Next Article in Journal
Plant Leaf Disease Recognition Using Depth-Wise Separable Convolution-Based Models
Next Article in Special Issue
Unmasking People’s Opinions behind Mask-Wearing during COVID-19 Pandemic—A Twitter Stance Analysis
Previous Article in Journal
Parametric Fuzzy Implications Produced via Fuzzy Negations with a Case Study in Environmental Variables
Previous Article in Special Issue
Emergence of Simple Characteristics for Heterogeneous Complex Social Agents
Article
Peer-Review Record

The ‘Oumuamua Encounter: How Modern Cosmology Handled Its First Black Swan

Symmetry 2021, 13(3), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13030510
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Michele Doro
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Reviewer 4: Anonymous
Symmetry 2021, 13(3), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13030510
Received: 19 February 2021 / Revised: 16 March 2021 / Accepted: 17 March 2021 / Published: 20 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 30 Years of Econophysics: Symmetry in Physics and Economics)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

The manuscript describes the unusual and limited evidence collected on the first interstellar object 1I/`Oumuamua, and the response of the research community to its deviation from the classification of a comet or an asteroid from the Solar system. The discussion offers an interesting broad perspective on the scientific response to this unusual object, but is lacking some key references which are provided below. With these additional references, it would be helpful to organize the discussion around arguments for why the object did not behave like the objects previously detected in the Solar system. Whether it is natural or artificial in origin, we are likely to learn something new by studying more objects of the same class. A revision of this paper is needed to include the missing references in the spirit of the organization proposed above.

The paper misses some important references that should added along with a discussion on their implications:

https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2019MNRAS.489.3003M/abstract

https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2020ApJ...899L..23H/abstract

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1906.03270.pdf

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2515-5172/aafe7c/meta

Author Response

Please see the attachment

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report

Dear author

I have read with interest your contribution, and I find it generally speaking publishable. However, in the way it is written, it looks more like an editorial comment than a paper. Partly it is because of the scope of the paper itself, however, to actually prove the facts the author wants to prove, possibly a more sophisticated analysis method could have been adopted rather than some references. I cannot then judge much more on this, although, the author convinced me on the facts he wants to state.

Comments:

  • in the abstract "this intrigued outsider" put too much the attention on the author rather than his work, I would avoid it (unless the attention is on the author too like in an editorial)
  • same applies to "I am a researcher in financial economics with my first degree in engineering and strong interest in astrophysics"
  • 'physical contact' do you mean close approach?
  • where you write 'it was rare to acknowledge....' I would have liked to see more references cited on 'conclusions drawn from shared data' and 'fre researchers', otherwise you ask the reader to trust you too much
  • 'withholding of proprietary software' how can you state that scientist are withholding, maybe they do not know all their colleagues working on the field to be able to share codes with them
  • Considering it is a 'reference based' search, and the author mentioned hundreds of papers, I would expect hundreds of references 

In conclusion, I would like to see the 'facts' stated more certified with references and possibly with some statistics (say x% said that and y% did that).

Author Response

Please see the attachment

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 3 Report

I reviewed, " The ‘Oumuamua encounter: How modern cosmology handled its first black swan" by Les Coleman.  The manuscript details  research applied ‘Oumuamua, our first documented object from outside the solar system. This astronomical visitation brought with it an object with many complexities which challenged scientific characterization. The article presents an outside perspective of an economics researcher regarding how well astronomers responded to this unique opportunity. The popular summary of the manuscript includes, "If ‘Oumuamua is representative of a significant portion of interstellar objects, then the existing paradigm derived from Earth-based observations would not be relevant on galactic and cosmic scales, which - of course - describes the current situation. The article suggests strategies that may improve understanding of future interstellar interlopers."

I enjoyed reading this manuscript, though in places I disagreed the interpretations. However, it is not my perspective, but the author's. As a scientist, I found it rather informative how someone outside the field viewed the research around this event.  However, as potential article for Symmetry, there were a few things I think need to be addressed.

The manuscript presents a problem and the "popular summary" presents the goal of the manuscript, "The article suggests strategies that may improve understanding of future interstellar interlopers."  However, the manuscript itself doesn't really go into these.  Nor does it seem to compare to any finance related aspect as the special issue description suggests.  While I realize the author takes a "finance researchers’ perspective of how cosmologists responded to crisis-like conditions," and that is of some relevance, I was hoping for a little more of a connection to finance or econophysics or a finance perspective - even if it was simply analogy and speculative. The closing paragraph could have enlightened me to a similar response in the finance world. For instance, how explanations of market deviations seem to always follow indicators that no-longer appear to be coupled and how paradigm following may be at issue there. As it stands, the manuscript is more of an op-ed piece on a potentially failed opportunity in science without drawing either a relationship to econophysics or offering solutions to the paradigm driven approach purportedly taken with ‘Oumuamua.  And I think it needs one or the other - or both - to be meet relevance.  Otherwise, to me, it simply seems like a thought out complaint - at least as written.

