Sunday, February 15, 2009

From Cairo with love

This post archives El Naschie related comments from threads at L’affaire El Naschie and Chaos, Solitons and Self-Promotion. The Backreaction thread is closed for comments, as you'll see when you reach the end. I think Bee, like Distler and Baez, was intimidated by a legal threat, in her case from sockpuppet "Ludwig". To be fair, I have no first-hand evidence of sock puppetry in this material. But pro-El Naschie material has been observed to originate disproportionately from... someplace in Cairo. Hmmm.

The comments range from interesting, to funny, to scary. Note that only comments are preserved here, not the original blog posts.

From L’affaire El Naschie

1. Allen Knutson - November 30, 2008

You didn’t mention the aspect I thought most objectionable — Elsevier bundling this journal with reputable ones.

At what level will the system be self-correcting?
It would be nice if it were at the level of Elsevier’s code of behavior for journal editors. I can’t understand how a journal editor was able to accept his own paper.
Failing that, Elsevier could be internally policing their journals, having somebody raise red flags when e.g. an editor has five of his own articles published in a single issue.
Failing that, libraries could begin to drop subscriptions to the journal.
But now we have failed that; are we to escalate to dropping subscription to the whole bundle of journals?
2. Ben Webster - November 30, 2008

You didn’t mention the aspect I thought most objectionable

I suppose I didn’t refer to it explicitly, though it certainly was in my mind.

But now we have failed that; are we to escalate to dropping subscription to the whole bundle of journals?

Yes, I think at least some schools will have to. I know that will be painful, but at some point, schools have a duty to do something more productive with the money. I think of it a bit like workers going on strike. Obviously it’s regrettable, and probably a negative-sum thing to do, at least short term, but how else can we really get Elsevier to take us seriously?

The key point to keep in mind is that Elsevier needs us more than we need them. If schools started to refuse packages which contained crap, Elsevier have to start offering better a la carte options, or they would simply be forced out of the mathematical publishing business.

I think there’s a reasonable argument for schools simply refusing to take bundles. If this could be maintained for even a short period of time, the publishers would have to cave.
3. Anonymous - November 30, 2008

You didn’t mention the aspect I thought most objectionable — Elsevier bundling this journal with reputable ones.

I wonder whether it would be possible to bring any sort of legal challenge against journal bundling. I’m generally against government interference with private businesses, and I worry that it would set a bad precedent, but the situation with Elsevier and other big commercial publishers is terrible. They’ve effectively set up a cartel in which you can’t get the good journals they control without paying for everything in a huge bundle. At least at a moral level, this is outrageously anti-competitive. I don’t know whether it is at all legally questionable (I’m not a lawyer and I bet it’s a long shot), but forcing each journal to live or die on its own would be enormously beneficial for the research community.
4. onymous - November 30, 2008

Elsevier bundling this journal with reputable ones.

Yes, we need to keep the subprime journals out of the tranches.
5. Bruce Bartlett - November 30, 2008

Great post; makes me want to take up the battle again. A while ago a bunch of us tried with Eureka (ver I and II) but the project has stuttered. It takes a lot of effort, commitment and determination.
6. Ben Webster - November 30, 2008

It takes a lot of effort, commitment and determination.

A perpetual problem of politics. Especially when, as I’ve discussed, I barely have the energy and time to keep this blog, which is already pretty successful, going.
7. Emily Peters - November 30, 2008

Allen, Ben: re journal bundling. The solution of “convincing some schools to stop buying bundled journals” is unrealistic. Can you imagine convincing a committee of mathematicians that this was a reasonable thing to do? In my experience, convincing more than two mathematicians of _anything_ which you can’t prove from first principles is pretty nearly impossible.

There’s a solution which is both easier and harder: you make the analogy to going on strike. Mathematicians need to stop publishing in, refereeing for, and editing Elsevier journals. And we need to make it clear that’s what we’re doing (mention bundling every time you turn down a request to referee something). This is easier because it’s an action any individual can take. No need to persuade a committee of anything. But it’s harder because — as someone looking to publish a paper, you want to maximize (journal prestige)*(likelyhood they’ll publish your paper), and sometimes an Elsevier journal is the answer to this — as a referee or editor, you are providing a useful service to people in your field by keeping a journal going (and only incidently helping Elsevier to make a profit).

I don’t want to sound like I’m on a high horse. I’m not blameless here. But I do find myself wondering — how many people could we get to sign a petition that says “Once I have tenure, I won’t publish anything in an Elsevier journal unless they stop bundling?”
8. Charles Siegel - December 1, 2008

Emily, why restrict to mathematicians? Elsevier publishes a LOT of journals (all the way down to Homeopathy, which SHOULD discredit them completely…) and this hypothetical petition/agreement could easily be extended to people in other fields.
9. Jesse Johnson - December 1, 2008

Going on strike like that has worked to undermine at least one Elzevier journal, namely Topology. The editors of the non-Elsevier journal Geometry & Topology managed to convince enough people to publish in their journal instead that the flow of good papers sent to Topology rapidly dried up. It got so bad that the editorial board of Topology quit and started a new journal (Journal of Topology) through the LMS.
10. Ben Webster - December 1, 2008


I see where you’re coming from and I hope you realize you’re preaching to the choir (I am the guy who wrote a post entitled “Why do people still referee papers for Elsevier?”). In particular, you should know that some other people got there before you on the whole “journal petition” thing.

At the same time, I think you’re being too dismissive of the demand side of this equation. Firstly, you’re wrong about schools not being willing to cancel the Elsevier package. Cornell already has.

Secondly, subscribers is what matters to Elsevier (not necessarily to the individual people working for Elsevier, but to Elsevier as an institution). As long as schools keep coughing up money, they don’t actually care what’s in the journals (as is now rather clear). Refusing to publish, edit or referee for Elsevier journals is really only useful as sending a clear message and providing cover for science librarians to stop subscribing to Elsevier titles.
11. Scott Carnahan - December 1, 2008

I feel like this conversation is moving in an unnecessarily confrontational direction. Perhaps we can move toward fewer personally directed statements.

Ben, from your link to the Cornell article, it looks like they found it more cost-effective to subscribe to the individual Elsevier journals that people frequently used, even though each subscription was more costly. I’d be surprised if this weren’t true for comparable institutions. Are there publicly available frequency analyses of journal use in research libraries?
12. John Baez - December 1, 2008

Thanks for a great post focusing on the big issues, Ben! My own blogging on this subject got bogged down in trench warfare. It’s good that El Naschie will no longer be editing Chaos, Solitons and Fractals and publishing hundreds of nonsense papers in it – but the flawed system that let this happen has not changed… and it won’t change until we make a fuss!

Certain large library systems plan to fight for the right to drop subscriptions to individual journals within the enormous Elsevier journal bundle. Chaos, Solitons and Fractals will make an excellent test case.

I’ve stopped doing any unpaid labor for Elsevier: writing papers for them, editing for them, or refereeing them. When I’m asked to do it, I send back an email explaining why. I don’t see why anyone would want to do unpaid labor for Elsevier, given that their profit margins are exceedingly high.

