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Thread: New York Times mocked Robert Goddard, inventor of the liquid-fueled rocket, in 1920

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    Jon
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    New York Times mocked Robert Goddard, inventor of the liquid-fueled rocket, in 1920

    Looks like they had "fake news" in the 1920s too.

    Robert H. Goddard was the inventor of the world's first liquid-fueled rocket, launched in 1926, and was eventually recognized as the father of modern rocketry. Here's Goddard in March of 1926, with his first liquid-fueled rocket.



    Despite having three degrees in physics, and ultimately being recognized as the father of modern rocketry, in Goddard's time he was repeatedly ridiculed by the press as a "moon man", with ideas that the media claimed violated basic scientific principles. Most notably, on January 13, 1920, the New York Times published an editorial mocking Goddard for claiming that a rocket could function in a vacuum:

    Quote Originally Posted by New York Times editorial from January 13, 1920
    That Professor Goddard, with his "chair" in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action and reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react—to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.
    Not to worry though, the New York Times published a correction. The Times corrected itself a mere 49 years later, the day after the Apollo 11 spaceflight during which Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. Here it is: The Times regrets its error.

    Quote Originally Posted by New York Times correction from July 17, 1969
    JULY 17, 1969: On Jan. 13, 1920, Topics of The Times, an editorial-page feature of The New York Times, dismissed the notion that a rocket could function in a vacuum and commented on the ideas of Robert H. Goddard, the rocket pioneer, as follows: ''That Professor Goddard, with his 'chair' in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react -- to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.''

    Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.
    Original New York Times article from 1920 is below:











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    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Now you understand why I no longer read newspapers - science "editors" with BA degrees in journalism, psychology or early English poetry.
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    Media...100yrs of...well...sensational incantations, diatribes & concoctions, and then some.
    ‘‘Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.’’
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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    Now you understand why I no longer read newspapers - science "editors" with BA degrees in journalism, psychology or early English poetry.
    I'm the same way Marv. I give them 6-8 times a year whether I like it or not.
    ‘‘Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.’’
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    When I attended my daughter's graduation from UC Irvine, I noticed that a large proportion of the class were getting BAs in "social ecology".

    I asked my daughter what "social ecology" was. Her response was...

    Nobody really knows. It's just what all the dummies take to get a degree.

    Just recently, I learned that the school now offers a BS program in "computer game science".

    These people vote, make public policy, and write for newspapers.
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    There's reason it's called a BS.

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    " These people vote, make public policy, and write for newspapers."
    And sadly reproduce
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    "...the media claimed violated basic scientific principles". With insufficient degrees in related disciplines, what else is likely?
    As I recall, those collective degrees in sociology/ political science/ communications/ liberal arts and certain predictions didn't pan out either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-Bag View Post
    There's reason it's called a BS.
    And BA stand for...

    Come on guys the earth is flat and the universe revolves around humans...who's zoomin' who here. I'm calling the NeoMaxi Zoomed out Webe squad! ~¿@
    ‘‘Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.’’
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    Jon
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    1:38 video on scripted similarities in network TV news:


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