It appears that the release of the French edition of Lee Smolin’s book (entitled Rien ne va plus en physique ! : L’échec de la théorie des cordes) has stirred up quite a lot of attention to the string theory controversy over there. A correspondant wrote to tell me that this month’s edition of the French popular science magazine La Recherche has the controversy over string theory on the cover (La theorie des cordes dit-elle le vrai?) and four articles on the subject inside. Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of the magazine or on-line access to the articles, but just to an English language summary. It’s hard to tell from this exactly what’s in the articles. One of them is an interview with the historian of science Peter Galison, who seems to describe string theory as having “initiated a new way of seeing, crucial for the future of physics.” No idea what that is about, but I hope it’s not about the string theory landscape….
The string theorists of the Paris region have a web-page, which recently has acquired a defensive section about La faillite de la theorie des cordes? It encourages people to read Polchinski’s review of my book and Smolin’s (my response to this is here), as well as papers critical of LQG. The same web-page also has links to other information sources about string theory, including to two blogs. Personally I don’t think Jacques Distler’s blog is much of an advertisement for the subject, but sending people to Lubos Motl’s is a pretty funny thing to do….