Chapter 19. Behind Zhirinovsky s back

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Firyuza Yanchilina

In June 2012, the scientific secretary of the Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms Tatiana Reshetilova invited me as a correspondent in the State Duma. We know each other since the first year of our "Pushchino stage". I wrote articles about researches of scientists of the institute. The subject, which was discussed in the State Duma, was to have a serious scope. It was about the production of domestic sequencers - equipment for decoding the human genome. Strangely enough, the organizer of the roundtable was the faction of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR). Scientists from Pushchino were advised to apply to this party as "interested in the development of Russian science".
So we were in the State Duma. A leader of the round table was a Chairman of the Expert Council on the current socio-economic and scientific and technical problems of the faction LDPR in the State Duma, academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences Vladimir Lisichkin. Judging by the title of the post, this person is endowed with great powers and should have a wide-open view of really topical, problematic issues of our time. By that time I clearly understood that it is too naive to wait for that "wide-open view" from most of the scientists, especially those who occupy all sorts of administrative, bureaucratic, political posts. Nevertheless, I decided at the end of the roundtable to turn to Lisichkin. I was pushed to this step because of his own words. I quote from my article about that event:
"According to him (note by the author - Lisichkin), representatives of various scientific and technical organizations are constantly asking to help solve the emerging problems to the party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky. These people are worried that the powerful potential that our country has built for many decades is being destroyed and flowing over Boundary. Realizing the importance of restoring and developing intellectual values of Russia, the party leadership decided to create a system of specialized roundtables, which have been going on for four years. Their goal is not just to talk about the problems of science. These meetings are a kind of communication channel between the authors of the latest developments and top officials of the state. Once a month, at the meeting of the President of Russia and the Prime Minister with representatives of leading parties, Vladimir Zhirinovsky hands the country leaders a letter with proposals of the expert council based on the results of the roundtables. As Vladimir Lisichkin assured, the results of this are evident: many developments received state support, there were project investors. And the authors do not need membership in the LDPR, political views are not discussed at all. "
We can conclude from this speech that LDPR is a hopeful ray of light in Russian science. In addition, Lisichkin added that the scientific experts of this party will deal even with questions of theoretical physics. After such a statement, it was possible to be encouraged that the LDPR will necessarily conduct an experiment with clocks and a revolution will take place in world science.
As soon as the roundtable was over, I approached Lisichkin and briefly told him that there is a person who made an important discovery, but because of inertia and bureaucracy in science he cannot bring it to the general public. Before that, so that Lisichkin did not consider me “a person from the street” who accidentally got into the State Duma, I was called a scientific correspondent. Probably, this "note" helped. Lisichkin looked confused, but wrote his email address for me.
In the evening Vasily and me wrote a letter and sent it to Vladimir Lisichkin, indicating as "Quantum gravity." Since this scientist represented the LDPR, whose leader is known for his bold and eccentric statements, we decided to compose the text "a bit in the spirit of Vladimir Volfovich". I quote a letter that was sent on June 14, 2012:
"In modern astrophysics, a lot of effort is spent on finding black holes. Scientific works, where the properties of these objects are investigated, take precedence over other studies. Nevertheless, the existence of at least one black hole has not yet been proved.
I know what kind of experiment needs to be carried out to prove that there are no black holes in nature. Even the most ardent of their supporters, such as Stephen Hawking, Kip Thorne, Igor Novikov, having familiarized themselves with the results of this experiment, will be forced to admit: "Black holes do not exist, it's just a figment of our imagination. We regret that we deceived you for so long".
The experiment is simple, unambiguous in interpretation and inexpensive. You just need to agree on renting the necessary equipment for a period of 2-3 months.
For understandable reasons, the leading scientists of Russia, unconditionally believing in the existence of black holes and spending funds for their search, will not contribute to the experiment undermining their scientific authority.
To carry out a revolution in the scientific worldview, I need a strong ally.