How much money do chief editors of Elsevier journals make? As far as I can tell, these are the only academics who stand a chance to benefit significantly from this monopoly. Can we convince them to quit? We need to work harder to find weak links in the chains that bind us, and cut them.
13. On the restoration of independence. « Epsilonica - December 1, 2008

[...] interesting to say about this holiday, but it seemed serendipitous that in my feed reader today was this article by Ben Webster at The Secret Blogging Seminar which deals with the El Naschie fail and discusses of how mathematicians might cast off (or at [...]
14. mattheath - December 1, 2008

@John Baez: Since you are including writing papers as “unpaid labour” I think Emily Peters has covered why some us are prepared to do unpaid labour for Elsevier. They sometimes have the best journal in which we can hope to get a particular paper published and we have to worry about not having our contracts renewed if we don’t get good publications.

Why there aren’t more editorial boards walking out is less clear to me. It does seem to me that they really aren’t benefiting. If they walk out and and found a new journal (as with Topology and K-Theory), librarians presumably know it’s really the same journal and so will be no less likely to buy it. If they so wished, the chief editors could take a bigger cut than before sand still cut the price, so that can’t be what is keeping them.
15. John Baez - December 1, 2008

Charles writes:

Emily, why restrict to mathematicians?

Indeed. One reason Elsevier and the other big journal publishers are winning the struggle is that academics have a narrow world-view: we tend to organize ourselves discipline by discipline. Mathematicians think the whole world revolves around mathematics; nematologists think the whole world revolves around nematodes. The big publishers have a broad world-view: they publish in all disciplines. This is the source of their monopoly power.

When it comes to money, what really counts are biology, medicine, and chemistry. These are the subjects where a revolt against Elsevier would have a serious effect. If mathematicians do not ally themselves with people in other disciplines, especially these big ones, we are doomed to fail. We’re too tiny.

Some good news: the US National Institute of Health has now required all NIH-funded research to be made available in an open-access way 12 months after publication! How did this happen? A Republican congressman from Oklahoma with a sick relative pushed forwards a bill in May 2005 which mandated open-access to NIH-funded research if the researcher asked for it. But this only led to 7% of papers being made open-access. Harold Varmus, the Nobel laureate who headed the NIH, was not satisfied. He fought for a bill that mandated open access to all NIH-funded research – and on December 23rd 2007, President Bush signed this into law, over the whining of publishers.

We need to push for a law mandating open access to all NSF-funded research. The taxpayers are already paying for this research: why should they pay to see the results?

The bad news: the current head of the NSF is not interested.

So, we need to lobby! Start by talking to your friend and colleagues.

One more thing: a lot of you bloggers are grad students and postdocs who don’t need to spend time on academic committees. When you get tenure-track jobs this will change: you will need to do some ‘academic service’, as they call it. You probably don’t relish the prospect. I didn’t either. But here’s a way to make it more fun: ask to serve on the library committee of your university!

Then you’ll meet our greatest allies in this struggle: the librarians. They’re the one whose budgets are being busted by the Big Three: Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, and Springer. They’re the ones who worry full-time about the issue of rising journal prices. They’re desperate for our help – usually all they hear are academics whining about journal subscriptions being cut, as they struggle to save money. We need to work with them!

I’m now head of the library committee at UCR. I’m doing a lousy job so far – as always, I prefer to spend time doing math. But it’s fun being part of the fight, and meeting people who have fought this battle for many years. The UC-wide library committee has decided it’s time to stage a serious attack against the monopoly power of the Big Three.

Help us out!
16. Siladitya Chatterjee - December 1, 2008

I Just now saw a photo-gallary in, published by Chaos, Solitons and Fractals 25 (2005) 915–933. I cannot think people should buy research journals for showmanship of the editor-in-chief.
17. javier - December 1, 2008

John, it is not that the youngest of us don’t agree with your principles and want to support this cause, but I am sure you understand that we simply cannot afford it right now, when we need to publish n+1 papers a year to get the next postdoc that will lead to the next postdoc that will lead to the next postdoc and eventually tenure.

I am sure situation varies from country to country, the Spanish government and universities had the “wonderful” idea of rating our papers according to the impact factor of the journal, so if we rule out Elsevier, Springer and Wiley, our chances to publish in a high-rate journal get sort of slim.

You, the big guys, should help us to help you. Create a solid dozen nonprofit journals and set them in the rankings. Or create a crappy “Mathematica Rejecta” and cheat to boost its impact factor to the top ten just to show how stupid the system is, whichever you prefer…

Discussing this topics,Tom Lenagan suggested once that we should focus on publishing on journals that belong to mathematical societies.
18. Ben Webster - December 1, 2008


The internet has an unfortunate tendency toward unnecessary confrontation. I know I do, and I hope to keep that within reasonable bounds with the civil inhabitants of this blog.

Of course, John conveniently followed your comment up with a comment about necessary confrontation. If only we could get better at distinguishing the two.
19. Ben Webster - December 1, 2008

Or create a crappy “Mathematica Rejecta” and cheat to boost its impact factor to the top ten just to show how stupid the system is, whichever you prefer…

Luckily, El Naschie has saved us the trouble of doing this. Somebody just needs to tell the Spanish government.
20. John Baez - December 1, 2008

Javier wrote:

John, it is not that the youngest of us don’t agree with your principles and want to support this cause, but I am sure you understand that we simply cannot afford it right now…

Do what you can do. For example: when Tom Leinster was a postdoc without tenure, he published a book. But, he didn’t publish it with Elsevier. He published it with the London Mathematical Society. And, he suceeded in getting them to let him put it on the arXiv, so it will always be free for those who can’t afford a printed copy.

In general, whenever there’s a choice between publishing with an evil journal or a good one, try to coax yourself to choose the good one.

Most importantly: always put your work on the arXiv.

I am sure situation varies from country to country, the Spanish government and universities had the “wonderful” idea of rating our papers according to the impact factor of the journal, so if we rule out Elsevier, Springer and Wiley, our chances to publish in a high-rate journal get sort of slim.

Spanish mathematics has long been damaged by bad institutional decisions. I’m sorry to hear that this tradition continues.

You, the big guys, should help us to help you. Create a solid dozen nonprofit journals and set them in the rankings.

Yes, us “big guys” should do this. In category theory, the best journal is free – Theory and Applications of Categories. I was an editor there for a while, and discovered that I’m temperamentally unable to be a good editor. I’m a dilettante: I get excited about one thing this week and another the next. I can’t “process manuscripts” in a disciplined way. All I’m really good at is explaining what I’m interested in right now. I do my tiny part to help the situation by giving away these explanations for free instead of making them into books and selling them.

Other less dilettantish people are better at establishing and running journals. Joan Birman serves as a great role model.
21. John Baez - December 1, 2008

mattheath wrote:

Since you are including writing papers as “unpaid labour” I think Emily Peters has covered why some us are prepared to do unpaid labour for Elsevier.

