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Norman Storer

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Norman W. Storer is a sociologist (Formerly Assistant Professor of Sociology, Harvard University) who took part in the 1974 American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting "Velikovsky's Challenge to Science", giving the talk "The Sociological Context of the Velikovsky Controversy", subsequently published in the book, Scientists Confront Velikovsky.[1] He was married to Mary P. Hiatt.[2] Storer wrote:

"It was clear, for instance, that Velikovsky did not possess credentials that would have signaled scientists that the ordinary norms of science should govern their relationships with him. There could be little doubt that he was a scholar, but his professional background could not support their granting him full-fledged membership in the scientific community.
"His ideas seemed obviously in conflict with accepted physical facts and laws, and his failure to show how these apparently logical inconsistencies could be explained was another indication that he should be classed as a nonscientist.
"Finally, because he sought vindication from the lay public through the popular press, rather than through communication with scientists in the archival literature, he was criticized for failing to play the game properly-even though access to the scientific journals through regular channels was probably not open to him.
"By all the informal standards scientists use to protect themselves from distraction, and their bodies of knowledge from disruption, Velikovsky could only be viewed as an outside threat to the scientific community, and he was treated accordingly. That he symbolized what scientists took to be a broad attack on the intellectual community as a whole surely accounts for much of the bitterness of their counterattack.
"Further, once the scientific community was committed to opposing Velikovsky's assertions, it became a sign of disloyalty for a scientist to support Velikovsky's claims, or even to call for more open-mindedness on the part of colleagues. The forces of group loyalty took precedence over the usual idea of science as a disinterested quest for truth; and the particular aspects of the Velikovsky case noted above only strengthened scientists' sense of the legitimacy of their responses to him."[1]


  1. a b Donald W. Goldsmith (Editor), Scientists Confront Velikovsky (1977), Cornell University Press, ISBN-10: 0801409616, ISBN-13: 978-0801409615. "The Sociological Context of the Velikovsky Controversy", by Norman Storer
  2. Jack Williams, "Mary Hiatt, 84; college linguistics teacher, volunteer counselor", The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 30, 2005. Retrieved 21 Oct 2008
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