The fine structure constant earned a mention in this story in the July/August issue of the Skeptical Inquirer. Ralph Estling writes:
"Some physicists have begun challenging long-held shibboleths about the 'constants' of nature, like gravity's strength, light's velocity, the ratio between the proton's mass and that of the electron, and the 'fine-structure constant,' which governs the interaction of light and electrons."
I'm not sure if I agree that some physicists "hotly reject this blasphemy, this shattering of physics' holy-of-holies." (Dr. Peik, if you come home every day to hate mail from the campaign to keep constants constant, please correct me.) But Estling's point is that even ideas on the cutting edge (*especially* ideas on the cutting edge) should be given their day in the lab.
"A balance must be struck so that nonestablishment science ideas are given a public outing, while nonscientific ideas masquerading as science are not allowed to get away with calling themselves science."
That's a tough balance to strike, of course--but I think FQXi does a model job of staying on the right side of the line.