I understand! I just hope you all do it in the full bitter realization that Elsevier is exploiting you and laughing all the way to the bank… so that someday, when the chance comes along, you rebel.
22. A semana nos arXivs… « Ars Physica - December 1, 2008

[...] L’affaire El Naschie, The Case of M. S. El Naschie, Continued [...]
23. peter - December 1, 2008

You touch briefly on Impact Factors. Typically these measure the numbers of citations of papers published in a journal 2, or sometimes 3, years following publication. Such a number may be fine for fast-moving subjects like medicine. But for those of us in Computer Science, this number is absurd, when papers in some theoretical areas still cite Aristotle. Even in other disciplines, such as Economics, this period is too short — eg, the first paper presenting the idea of rational expectations, perhaps the single most important concept in economics in the last 50 years, received only a handful of citations in the first decade following publication.
24. Saída de editor não esfria caso de pseudociência e favorecimento « Laudas Críticas - December 2, 2008

[...] feita pelo matemático Ben Webster, do MIT (Instituto de Tecnologia de Massachusetts). Em seu texto “L’affaire El Naschie” (30/11), publicado no Secret Blogging Seminar, um blog produzido por oito pesquisadores, a maioria [...]
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26. Ben Webster - December 2, 2008

I’ll just note, in response to Javier’s post:

I’m not arguing that one must immediately stop submitting to Elsevier journals. Frankly, I’m considering submitting a paper to Advances (admittedly, this was my coauthor’s suggestion, but I didn’t dismiss it out of hand). Obviously, I prefer to submit to journals more consistent with my prinicples but you have to make compromises in life, and I don’t think withholding papers from for-profit journals will have all that much effect, at least until more fields have credible alternatives (the key point in the fall of Topology is that Geometry and Topology was created, and became a respectable place to put papers. It’s probably the most prestigious journal I’ve published in). Editing and refereeing look like much more promising weak spots to me.

The weird thing is, not all Elsevier or Springer or Wiley journals are outrageously expensive; Advances, for example, is about $.40 a page, which is consistent with the Banff Protocol (the cutoff there is around $.70). It’s just that some of them are; the old Topology was 7 times as much per page as Advances. What’s so different that could justify that kind of price difference?
27. Chris Grant - December 3, 2008

Ben Webster wrote:

the old Topology was 7 times as much per page as Advances. What’s so different that could justify that kind of price difference?

The figures you’re referring to are apparently not for the “old” (i.e. pre editorial board resignation) Topology but for 2007, when it’s output had been decimated by the the 2006 resignation. In the years prior to that event the price ratio was not nearly so lopsided.
28. Chris Grant - December 3, 2008

John Baez wrote:

“We need to push for a law mandating open access to all NSF-funded research. The taxpayers are already paying for this research: why should they pay to see the results?”

Will the beloved university presses and professional societies that publish books supported by NSF funds be providing free PDFs as part of this deal? Will the MAA’s NSF-supported MAA Reviews be made available for free? Or are we just going after the evil commercial publishers?
29. John Armstrong - December 4, 2008

Chris, run it like open software models do. You can download (via PDF) for personal use without cost, but physical media (the printed journal) requires payment. Red Hat is still making money, isn’t it?

Is it as profitable as the current system? No. But the current system is a holdover from the time before we did all the work for the journals for free.
30. Chris Grant - December 4, 2008


It wasn’t clear to me: Are you endorsing making this apply to books published by the AMS, EMS, MAA, SIAM, Oxford University Press, and Cambridge University Press? Has anyone asked these benevolent organizations why they’re not leading the way in providing all NSF-supported work for free to show the capitalistic publishers how it ought to be done?
31. David Speyer - December 4, 2008

There should be a distinction between research monographs and expository works. I would weaken John Baez’s suggestion to say that all the results of NSF funded research should be made freely available on the web, in a form readable to people doing research in the field. I don’t have trouble with commercial publishers charging for general readership surveys (such as appear in Notices) or for textbooks. These should have a much heavier level of editing (although they don’t always get it) and it may be impossible to get that quality of editorial work without charging for the publications.
32. David Speyer - December 4, 2008

To reply to Chris’s latest:

I don’t know what John would say, but I would imagine that Springer GTMs or Cambridge University press could still be profitable under my plan, but Lecture Notes in Mathematics probably could not. (I’m afraid that I am not as familiar with the presses he cites.) Basically, if the publisher creates value beyond simply binding the raw research into a codex, then they should still be able to market that value.
33. John Armstrong - December 4, 2008

If the publisher creates value beyond simply binding the raw research into a codex, then they should still be able to market that value.

Sure they can. And I’m not saying to put the books themselves online exactly as in the physical books. But if an NSF-funded article appears in a conference proceedings, it should also be available to the public for free in some form (electronic, most likely).
34. Chris Grant - December 4, 2008

I see no clear evidence that the production costs for producing books are of a different order of magnitude from those for producing journals; therefore, I don’t think the case has been made for treating NSF-funded books differently from NSF-funded journal articles in your campaign.

Also, by “books”, I’m not just talking about conference proceedings (ugh). I’m talking about Garnett and Marshall’s Harmonic Measure, funded by the NSF but unavailable from Cambridge University Press for free. If you want them to provide it to you, you’ll have to pay them $60 for the paperback or $96(!) for an electronic version. I’m talking about Takhtajan’s Quantum Mechanics for Mathematicians and Evans’ Partial Differential Equations, both of which were NSF-funded, but neither of which is available for free from the AMS. They’ll cost you, respectively, $55 and $63 each (plus membership dues) . These are three examples among hundreds and thousands. If you want all NSF-funded journal articles for free, I want (e-texts of) all NSF-funded books for free.

(To be clear, I don’t really think I deserve all these books for free. I thought highly enough of them that I actually paid for them. But what’s good for the goose . . .)
35. David Speyer - December 4, 2008

Well, I have no direct knowledge of the finances of mathematical publishing. If anyone does, I’d love to hear. Also, I have not published any books yet. But here is why I think publishing houses contribute much more to the typical book than the typical article. Note that I said “typical”; I think that Notices is an exception in one direction and Lecture Notes in Mathematics in the other. (I’ve mentioned the Springer Lecture Notes series twice now, so I should say that I don’t think they are being dishonest in any way; they are playing the game intelligently according to its current rules. But I favor rules under which there would be no reason to publish lecture notes with a commercial press, rather than simply putting them online.)

As an author and a referee of journal articles, what I see is that the research, writing, initial editing (hopefully) and initial typesetting of an article are done by an unpaid author. The selection, solicitation and coordination of referees is done by an unpaid editor. The secondary editing and screening of papers is done primarily by the unpaid referee, and secondarily by the unpaid editor. What the publishing house does is final typesetting, organization of the articles into a single journal, printing and distribution of paper copies, advertising of the journal to libraries and any necessary copyright litigation. I don’t think that this is worth what journals charge for it.

