Derek Muller has released two new Veritasium videos, one about a recent science miscommunication frenzy surrounding Nature’s December 2022 cover article on a “holographic wormhole created within a quantum computer.” In the rush to sell the science and your eyeballs and web clicks, bold unsubstantiated claims are sometimes made in press releases and distortional articles. Such a hunt for publicity also drove attention paid to recent room temperature superconductivity “breakthroughs,” the DOE fusion “breakthrough,” and of course the Fleischmann–Pons cold fusion claims way back in 1989. The new development seems to be that today we have the internet, so overhyped scientific discovery runs on steroids, and perception strongly shapes reality. Inordinate publicity-seeking attention and funding could also foster and reward scientific misconduct.
A program I regularly enjoy—Sabine Hossenfelder’s “Science News”—has had nice pieces about the recent materials science “breakthroughs,” and I really appreciate her...