Friday, November 06, 2009

Journal Editor in Libel Suit

According to this article in the Press-Gazette, Mohamed El Naschie, former editor of the journal Chaos, Solitons, and Fractals is suing Nature because of a November 2008 article. That article, written by Quirin Schiermeier, raised the issue of the very large number of papers authored by El Naschie and published in that journal CSF, and the quality of those papers.

I don't think El Naschie has a case, but who knows in Britain, where libel laws are insane?


Joshua said...

I would have said that even in Britain this wouldn't fly, but after the Simon Singh nonsense I'm not so sure.

Frank said...

I tried to wiki El Naschi, but found nothing. However, I did find:

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Oh but there are many people who start their journals for themselves and their cliques because they can't publish elsewhere.

The author of the Nature article should have a case in court: In his scientific opinion, and given the evidence he has collected, he can probably argue that El Naschi's papers were of low quality. (I don't claim to know, I'm only speculating.)

And, indeed, if El Naschi wins... I fear we'd all be in trouble. You seem to be aware of the fact that, in Britain, revealing certain scientific truths/realities can be very dangerous if it goes against certain "traditions" or against the status quo.

Bayesian Bouffant, FCD said...

"published in that journal"

Where "that journal" is Chaos, Solitons, and Fractals, not Nature.

Blake Stacey said...

It's kind of depressing how that Nature article couldn't make room for any actual examples of how bughouse El Naschie's "E-infinity theory" really is. I mean, this is Nature we're talking about: surely its readership is able to understand what "numerology" means. But no, we get the usual "A small minority of physicists cautiously recognizes the originality of El Naschie's ideas" bafflegab. (I do like how that cautious recognition comes from a Chaos, Solitons and Fractals editor. Impartial opinion? Why, of course!)

Anonymous said...

Dear Takis, I think there is confusion here. Whether El Naschie’s papers are of high or low quality is not at all the issue. The quality of any paper on theoretical physics is not decided upon by a journalist who got a second class honor degree in geography, such as Quirin Schiermeier, the writer of the Nature article. No scientific article published in a scientific journal could possibly be discussed in a tabloid article even if it is accepted by the Editor of Nature. This is in itself a scandal that Nature should degrade itself to a tabloid publication. The central point of El Naschie’s case against Nature is that they cast doubt upon his credentials. Quirin Schiermeier lied when he said that Prof. Walter Greiner spoke to him and said what Quirin Schiermeier claims he said in the article. The same applies to most of the names mentioned in the article except for a total non entity from Croatia, a Dr. Zoran Skoda. This Croatian will most probably be charged with an attempt to blackmail. A letter which he sent to one of Prof. El Naschie’s students in Italy cannot be interpreted in any way except blackmail. Similarly a friend and colleague of Quirin Schiermeier, an Editor of Die Zeit, a Mr. Christoph Drosser lied in Court in Hamburg on the instructions of his friends John Baez and Quirin Schiermeier. It is not about science at all. It is all about money and corruption all apart from racial discrimination. If El Naschie’s work is such trash, then two questions arise. First why all this fuss about trash and second and probably more importantly, why should the right hand of a Nobel laureate plagiarize this work and publish it in Scientific American? You are eluding yourself if you think that a man like Mohamed El Naschie and a law firm like Collyer Bristow would take a well established icon of scientific publishing like Nature to Court just for fun.

Jeffrey Shallit said...


What motive would Quirin Schiermeier have for lying?

Why do you hide behind a cloak of anonymity?

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Dear Mr/Ms Anonymous:

Whether El Naschie’s papers are of high or low quality is not at all the issue.

Of course it is. This is the most important issue of all. Scientific bullshit must be revealed and tossed to the bin.

If El Naschie’s work is such trash, then two questions arise. First why all this fuss about trash..

Why fuss about trash? I am not sure who you are or if you are dealing with science yourself. If you are, the answer to "why fuss about trash" should be obvious to you.

Steve said...