As I say, I haven’t written a book. But most books are far better edited than most journal articles, and this is more impressive because it is more difficult to impose consistent style and notation on a longer work. My understanding is that this is because (1) book publishers hire editors who actually go through a work with the authors to create this uniformity and (2) book publishers pay experts to determine screen which texts they should publish. At most journals, both of these jobs are pushed onto unpaid referees who have no training in editing. Of course, some book publishers may not do any useful editing. They will not be profitable under my scheme, as their books are no more valuable than the research articles they are built from.
36. John Armstrong - December 5, 2008

Chris, I’m not treating them differently. And yes, I’d say to make predominantly NSF-funded textbooks available to the public as well.
37. John Baez - December 6, 2008

John Baez wrote:

“We need to push for a law mandating open access to all NSF-funded research. The taxpayers are already paying for this research: why should they pay to see the results?”

Chris Grant wrote:

Will the beloved university presses and professional societies that publish books supported by NSF funds be providing free PDFs as part of this deal?

Not necessarily. We might copy what the National Institute of Health has already done. All journal articles containing research funded by the NIH must be deposited in the open-access database PubMed Central no more than 12 months after they’re submitted for publication. This is done by the researcher, not the publisher. Books aren’t included under this law. To renew their NIH grants, researchers must prove they’ve complied. It’s not hard: they just have to include the PubMed Central numbers when citing their previous NIH-funded papers.

PubMed Central is a lot like the arXiv, though it has twice as many papers – a million, not half a million – and it gets a lot more use: as of June 2004 it received 1,300 hits per second.

Why shouldn’t the NSF require researchers submit their taxpayer-funded journal articles to the arXiv or a similar open-access database? I believe that the AMS, EMS, MAA, SIAM, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Elsevier already let mathematicians and physicists put their papers on the arXiv. For the NSF to require this would simply guarantee that when I, as a taxpayer, pay for your research, I get to see what you’ve done!

In math or physics, where the arXiv is already popular, this law would incrementally improve the existing system. In other sciences, like chemistry, it could radically transform it.

Of course I would like to see research monographs included under this law, but I’m a dreamer.

(By the way, I left Springer off the above list of publishers on purpose. I believe their standard contract demands that you hand over all rights, including electronic rights, when publishing a paper with them. This means you need to explicitly change the contract if you publish with them. They don’t put up much of a fuss.)
38. Yves Gingras - December 6, 2008

A lot of attention has been given over the last few weeks to El Naschie and his Journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals (CSF). I would like to add a few information on the topic by pointing to the fact that he is also editing another journal with JH He which has quite the same characteristics as CSF: International Journal of Non Linear sciences and numerical simulations (IJNLSNS for short) created in 2000. El Naschie and JH He are the two first scientists who published the most in that journal (respectively 19 and 24 papers between 2000 and 2008). Like El Naschie who published 97% of all his papers in these two journals (246 in CSF and 19 in IJNLSNS), JH He also used a lot of space in CSF (26 papers). Of course those two authors are also those who cite the two journals the most… and IJNLSNS is first cited by CSF (at the very high level of 20% of the total citations received by that journal, followed of course by 16% of self-citations from IJNLSNS…

Concerning CSF no one seems to have observed a fundamental change in the countries of origins of the papers since 2004. In the period 2001-2003 only 18% of the published papers in CSF came from China. In the period 2004-2008 the proportion jumped to 43%. And while USA was first among the contributors before 2000 (with 18% of the papers in the period 1993-2000)),followed by England and Germany, it dropped to 6% of the papers afterwards as did also the two other countries. There seems to have been a clear move on the part of CSF to cater to Chinese papers as the sudden rise cannot be a simple effect of the growth of Chinese science. It may however be also an effect of the Chinese policy to give a premium (in money) to scientists who publish in English in Journals that are covered by Thomson data base…(At least I saw the mention of such a policy somewhere).

All these interesting data can easily be obtained directly from the ISI Web of knowledge database that most libraries have access to. I think they provide a nice example of what can be learned about journals just by looking carefully at their quantitative characteristics.
39. Anonymous - December 7, 2008

I believe that the AMS, EMS, MAA, SIAM, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Elsevier already let mathematicians and physicists put their papers on the arXiv.

Actually, Elsevier’s policy is a deeply offensive attempt to undermine the arXiv. They allow you to keep the pre-submission draft on the arXiv, but they insist that you are not allowed to update it with any changes that come from the peer review process. (See They are very explicit about this: they grudgingly allow authors to update the copies on their personal web pages or institutional repositories, but not the arXiv.

I’m convinced this is an attempt to hurt the arXiv. They know that trying to forbid using the arXiv entirely is a losing battle, but they hope to spread the idea that arXived papers are inferior versions of the published papers, and that you cannot rely on them to be correct and complete.

So I consider Elsevier to be firmly in the enemies category regarding the arXiv.

They give an offensive explanation of their policy, too. Specifically, in order for their seal of approval (their term) to be meaningful, readers have to know that the article they are reading really is the final published version. One solution would be to require that arXived versions must be updated to the final version. That would be quite sensible, and authors have a moral obligation to update the arXived draft anyway. Instead, Elsevier’s solution is to try to ensure that no version other than theirs actually does match the final version. The incoherence of this idea is shown by their 2004 policy change allowing updates on personal web pages. Although they try to hide the issues with this seal of approval nonsense, the fact that they treat the arXiv (and other free preprint servers) differently is telling.
40. Canadense revela conexão chinesa no escândalo de revista científica « Laudas Críticas - December 9, 2008

[...] intrigante comentário sobre a relação entre o chinês e o egípcio. Está na postagem “L’affaire El Naschie” (30/11), publicado no Secret Blogging Seminar pelo matemático Ben Webster, do MIT (Instituto de [...]
41. Chris Grant - December 12, 2008

John Baez wrote:

“Books aren’t included under this law.”

But why would we want to mimic this aspect of the NIH rules for the NSF? Why would we want to treat books differently from journal articles?

I just got proofs back from Elsevier for a paper to appear in Discrete Mathematics. It seems evident from them that this journal puts a lot of effort into the production process. They appear to be using a proprietary font. That fact together with the fact that they put an unusually large number of lines on a page and an unusually large number of characters on a line means that their LaTeX person had to do a substantial amount of work to reformat the source file I sent them. When I compare the way this article looks to the way that, say, the AMS GSM books look, it’s hard for me to believe that the AMS is expending a lot more effort to create (the electronic versions of) their books than Elsevier is expending on their articles.

