Home » Uncategorized » If you have a Ph.D. or you are a Masters student in a prestigious university

If you have a Ph.D. or you are a Masters student in a prestigious university

Follow World Hum Map and Database Project on WordPress.com
Follow World Hum Map and Database Project on WordPress.com

The recent New Republic article provides another brief window of opportunity to reach out to people who can help move toward a solution to the world Hum. My overarching goal is to identify the source of the Hum and advocate to silence it, or at least attenuate its effects. Very large numbers of well educated, intelligent, balanced, and well informed people can sense this noise. This is a real phenomenon, right alongside other self-reported conditions such as tinnitus.

If you are associated with a major university, then I am convinced that there must be a physicist, radio engineer, or other working scientist at your institution who wouldn’t mind adding to their resume the fact that they were principally involved in discovering the source of the world Hum.

S/he can contact me at glen.macpherson@gmail.com


  1. (1) The taking up of a new research project, particularly one in which a university has no documented experience, particularly as the research area is poorly defined, and particularly as the stated goal is “to get to the bottom” of the issue, is something a university would consider with GREAT reluctance. It’s not just a matter of knocking on a professor’s door.

    (2) First of all are resources; facilities and money (including “overhead”, perhaps 40%, charged by the university), as well as time on the part of a willing PI (Principal Investigator) and support staff. All of these are effectively rationed.

    (3) It is necessary to develop and write a standard research proposal. These are major efforts, the vast majority of which come up empty. It involves a comprehensive review (to demonstrate a scholarly familiarity with the area and to assure the work has not been done already). Further it proposes a specific, and generally quite limited, course of actual new research.

    (4) The proposal needs to demonstrate a credible “deliverable”. The sponsors need to have expectations of a return on investment. Realistically, this concept of deliverable should be 1/3 achieved (done, or very likely easy to do or replicate) by the time the proposal is submitted, and a final result, if reaching 2/3 of the goal, should be just acceptable.

    (5) Any project involving the Hum necessarily involves human subjects. This generally doubles the degree or permission and supervision mandated by universities and sponsoring agencies.

    (6) Anything less than a standard research effort will be suspect as “anecdotal” if not “crackpot”. This is not to claim that the popular media might not embrace the results briefly. Witness the classic claims that the explanation of the Hum is ordinary tinnitus (two orders of magnitude too high in frequency) or more recently geologic “microseisms” (two orders too low – still the media confuses wavelength in time with duration!).

    • Thank you very much. Your comment is accurate, but not complete, I might argue. I am reasonably familiar with the typical general requirements that you list. But in some institutions, tenured faculty have leeway regarding whatever personal reading or research they wish to pursue, funded or not. Research ethics boards can indeed be a pain: in several cases at UBC, I was sent back to the drawing board over the most trivial of matters; and that was for educational research with no prima facie potential negative impacts! At Google, where the lines between corporate goals and academic pursuits are sometimes blurred, many of the engineers can take up to 20% of their time to pursue whatever strikes their fancy. Maybe a Google Engineer could be enticed into this. As for the more prestigious universities, I agree with you: there is no profit motive, which now drives so much of what happens there. But there are also serious scientists out there who have their own private labs and do their own work. All we need is one of them to adopt this cause and bring home the results.

    I concur with what you have said, and that leads to two additional comments:
    (1) First I submitted the following Monday Evening, but did not see it posted. I may have missed it, but it bears repeating.
    Glen – be more careful – please.
    I just read the April 8, 2016 New Republic article where you said:
    “There’s plenty of air inside a box that size, enough for, I don’t know, four hours of breathing.”
    The box is about 36 cu-ft. I don’t like your saying “I don’t know”. I hope someone does and chimes in here.

    [If memory serves, the remainder of this post has already appeared on this blog. If not, please contact me].

    • Not to worry, my friends; I am not a mad scientist and I am actually quite careful with my own safety and others’. I was being flippant with Colin because I only need a few moments in the box, and there is no danger of being locked in. Glen.

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