I would like to meet with you to discuss the details of this experiment. Having provided the documents I have, I will try to convince you of the seriousness of the planned event. "
Two days later, on June 16, we received a "transfer letter" of a certain Yuri Prochotsky. For some reason Lisichkin did not send an explanatory text to Vasily. Everything looked very strange, especially for a representative of such the "brave" Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. Lisichkin withdrew himself, "transferring" Vasily to the unknown Prokhotsky, without even explaining what kind of person this was.
Here is his answer:
"Volodya!
After reading the "Quantum gravity" sent by you, I heard the "dumb" question (it is possible and "not mine", since I never seriously studied theory). I can only suggest to you (as wise people advise) to ask the author such questions (to write the answers, literally, on one page!):
- What is his education (when and what did he graduate from)?
- Who was his supervisor (in particular, of the thesis work)?
- In what publications (special journals, monographs) recognized by the scientific community, are published the main results of his research and calculations (let him give references)?
After receiving a written response from the "author" we will try to find competent and benevolent "reviewers". Generally speaking, in a clash of conceptual positions, people with weighty administrative capabilities are bad helpers and allies: here everything is decided by arguments, facts and real professional potential (in this case - a specific "school" and knowledge that you and I do not seem to have, But, behold, the venerable Valentin Andreevich ...). Sincerely, Yu. Prokhotsky»
By "Having read the Quantum Gravity sent by you," Prokhotsky apparently had in mind the subject of the letter that we sent to Lisichkin. Vasily did not send an electronic version of the book or even excerpts from it. As it turned out later, this was not necessary.
Further correspondence had to be conducted with Prokhotsky. We sent him, according to his requirements, a brief scientific biography and reviews of some scientists about the researches of Vasily. Of course, there were no "gravity specialists" on this list. They could not have been, since these are all Vasily’s opponents. Nevertheless, Vasily collected reviews of those who had some "scientific regalia", albeit not in the field of gravity. These are Shnol, Markov, Polonnikov, Kuznetsov, about whom I wrote, and also one British professor who read Vasily's book in English and wrote a review on it.
We waited a long time for an answer, a whole month. But Prokhotsky did not write. Vasily decided to “spit” on this "venture with the LDPR", but I, as a more insistent person, decided to still find out the reason for the silence. What if Prokhotsky did not receive Vasily's reviews and his biography? I persuaded Vasily to write a letter to this person. But he did not answer again. Then Vasily sent a letter to Lisichkin. As far as one could understand, he sent it back to Prokhotsky. And only in this case we received an answer from him (which, judging by the letter, was addressed to Lisichkin, but he sent the latter to Vasily once again):
"Guys, you are bothering me! I understand that it is not good not to reply to the letters, but Volodya! Get on the Internet, look at Wikipedia ... Look at Shnol, Kuznetsov, Markov., Polonnikov, etc. It's not at all those experts who could make authoritative statements on the topic you are raising (although, they seem to be good and kind people!). And do not take on heavy weight: at least it will not be for good. Because you can always ask: but who are the judges?! And did our "subversive" turn to scientists-specialists in the field of theoretical physics (and not to biologists, sociologists, ecologists, philosophers, "technicians"...)? And what did they answer him? However, this does not matter. As in all cases of dialogues of the blind with the deaf. "In general, I do not want (and objectively I am unable!) to replenish the enthusiastic chorus of "apologists" of quantum gravity and I will not discuss it any more: I have my own affairs ... Sincerely, Yu. Prokhotsky. "
After such a letter, everything became clear. We no longer bothered Prokhotsky, Lisichkin, or other representatives of the LDPR or their acquaintances.
I could write this chapter in an "indirect form", setting out what was happening "in my own words." But I decided to depart this time from the rules. I had chosen and create a text in the "epistolary style." These letters are not from private, but official correspondence.
The behavior of scientists in this situation, as well as their letters are typical. The majority of representatives of Russian science do this, when Vasily appeals to them with a request to just listen to him. But for some reason all, as one, first want to hear about his achievements and get feedback from the "authorities" of science. What is the conclusion of all this? Nowhere to go. There will be no understanding anywhere. We have seen this for more than a decade. Supporters of discoveries come themselves.


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