Last night I finished reading Jeremy Gray’s Plato’s Ghost, which is published by Princeton University Press. It’s really a fine book, and I highly recommend it, but it seemed like every 5 or 10 pages there was a sentence that didn’t parse (e.g., because it lacked a verb). That suggests to me that PUP didn’t have it proofread by anyone but the author. And if they didn’t have this (relatively non-technical) book proofread, it seems unlikely that they’d proofread many of their math books.
42. A.B. - December 20, 2008

I hope this blog could have sufficient tolerance and a minimum of scientific thinking to accept a dissenting voice. You are pretending as if the most important thing is how many papers a scientist publishes. Any reasonable person, let alone a scientist, knows exactly that the number of papers per se is neither here nor there. Since some people for reasons better known to themselves have used the theme as a pretext for launching an attack on Prof. Mohamed El Naschie. Let me give you at least the facts as they are and not as some, for their own end, would like them to be. Mohamed El Naschie is known to be prolific. This has nothing to do with excellence. He published something in the order of 900 papers or even more, simply because he likes to convey his ideas in his own style on all conceivable subjects including art, economy, engineering and physics – something like 250 papers have been published in his own journal in the last 20 years. This is not really much in terms of productivity. It may be even nothing in terms of originality. But these blogs are not the place to discuss it because we cannot write a decent equation understandable to anybody in any of these blogs. When you don’t write equations and you don’t talk pure science, all what is left are gossip. If you add to gossips envy and vendettas you get the ugly face of internet blogs. You should research the background of the man which some would like to bedevil. Mohamed El Naschie is well known to have been a very wealthy man by the age of 35. He was a full professor of engineering by the age of 34. He has never applied for his research in physics for any funding whatsoever. He never got a penny out of his research in theoretical physics. His ambition is well known to those who live in the Middle East. Some said he wanted to be the Prime Minister of Egypt. That may well be the case. But I doubt very much he could do this job for a single day for reasons I don’t want to go into on this blog. El Naschie is a free spirited man and he established CS&F to help scientists in the Third World. The Journal was supposed to be free of charge or at a minimum for a very modest subscription. He came into conflict with Elsevier precisely because of that and he was very upset to see that CS&F turned into a money spinning machine for commercial publishing. The breaking point came many years later with regard to Elsevier translation business enterprise in the People’s Republic of China. Some outspoken persons called it a racket. That may be harsh. But El Naschie called it the end of scientific publishing as he knows it. I was privileged to some of the correspondence which he exchanged with top directors in Elsevier. El Naschie used to improve the manuscripts of good Chinese physicists and mathematicians with weak command of the English Language free of charge. You have to know the reasons: El Naschie is an Egyptian nationalist – he is neither a communist, nor a capitalist nor a Muslim fundamentalist or any of these readymade labels. The president of Jia tong University in Shanghai summed it up like that: Egypt was the first country in the world to recognize the People’s Republic of China and to withdraw its recognition for Formosa or national China. The People’s Republic of China was the first country to stand by Egypt when France and England invaded to recapture the Suez Canal. The President continued by saying it is a pleasure to honor today an Egyptian scientist and friend of China namely Mohamed El Naschie. This might sound to many Europeans as grotesque or comic. However this is what makes Mohamed El Naschie tick. It is typical for him to stand with the underdog, named the Third World where he originally comes from. It is typical for him to be loyal to those who stood with him and his country in its darkest hours. It is as simple as that. I know how hard it is for ordinary physicists to think that there are people who love science for the sake of science. Science is not how Mohamed El Naschie earns his money – that is for sure. CS& F was a costly project for him in terms of time and yes in terms of money. Of course Mohamed is extremely stubborn and he is a formidable opponent when he feels he is right. Those who have charged him wrongly and falsely, I am absolutely confident that they will find out that it is their greatest mistake in life. As with regard to the five papers in the last issue in CS&F written by him, this is really a bad joke. These papers were published on Elsevier science direct site a long time ago. It is the publishing officer in Elsevier who compiled then a hard copy out of the pool of papers. In this particular case, I can tell you an amazing story which I happened to know. The lady in Elsevier compiled this issue with ten papers by Prof. El Naschie and sent it for his approval. He was very busy and said more or less ok ok. I was there and I told him there is a trap and I smell a rat. I said it is ridiculous that Elsevier has put ten papers of yours in one issue although you never approve more than 3 papers at a time per issue if any. El Naschie jumped and said Good gracious, tell them to delete immediately 5 of these papers in order not to delay the production of the issue. I believe someone in Elsevier was trying to frame El Naschie knowingly and on purpose to create a case against him because he opposed the new Elsevier Translation Empire which they set out in China. They charge unreasonable amounts of money for what El Naschie has been doing any case year in and year out free of charge as a service for the young people of a great nation which stood by his country in one of its darkest hours. You have never been so misled about a man as you have been misled about the real motives, quality and character of Mohamed El Naschie. Yes I know him very well but this would never be a reason for me to take his side except that I know that all what has been said about him is more or less a fabrication. In two weeks from now at the most, you will read the truth about this plot in most of the accessible media including Nature. Thank you for being so tolerant to allow somebody to say the truth as he sees it.
43. Anonymous - December 21, 2008

I think that Elsevier is doing dirty jobs in scientific publishing.
The CSF journal is owned by Elnaschie and Elsevier is getting money
out of this apart from the subcribtion fees. El naschie pays for getting
credibility of Elsevier and to have the chance to publish his great scintific ideas in journal hosted by a supposed reputable publishing house like Elsevier. There are other many similar cases in Elsevier.

El naschie keeps publishing junk in CSF for a quite long time and kept unoticed by mintoring system of Elsevier which seems very odd. While it is so obvious that we have crackpoets.

Does any body have better explanation.
44. B. K. Goswami - December 22, 2008

I would like to add a few points regarding the characterization of the merit of a research paper, and in the same way a research journal. The conventional parameters are citation index for the papers and impact factor for the journals.
Let me consider here the citation index. In research papers (at least in Physics journals and those in Nonlinear Science), it is a common practice that a paper is cited in the introduction at the end of a statement as “also ” and then forgotten for the entire paper thereafter. Can we merit that citation? If one’s paper make a passing citation, why should that be counted at all? Secondly, I know a few occasions where a paper is not cited at all even if the paper is published in a premier research journal like Phys. Rev. The reason may not be because any deficiency of the paper but that the author may not be known to the other researchers in the same topic. This can happen due to many reasons. I cite here two reasons. First is the lack of understanding by others . This, bitter it may taste, does happen. That is why a paper remains unnoticed for a long spell before opening a new horizon. The second reason is more crude but practical. That the author(s) may not be fortunate to attend any international conference/symposium and put his(their) footprints physically. Also he is (they are) no Newton or Einstien but may be as good (bad) as any other scientists. Now I cite another deficiency in citation index. We underestimate self-citation and give merits to others’ citation. But if we notice carefully, a paper in general is multi-author where some authors may be research students, associates, post-docs who have to shuttle like migratory birds if they are as average as we are. Commonly they will be flying to those nests who work on the same area. Therefore, chances are that they act like bridges that help improving citations. Besides, senior guys (profs.) also have a network (may be through conferencs/symposiums again) through which they market their products quite well. So in all these circumstances, what is the merit of such citations?

I would say evaluation (appreciation) of a paper should have some proper way (or category) of characterizations.
45. davidspeyer - December 22, 2008

I just wanted to note that I have deleted three comments from this thread, previously held in our spam filter. Although they were not spam, they consisted of nothing but insults directed at Ben. I see no reason we should publish posts which contribute nothing to the discussion, and insult us to boot.

