This week’s Science News has a quite good article about the string theory controversy by Peter Weiss, unfortunately available on-line only to subscribers. The title is “Fit to be Tied: Impatience with string theory boils over”. There’s nothing much in the article that will surprise anyone who has been following this story here. It includes some accurate quotes from me and some from Lee Smolin, with the string theorists represented by Zwiebach, Polchinski and Strominger.
Polchinski claims that experiments will soon probe some elements of string theory, promoting the possibility that the LHC will observe extra dimensions. Zwiebach points to work on black holes: “In string theory, the black hole can be seen as built from strings and branes. It’s a spectacular insight.” Strominger on the one hand is quoted as finding it inappropriate that Smolin and I are criticizing how string theory research is conducted, while also saying he thinks that the way string theory has been promoted has given the public the wrong impression: “I’ve felt for a long time that the general public’s impression of what string theory had accomplished and how much of it was correct was too positive.”