The BBC have a nice article about new LHC results that exclude yet more supersymmetry models. What this article doesn’t point out is that, so far as I’m aware just about all of string theory requires supersymmetry to exist. If I were a string theorist, I’d be worried at this point.
I’m not the first person to point the finger at string theory and suggest that it’s an edifice on shaky ground. I’m also far from being one of the best informed on the topic. However, I have had far more than the average person’s interaction with quantum gravity theorists. And I’ve also had a lot more training in body-language and communication skills than most people who attend those conferences. And what I can say with confidence is that string theory casts a long, fear-inducing shadow over much of the rest of the field, regardless of whether the physicists involved want to parse it as such. People working on other theories seem to have to fight awfully hard for their credibility, while those babbling about multiverses and branes don’t seem to have much concern.
Maybe this result heralds an adjustment in the physics community. I hope so. There are a lot of great theories out there that could use some attention right now. And some of them are even discretist. 🙂