All three of the comments described Ben as, at some way, a disgrace to the name of Princeton. Ben spent a year at the IAS, but is affiliated with MIT. This common error leads me to think that we don’t have three rude respondents, but one poster with three sock puppets. Sock puppetry is, I think, generally considered rude on the internet, and certainly is considerd rude here.
46. Ben Webster - December 22, 2008

Better yet, they thought I had gotten my Ph.D. from Princeton. Yeesh, come on internet people, it’s all right there on my web page.
47. BKG - December 22, 2008

My comments are towards A. B. for his blog (no. 42) that attempts to glorify Naschie and crucify Elsevier Press. Here they are:
(1) How does one justify the publication of photo galary that showcases medals and shoulder crasing with sultans and Nobel Laurets in a research journal? Please see that appeared at Chaos, Solitons and Fractals 25 (2005) 915–933. In fact the whole issue is dedicated for His Highness. Do the libraries/individuals pay for that kind of stuff?
(2) I refer to his statements “As with regard to the five papers in the last issue in CS&F written by him, this is really a bad joke. …….there is a trap and I smell a rat. I said it is ridiculous that Elsevier has put ten papers of yours in one issue although you never approve more than 3 papers at a time per issue if any. El Naschie jumped and said Good gracious, tell them to delete immediately 5 of these papers in order not to delay the production of the issue. I believe someone in Elsevier was trying to frame El Naschie knowingly and on purpose to create a case against him because he opposed the new Elsevier Translation Empire which they set out in China.”

(a) Now, please let me know how an editor-in-chief goes along with accumulation of an author’s 10 papers before they are intended to be published by some “framer”. He has been there not for a month but for good many years I suppose.
(b) Since A. B. has been in the editorial office, so close to Prof Naschie, may be he can throw some light on reviewing process of all his papers. Besides, how is it that Prof. Naschie did not try his papers get published elsewhere, say in APS or AMS journals. Why should an editor-in-chief of a journal publish so many papers ina journal where he is the editor-in-chief. How can one exempt such a case as a classic case of “abuses and discredit the editorship”.
(c) Why does one have to draw a theory of “conspiracy” all of a sudden when everything has come to light? What was happening these many years?

48. el naschie - December 23, 2008

[...] Continued | The n-Category Caf? [3] The Case of M. S. El Naschie, Continued | Scintilla [4] L’affaire El Naschie ” Secret Blogging Seminar [5] Update on El Naschie and Elsevier – Uncommon [...]
49. A.J. Tolland - December 28, 2008

Readers of our blog may be amused to know that some idiot is filling up our spam queue with comments which

1) feature the same sort of rambling obfuscatory prose,
2) originate from the same IP address in Egypt, and
3) purport to be from a number of different authors.

Apparently, our spam filter can detect crackpottery.
50. John Baez - December 30, 2008

I wrote:

Books aren’t included under this law.

Chris Grant wrote:

But why would we want to mimic this aspect of the NIH rules for the NSF? Why would we want to treat books differently from journal articles?

Purely to get the bill passed. If we tried to make NSF-funded research monographs available for free online, I think the uproar from scientific book publishers would be enough to derail the bill.

But I don’t know much about getting bills passed. Maybe it’s better to push for as much as possible at first, and then settle for less.

At this point, I’d be ecstatic if we ever get a single legislator interested in this issue.
51. Anonymous - January 4, 2009

Believe it or not

El naschie had four articles whose titles containing Witten. The articles are

1- A few hints and some theorems about Witten’s M theory and T-duality,

Chaos,Solitons and Fractals 25 (2005)545 -548

2- Using Witten’s five Brane theory and the holographic principle to derive the value of the electromagnetic structure constant alpha =1/137,

Chaos,Solitons and Fractals 38 (2008)1051 -1053

3- Fuzzy knot theory interpretation of Yang -Mills instantons and Witten’s 5-Brane model,

Chaos,Solitons and Fractals 38 (2008)1349 -1354

4- On the Witten -Duff Branes model together with knots theory and E 8 E 8 super strings in a single fractal spacetime theory,

Chaos, Solitons and Fractals xxx (2008)xxx – xxx . The article is still in press, but you can get the pdf. file.

The amazing thing about the references of the first three articles is that they don’t contain any research paper for Witten. Finally, the great man realized his mistake and put a reference for Witten in the fourth one (the most recent one). But the man didn’t acknowledge who pointed out to him this bug in his program which he used to generate papers (Backreaction blog). Any way this a good step, at least the references are now correctly produced. Unfortunately you still need further improvement in your code that seems has a serious problem with E. Witten. Although you referred to a paper of Witten the program has produced a wrong title for it. In the reference list we find

[4 ]Witten E. Searching for a realistic Kaluza-Klein Theory. Nucl Phys B 1981;186:412 – 28.

While the correct title turned out to be, as you can check yourself:

Search for a realistic Kaluza-Klein theory

Nuclear Physics B, Volume 186, Issue 3, 10 August 1981, Pages 412-428, Edward Witten

As N. Eisfeld wrote on Mar. 26, 2008 @ 18:32 GMT, in this blog,, describing El naschie

“This man has never bad-mouthed, ignored or downplayed anyone or any contribution. He also acknowledged every single person who contributed to his work unless he genuinely did not know and then he will immediately apologize of the unintended omission.”
52. Anonymous - January 6, 2009

I think that Elsevier is doing dirty jobs in scientific publishing. The CSF journal is owned by Elnaschie and Elsevier is getting money out of this apart from the journal subscription fees. El naschie pays for getting credibility of Elsevier and to have the chance to publish his great scientific ideas in journal hosted by a supposed reputable publishing house like Elsevier. There are other many similar cases in Elsevier.

El naschie keeps publishing junks in CSF for a quite long time and kept unnoticed by mentoring system of Elsevier which seems very odd. While it was so obvious from the far beginning that we have a crackpot.

The same applies to Cambridge university which allowed him to publish his articles for nearly ten years 1993-2001 using its affiliation, while, for sure, he wasn?t a staff member there. It is far from reality to imagine that people in Cambridge have been fooled for that long time. According to the following data base

One can find:

17 articles where the affiliation is DAMTP, Cambridge, UK.

72 articles where the affiliation is Dept. of Appl. Math. & Theor. Phys., Cambridge Univ., UK

40 articles where the affiliation is Univ of Cambridge.

No prize for one who guesses at which journal those articles have been published.

It is not enough for Elsevier just to step down Elnaschie , they should explain how these things happened and what their future precautions to prevent such a misusing of editorial power.

On the other side, Cambridge people should explain how it was possible for El naschie to use its affiliation for a quite long time, harming their reputation without charging him and any legal action.

