In the resulting search, a cable was found that was not fully screwed in, accounting for the FTL speeds. Late last month, following a vote of no-confidence in their leadership, OPERA’s two top scientists resigned.
I said it last time, and I shall reiterate it now: what the OPERA scientists did was honest science, and they should have no shame in making their mistake. As Nature say:
“The no-confidence vote and resignations are a matter for the collaboration’s internal processes, and have no bearing on the quality of the collaboration’s science. But beyond OPERA itself, scientists should celebrate the way in which the results were disseminated and the findings ultimately refuted. The process was open and deliberate, and it led to the correct scientific result. In an era in which politics, business and celebrity fixate on spin, control and staying ‘on message’, OPERA’s rise and fall make science stand apart. The message here is that scientists are not afraid to question the big ideas. They are not afraid to open themselves to public scrutiny. And they should not be afraid to be wrong.“
Other fields could learn something from this. Onwards!