[Marxism] Fwd: Peter Higgs: I wouldn't be productive enough for today's academic system | Science | The Guardian

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Oct 27 17:52:25 MDT 2016

Higgs revealed that his career had also been jeopardised by his 
disagreements in the 1960s and 70s with the then principal, Michael 
Swann, who went on to chair the BBC. Higgs objected to Swann's handling 
of student protests and to the university's shareholdings in South 
African companies during the apartheid regime. "[Swann] didn't 
understand the issues, and denounced the student leaders."

He regrets that the particle he identified in 1964 became known as the 
"God particle".

He said: "Some people get confused between the science and the theology. 
They claim that what happened at Cern proves the existence of God."

An atheist since the age of 10, he fears the nickname "reinforces 
confused thinking in the heads of people who are already thinking in a 
confused way. If they believe that story about creation in seven days, 
are they being intelligent?"

He also revealed that he turned down a knighthood in 1999. "I'm rather 
cynical about the way the honours system is used, frankly. A whole lot 
of the honours system is used for political purposes by the government 
in power."

He has not yet decided which way he will vote in the referendum on 
Scottish independence. "My attitude would depend a little bit on how 
much progress the lunatic right of the Conservative party makes in 
trying to get us out of Europe. If the UK were threatening to withdraw 
from Europe, I would certainly want Scotland to be out of that."

He has never been tempted to buy a television, but was persuaded to 
watch The Big Bang Theory last year, and said he wasn't impressed.


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