I thought trash is recognized by anybody as trash. I did not think that a magazine like Nature should reduce its role in the scientific community to writing defamatory articles excused by the existence of trash. This is would be natural trash. As far as the libel case is concerned the important thing is that the journalist lied. He willfully and intentionally gave false information. Schiermeier did not lie for the first time and neither Christoph Drosser. They have a history of giving false information. This is clear from the complaint made against Nature and against Schiermeier in particular from other scientists. The question is why did you single out Mohamed El Naschie? Mohamed El Naschie was a member of the mainstream all his life. Of course he is an engineering scientist as well as being a Moslem. I do not think Nature will find that sufficient grounds for finding him eccentric. There is much that does not meet the eyes here. Remember the discovery of the golden mean in the laboratory by the Helmholtz Centre. Remember all the fuss that John Baez, a friend of Renate Loll, made about the golden mean. He said the trade mark of any crackpot was to write about the golden mean. A few months later when he at last understood what El Naschie was doing, he gave a lecture in Scotland called My Favorite Number. Without a trace of shame he singled out the number 8 and the golden mean as his favorite numbers. You should read this paper and admire the nerve of this guy or perhaps label him a crackpot!

Jeffrey Shallit said...


Nobody is fooled by your pseudonym.

As far as the libel case is concerned the important thing is that the journalist lied. He willfully and intentionally gave false information.

And his motivation for lying is what?

Anonymous said...

Good question blogmaster. At least you are asking the right question. At least at face value. Quirin Schiermeier is German. He lives with his English girlfriend in Munich where El Naschie has his fifth floor flat, Pied a Terre as it were when he is working with his German colleagues. Schiermeier is the expert on Holland in Nature. He was contacted by John Baez. Prior to that John Baez was contacted by Renate Loll. Renate Loll used to work in Berlin, the Einstein Inst. for Gravitation. She knew nothing about Cantor sets. In fact she never heard the expression before El Naschie gave his lecture there where the famous late Director was present. He knew El Naschie from Cairo where both were invited to give lectures celebrating the Millenium. After the publication of Renate Loll’s paper in Scientific American there was an uproar over plagiarization. The co-author is from the Niels Bohr Inst. Jan Ambjorn. The work is entirely based on El Naschie’s ideas and they did not make even a scant reference to him. They used a computer replacing the very pleasant property of the golden mean binary system which dispenses with computers. Students, colleagues, teachers and friends of El Naschie were appalled. There was a little scandal. You can read about it in the comments of the said article in Scientific American. Over 600 comments were received. Later on Scientific American which is owned, like Nature, by Macmillan deleted 300 of these comments to gloss over the scientific scandal. Utrecht University was very embarrassed. They had two alternatives. Either to apologize or to destroy El Naschie. The green light was obtained from Nobel laureate Gerard ‘tHooft for the wrong direction. What follows you will read about in the High Court in London. This is the whole truth in its embryonic form. You can think of me whatever you like if there is a single word that is not true in this statement. You can be assured that three Nobel laureates work closely with El Naschie on his E-infinity theory. One Nobel laureate wrote a long laudation on El Naschie’s use of Cantor sets in high energy physics to model spacetime. That does not mean much. Nobel laureates are scientists just like anybody else and can make mistakes. However again this is not the point. The important point is the length to which people were ready to go to fabricate evidence and embroider stories to frame El Naschie. They had to close Chaos, Solitons & Fractals and they had this coordinated attack orchestrated by John Baez and Renate Loll and their backers. Unfortunately for them they under estimated the power of the truth. The strength of El Naschie does not lie in money or political connections. It is pathetic and childish to suggest anything of the sort. The power of his case lies in its truthfulness. Scientific American, Nature and Die Zeit are a coordinated action of a single company. When this did not work Nature had to exert pressure on current and previous clients. There is only one way to end this which is to admit the truth. Call it conspiracy. Call it whatever you like. This will change nothing of the outcome.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

That's the most rambling, incoherent piece of crap I've ever seen.