String Theory Not Even Wrong
Here is a review of Peter Woit's new book critiquing string theory. The basic argument is that string theory has very little connestion with the real world and is extremely difficult to test. Physicists have started to take this critique seriously. This article describes some of the possible tests.
String theory is fascinating and is well worth exploring. The problem that I have is balance. It clearly will take a long time to translate string theory into solid testable predictions, if ever. Woit complains that too many theorists are now pursing string theory. If all particle physics theorists pursue strings then who will be interpreting the data from the LHC? What if there is an alternative theory than can make predictions at lower energies.
A variety of influential scientists agree with Woit's view. From the review
Yet he has formidable allies such as David Gross (the Nobel Llaureate theoretical physicist), Roger Penrose (the world-class mathematician) and Lee Smolin (the leading cosmologist), plus an accumulating constituency of other big-name supporters.
I hope that excesses can be reined in without completely wiping out the effort.