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ⓜ Editing the Copernican Revolution — 2 Comments

  1. Do you feel your message/intent was changed? Or hopefully applied (correctly) beyond your original intent? At the beginning of this article you give and expect a lot of lee-way to editors.
    Could you say this is how information “evolves” thru dissemination?

    I need to read all the article/versions and see if I can detect a discrepancy. Perhaps I am assuming due to your posting it in this manner, that you detect a difference, and are not sure if good, bad, or inconsequential?
    It would be quite disturbing to find something I’ve written or said, misinterpreted or miss-used.
    I’ve heard somewhere that editors love their job because they are the first to read novel, innovative, and unique work.
    The challenge is to stay true to the authors original intent without interjecting personal bias.

  2. I decided to post this because I think readers will find it interesting to see how the process works. But I will point out one editorial change that bugs me. You tell me whether it was good or bad. After all, the fact that the change bugs *me* does not mean that it was not a good change to make. My view can be limited, obviously.

    Here is the change:

    At the end of the original piece the final line is “And this story needs interested scientists to tell it.” In the published versions, this was changed to “This a story that needs to be told.”

    Well, I think that scientists in particular need to tell this story. Scientists understand the strengths and weaknesses of science. They know that sometimes we get the wrong answers in science. By contrast, non-scientists get this impression that science Provides Correct Answers. I have found that scientists understand my research more easily than non-scientists. Non-scientists who are refereeing my papers, even if they are good historians, etc., will sometimes still tend to think that of course observations and measurements must have pointed squarely toward the Copernican system rather than toward a geocentric system—or toward a modern view of the universe overall—because, well, the Copernican system or the modern view is right, and observations and measurements point to the right answer. Scientists, on the other hand, will immediately understand that if there is some unknown systematic problem with those measurements, then observations and measurements need not point to the right answer.

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