The papers of El naschie would be a permanent black record for both Elsevier and Cambridge for too long time in the future.
53. Scott Funkhouser - January 27, 2009

Hello, all. I only recently discovered the disappointing situation with Elsevier. I and a co-author had a paper under review at CSF and when I learned about the problems with El Naschie and CSF I urged him to withdraw the paper. A few days later he received this curious e-mail from CSF:
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2009 08:31:16 EST
Subject: CS&F

Dear Colleagues, friends and members of the Honorary and International Editorial Boards,

It is with the greatest regret and dismay that we note the present break down of proper lines of communication in receiving, refereeing and accepting papers in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. We have identified the reason to be mainly connected to a wholly misleading letter which some of you have received from certain employees of Elsevier Publishing Ltd. The letter purports that the Founding Editor-in-Chief, Prof. El Naschie is retiring from his position as the Editor-in-Chief and that this retirement will be announced in the first issue of the 2009 volume of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. As you have definitely noticed such a volume has not appeared and Prof. El Naschie does not intend and in fact will not step down from his position as Editor-in-Chief. It is not the objective of this letter to explain the circumstances which made some quarters in Elsevier issue and send such a letter to the Members of the Editorial Boards. However, there is no harm in mentioning briefly that it is an irrevocable contractual obligation which links the name of the Founding Editor, Prof. El Naschie and the name Chaos, Solitons & Fractals indefinitely. It is only through a Court order in the final instance that Chaos, Solitons & Fractals can be published without the consent of its Founding Editor-in-Chief. If you have any query in this matter, please contact us and we will connect you to the solicitors who are dealing with this matter in the High Court.

Never the less, the main interest of Prof. El Naschie is to keep Chaos, Solitons & Fractals intact under the present severe circumstances. For this reason and as a matter of expediency or at a minimum as a matter of loyalty to the Editor-in-Chief who created this journal from scratch, you should deal only directly with the Editor-in-Chief, through this email address. Please refrain from sending anything directly to Elsevier. In particular all papers submitted to you must first be sent to the Editor-in-Chief for the final acceptance after you may or may not have made the preliminary refereeing. This was always the procedure used throughout the last seventeen years. This is also the only way to avoid getting entangled in legal proceedings which would harm the journal’s reputation as well as all those who are connected to it.

There have been some disagreements on certain policies between Prof. El Naschie and certain quarters in Elsevier. The disagreements are connected to Elsevier’s business enterprises in China as well as some commitment of Elsevier towards the Chinese Academy of Science and a small Chinese journal which Elsevier officially launched not long ago to inadvertently take over the position of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. If this is, and I am saying only if, the way Elsevier shows its gratitude to the people who Founded and ran Chaos, Solitons & Fractals for seventeen years, then you can imagine how much gratitude they will have for your work when the objective is to close down Chaos, Solitons & Fractals.

Our legal advisers have been working day and night for the last month or so to ensure that Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, which in the meantime is the number one mathematical journal for nonlinear dynamics and theoretical physics with an impact factor of over 3.5 projected for this year, continues to thrive. To do that we must stick together and should not be divided by any scheme aimed at divide and rule. If you wish to know more about all these subjects, please write to us and we will answer you but in the meantime, we implore you for the sake of the Journal, its reputation, the Editorial Boards and in fact for the sake of Elsevier themselves, to stick religiously to the policy which has prevailed for the last seventeen years in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals and which has brought us so much success. Please ignore all letters not coming from the Editor-in-Chief’s office and direct all correspondence as well as all submissions to the same.

H.G. Boehm

On behalf of the Editor in Chief and the Managing Editorial Board
54. A couple of links « Secret Blogging Seminar - January 27, 2009

[...] at the end of an old thread, but those interested in the el Naschie situation may want to read this comment. If this is true, then it is going to make an excellent TV [...]
55. Lots of Unrelated Topics « Not Even Wrong - January 27, 2009

[...] The El Naschie/Elsevier saga continues, latest here. [...]
56. Brian Seindler - February 1, 2009

I think everybody must agree that a reasonable scientist distinguishes himself from the average, non-scientific person by a reasonable degree of objectivity without which science could not exist. If we write according to our heart’s desire, emotion or lust for revenge and inferiority complexes then we should better find ourselves another profession. For these reasons I appeal to the readers of this site as well as to those responsible for it to remove all slander and non-scientific comments out of this site. I want to read a single comment on this site which is only pertinent to the scientific content of the work of Mohamed El Naschie. Instead I read personal opinions, dressed in philosophical gowns intended only to either condemn or glorify Mohamed El Naschie. This is not a scientific debate.
Much has been said about the controversy between Dr. Renate Loll from the University of Utrecht and Dr. Jan Ambjorn from the Niels Bor Inst., Denmark on the one side and Mohamed El Naschie, Laurent Nottale and Garnet Ord on the other side. The reason is an article which appeared in Scientific American last year. It is said with boring repetition that Renate Loll and Jan Ambjorn plagiarized the work of El Naschie, Nottale and Ord. This may or may not be the case but I deplore any public flogging which reminds me of our Middle Ages. However since this article and the criticism of Loll and Ambjorn, the doors of hell opened on El Naschie and his colleagues. That is when I started to become suspicious. El Naschie has been publishing his work for twenty years or so. It was reviewed everywhere including in Physics Reports as I have just learned. The paper is Fractal geometry in quantum mechanics, field theory and spin systems, 323 (2000), pp. 81-181. One of the first proposals for fractal spacetime by El Naschie was made in the journal of the Franklin Inst., On turbulence and complex dynamics in a four-dimensional Peano-Hilbert space, Vol. 330, No. 1, (1993), pp. 183-198. These are a considerably long time ago but the non-scientific campaign against El Naschie which started in the n-Category Café wants us to believe the man was working secretly, in hiding, writing unintelligible papers. Being unintelligible is a relative matter anyway – it depends on who is reading it but in all honesty, I have never read a more lucid paper on the subject of quantum spacetime than the following paper by El Naschie, The theory of Cantorian spacetime and high energy particle physics (an informal review), Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, (2008), doi: 10.1016/j.chaos.2008.09.059. An equally excellent historical review was given by a Slovenian mathematician, L. Marek-Crnjac in A short history of fractal-Cantorian spacetime, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, doi: 10.1016/j.chaos.2008.10.007. I also wanted to understand why El Naschie and why Ambjorn and Loll. I think I have found the connection. I did that not because I hate or love anyone of them, because I do not know anyone of them, but because I followed scientific thinking. El Naschie worked on finite elements. This is basically a Regge calculus, just like Ambjorn. Second El Naschie worked on engineering problems of shells using the theory of Pogorelov. This led him to triangulation and Japanese origami. Again this led him to Ambjorn or led Ambjorn to him. On a very close examination of a wonderful book by the great Russian topologist P.S. Alexandrov you realize that both El Naschie and Ambjorn have read this book very well. The key to understanding the work of both El Naschie and Ambjorn is in this book, particularly chapter number IV entitled Complexes. I forgot to mention the name of the book which is Combinatorial Topology, published by Dover, Copyright 1956. Following this logic El Naschie, Ambjorn and Loll should be the best of friends. There is no place for the remarks of John Baez nor of course the incredible comments by Peter Woit that Mohamed El Naschie was able to publish his work simply because he belongs to some disadvantaged or misfortunate minority. This is really way below any standard I know of and this is a man who has written a book criticizing string theory entitled Not Even Wrong. Finally, the latest news for everybody, the John Baez site n-Category Café has disappeared from the web. Of course the harm has been done and now he is the one in hiding. For a scientist, this is most definitely conduct unbecoming. That is definitely wrong. When it comes to character there is nothing called Not Even Wrong. I sincerely hope that this site takes notice of the fact that John Baez’ groundless allegations have evaporated out of the internet except for those repeating things without knowing if they are right or wrong or even where they come from.
57. Anonymous - February 2, 2009

