When looking at the nonsense spread around the media by this week’s university press-release-driven hype about string field theory “explaining quantum mechanics”, I realized that maybe I shouldn’t have ignored last week’s university press-release-driven hype, which was about the multiverse “explaining quantum mechanics”. For that one the press release is New quantum theory is out of this parallel world and the paper is here. It has generated all sorts of press stories, with a typical example Parallel Universes Exist – And Could Explain All Physics, Says Griffith University Study.
In recent years, however, we have seen a strong need of some researchers to have their best scientific contributions published in highly selective and small journals that can disseminate those contributions broadly and offer them high visibility.
The idea seems to be that if you want “high visibility”, and you’ve got $1700 to pay for it, Physical Review X is there to get you into the media. They seem to have realized though that maybe the “parallel worlds explain quantum mechanics” might be seen as going too far, so have put out an editorial justifying its publication.