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It is difficult to make scientific progress without consensus and closure. Periodic and focused meetings such as the Proceedings of the Physics and Chemistry of Semiconductor Interfaces (PCSI) provide perhaps an ideal format for this. Two examples are given and examined. The first involves intrinsic pinning of the Fermi level at the surface of GaAs and other III–V semiconductors. This is explored as an example of successful consensus and closure at PCSI. The mechanism for extrinsic pinning of the Fermi level and Schottky barrier formation is given as a second and unsuccessful example. Rather than surveying all models and experiments related to this, this article focuses on the unified defect model and the advanced defect model in order to give specific examples of this failure and suggest approaches which might avoid these problems in the future. Because it is difficult to define ‘‘consensus and closure,’’ considerable space is allocated to the definition and meaning of these concepts.