA develop a credible and effective critique of Einstein’s Special and General Relativity. There are members who are strong supporters of Relativity. The NPA should have a big enough umbrella to cover both points of view. We should treat each other’s views with tolerance and respect. The last chapter has not been written on this disagreement. If we focus more upon interest groups within the NPA and begin to develop publications representative of the various interest groups, it will facilitate forward progress without internal conflict. Even within interest groups, differences of opinion should be acknowledged, tolerated and presented. It is the suppression of differences of opinion which is handicapping Mainstream Science. I have faith that the “truth will out.”