The writing is good - very few typos, although in places there is some lack of clarity - potentially due to dialect (my broad dialect is "North American English").  However, it is still very readable. I point out a couple specific things that can be addressed below. 

Page 6:, "...at a heliocentric distance of 2.9 au which is close to Neptune’s orbit..."  Neptune is actually closer to 29.9 AU from the Sun.

Page 6, same paragraph as above, "...weakened with distance from the Sun, and was interpreted as resulting from ejection of about 10^4 gram of mass each second towards the Sun at a velocity of 3x10^4 cm s^-1 [22]."  It would be clearer if the author would state using non-scientific units where possible. Such as 10 Kg/s and 300 m/s. It puts the values in good perspective before doing the mental calculation. These appear to be rather small numbers that would potentially produce very little evidence of themselves other than NGA. Some of Jupiter's moons expel more mass and it remains undetectable from afar.  Because there are so many different units discussed in the paper, scientific notation (where it is not needed) becomes cumbersome. 

Author Response

Please see the attachment

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 4 Report

The subject is interesting, but this is not research paper. It should be published in a general interest journal or the vernacular press. If the author wishes to resubmit, he should develop some scientific content appropriate for an academic journal, with a testable hypothesis and data driven conclusions.

Author Response

Please see the attachment

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

Dear author

it appears you have addressed my comments. I believe this contribution is now in shape for publication, however I add three remarks

  • as said before, this looks more like an editorial paper than a scientific paper. In the latter, one should be provided with a confidence level on the results proposed. Here, I admit I don't find these, but more of informed comment, which is typical of an editorial
  • I have no expertise in economy techniques, therefore I am missing a perspective that allows to make up my 'margin of confidence'
  • I cannot judge if the journal target is the best among MDPI journal

I will therefore leave the final decision of acceptance to the editors of the journals.

 

 

 

Author Response

Please see the attachment

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 3 Report

 

This is my second review of  The ‘Oumuamua encounter: How modern cosmology handled its first black swan by Les Coleman.  The manuscript is clearer.  most of my previous concerns have been addressed.  I now believe it is relevant to the description of the special issue and a bit clearer to read.  My comments below are mainly typos or wording issues.  FAI comments require no action and are just comments of potential interest for the author.  My final comment (though long winded) is important though and should be addressed in some way.  It can be as simple as a sentence.  The conclusion really needs to "bring the connection home" so to speak.

Comments

Introduction header has gone missing.

Page 4, second paragraph.  Suggest, " expected density" as " expected spatial density" for clarity. 

End of Page 8 - last paragraph.  A few typos.  The Sun should be capitalized ....there is also an "and.the"

FAI Comment Page 10 - " Although there have been conferences on other physics topics such as gravitation, none seems to have been held for ‘Oumuamua."  While this is probably true, to be fair I have no doubt there were dedicated sessions.  These are like mini-conferences that in my field last about 4 hours or less.

FAI Comment bottom page 11 - "The typical response is to incorporate some form of dark matter."  This is an improvement over simply adding a black hole when there is an energy deficiency.

Page 15 - "... exploration, surely it would communicate...."  Consider, " ...exploration, surely it might communicate...".

Page 16 - " Where this counselled caution, it all too often promoted speculation."  Consider, " Where this counseled caution, it all too often led to speculation promoted as fact".  There is nothing wrong with speculation - only when it is stated as something more than that.

 Page 16 - " In addition, although ‘Oumuamua’s exceptions provided a unique opportunity to evaluate existing assumptions, anomalies were shoehorned into the existing paradigm."  Following this sentence would be the perfect place to restate something (a single sentence or two) from the last paragraph of Page 11 that ends on Page 12.  The conclusions really need some mention of alternative approaches potentially offered by economic fields.  It really needs to bring in "economists’ research in comparable settings to suggest strategies that may improve understanding of future interstellar interlopers".  And this spot is the perfect place to put it.  Articles like this are rare and a perfect opportunity to provide insight for scientists who have to solve these problems all the time but get stuck by. 

Author Response

Please see the attachment

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 4 Report

I believe this manuscript does not rise to the level of a research paper in a scholarly journal. When citing the wide variety of analytical techniques, the author chose to include no formalisms, equations, solutions, or approximations related to the research he is supposed to be evaluating. There are still no testable hypotheses that I can see. Example, the author cites "Duhem-Quine (DQ), or joint test, problem" in the manuscript. Well, exactly how does this apply? Had the author included some formalism relating DQ to this problem, that would qualify as research. I would extend the same point to the reference on Reverse Econophysics. It is not research to simply cite another research area. The author claimed to compare "cosmologists’ study of ‘Oumuamua against two qualitatively similar examples from finance, and
discuss the strengths and weaknesses of research". This did not occur in any quantitative way. The author made significant changes in the paper. I believe changes did not materially improve the paper from scientific scholarly perspective and it probably decreased the usefulness of the paper from a general interest perspective.

Author Response

Please see the attachment

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Back to TopTop