richardjohns's blog

New Letter at the Journal of 9/11 Studies

A new letter by Tony Szamboti and Richard Johns has just been published in the Journal of 9/11 Studies. The letter shows how difficult it can be to publish simple engineering facts about 9/11 in a top engineering journal, especially one that has previously supported the fire-induced progressive collapse view. Critics of the official accounts of 9/11 have often been dismissed on the grounds that, if they had valid points to make, they could publish their work in top scientific journals. Our letter is a useful case study on this question. A paper published in the Journal of Engineering mechanics contained obvious errors, such as data concerning WTC1 that contradicted the NIST reports. However, our discussion paper correcting these errors was eventually declined for being "out of scope" for the journal, after being under review for more than 2 years.

Our letter includes a brief timeline of events, a summary of our correspondence with the journal, and the various appeals we made. It also includes the two versions of the discussion paper we wrote, and a link to the article we criticized, so that engineers can judge the technical issues for themselves.

Resistance of a Buckling Column -- some analysis and a question

Hi. This is my first post to this forum, although I've been reading it for some months. My name is Richard Johns, and I'm a philosopher of science, teaching in the philosophy department at the University of British Columbia. My doctoral thesis was a study of the kind of probability that physicists deal with, now published as a monograph *A Theory of Physical Probability* with the University of Toronto Press. My other main research interests are in logic, and the physics of self organisation.

I became aware of the anomalous failures of the WTC towers through a friend who is a civil engineer. I have done some reading about these "collapses", and am especially interested in Bazant's work. It is fascinating to see (apparently) absurd views published by such an able scholar in a reputable academic journal. I'm determined to get to the bottom of this.

I am planning to put my thoughts on this issue on my new personal bog:

So far there is just one, rather provisional, posting, which is pasted below.