Dear All,

There is an interesting article worthy to read.
The aricle is written in German about El naschie

Betrug in der Wissenschaft ( Fraud in science) which
uncovers the reality of El naschie.
58. Anonymous - February 4, 2009

In one of his numerous fascinating articles which
he dedicated to Gerardus tHooft and titled “On quarks confinement and asymptotic freedom”
(Chaos,Solitons and Fractals 37 (2008)1289–1291)

The great man El naschie gave a new miraculous explanation
for confinement. But unfortunately the great man doesn’t
know enough physics, nor enough math, to get into such
a deep topic. The man has clearly a big confusion between the number
of flavors and number of generations. According to him
page 1290 “…This term appear as 33 –2 f where f is the number of
fermion-anti fermion loops considered….” where the great man
meant the one loop beta function. In the same page one finds
the expression of the one loop beta function b= 33- 2 N_f/12 Pi
” …. For a number of generation equal to that of the standard
model,namely N_f =3 one .nds b =0.716197….”. But to the knowledge of El Naschie
N_f should be interpreted as the number of flavors not the number of generations.
Maybe the great man can check this in any standard textbook on the subject
or the one he used which is the first reference listed at the end of
his article.

Another extraordinary achievement of El Naschie is his freshman
explanation for the confinement phenomenon.

In page 1291, the great man gave us his magic explanation for
confinement “… We cannot see quarks for the same reason that we
cannot see real water at +300 degree centigrade or – 30 degree
centigrade. In both cases we can see vapor or ice and we know it was
water but we cannot see water……”

Let me ask the great man a technical question, if your approach is
a non-perturbative and can cope only with the one loop expression of
beta function. What about the other contributions to beta function
namely two loop, three loop and four loop do you interpret them as
Trans-infinite corrections. To your knowledge the four loop
correction to beta function appeared in 1997, which means you
can not find it in the old edition of your first reference
Yndurain FJ.The theory of quark and gluon interaction.Berlin:Springer;1992.
By now there is the fourth edition 2006, and you can give a look at.

The astonishing thing is that El Naschie uses just very elementary math operations like addition,
subtraction, multiplication and division. Maybe in this particular
paper he was a little more advanced and used the logarithm. That is
just a pedagogical trick to make dummy people understand. On the
top of all these, El Naschie explains low energy phenomena(
relatively) using Planck scale language (let us not say physics!).

Now, let us ask the following interesting question: if the great man El
naschie dedicates this article to Gerardus tHooft (Nobel prize
laureate), then what has Gerardus tHoof dedicated to him?

Although the question seems difficult, tHooft has made it easier for us. In his webpage
tHooft gave an account of How to Become Bad theoretical
Physicists.( content of this page was
of course dedicated to every successful case. tHooft did not
mention any name but El Naschie can easily recognize himself as a
champion of this webpage.

At last, we argue the great man to devote part of his time to
learn proper math and physics (although it is toooo late now!).
Sciences and knowledge is not about using
English in a pedantic and impressive way. One can still do good science
even with broken English but not with broken and sick mind.
59. Anonymous - February 4, 2009

In this concluding comment, I am going to show in a rigorous
mathematical language that El Nashie is isomorphic to a “Bad
Theoretical Physicist” according to tHoof definition and criteria .

Thooft criteria are:

1-It is much easier to become a bad theoretical physicist than a good one.
I know of many individual success stories.

El- For sure El Naschie is one of those stories.

2- Compare yourself with Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Paul

El- This happened in many occasions. In his 60th
birthday celebration in China one reads in the preface of the
proceeding dedicated to him the following:
“Our Chinese Scientists on Nonlinear Dynamics are in infinite love
and admiration to both the man and his science.”

“Treading the path of El Naschie, we gather together to celebrate
the century’s greatest scientist after Newton and Einstein,
and share his greatest achievement.”

One can find more on the following link:

3- You may consider the option of connecting your work with mystery
topics such as telepathy and consciousness.

EL- This is one of El Naschie’ papers.

The brain and E-Infinity

Published in International journal of nonlinear sciences and numerical simulation
volume:7,issue: 2, pages:129-132 and published in the year 2006

Abstract: This short letter, in fact, this short telegram is mainly intended
to point out a recent and quite unexpected realization that E-Infinity space time
(E-infinity) theory (M. S. El Naschie,Chaos, Soliton & Fractals, 29 pp. 209-236 2004)
could be of a considerable help in deciphering one of the greatest secrets and
impenetrable questions of our own existence, namely what is consciousness and how
does it relate to the brain(G. M. Edelman. Consciousness. Penguin Books, London,2000).

4- Make outrageous claims of having solved long standing problems.

EL- El Naschie claims to have solved: Confinement, Quantum
Gravity, Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, explained the number
of elementary particles, the value of all gauge couplings..and
many other things…

5-The bad theoretical physicist, in anticipation,
names his own equations and effects, and even his entire theories, after himself right away.

EL- Feynman-El Naschie Hypothesis, El Naschie local

6- Try to overshout all your critics, and have your work published anyway.
If the well-established science media refuse to publish your work,
start your own publishing company and edit your own books.

EL- El Naschie founded Chaos Solitons and Fractals journal and has to do with the one in China.

7- Your next step should be to advertise your work. Your reputation may have
caused the xxx ArXives and Wikipedia to refuse your submissions.

EL- El Naschie has been black-listed in xxx ArXives for affiliation arrogating
( forging).( More detail can
be found in (

8- You have convinced your friends at your local bar, your family, your pizza vendor, your dog,
and even a local radio station of the superiority of your theory.

El- Mohamed El Naschie answers a few questions about this month’s new
hot paper in the field of Engineering.
In addition, Dr. El Naschie gives an audio interview about his work.

This is can be found in:

Beside many interviews and TV shows in Egyptian channels.

9- But then there are those few physicists such as one bloke called Gerardus ‘t Hooft,
who shamelessly have pointed out to you that your theory is nonsense!
Should you take them seriously? Of course not.
Don’t even try to show them the details of your derivations,
which you forgot anyway and you might not be able to reproduce on the spot.
Here is what you do to establish your reputation forever: JUST GIVE THEM HELL.
Compare those obnoxious puppets of the establishment with nazis and
threaten them with law suits. That’ll teach them.

El- This is can be easily seen from his comments in different
blogs including this blog.

10- Lastly, we ask El Naschie to measure his John Baez index or
crackpot index mentioned in tHooft web
page. ( of course
don’t confuse this with Atiyah-Singer or Witten index….

I think with the above ten commands we have shown in a non
refutable way that El Naschie is in one to one correspondence with
the criteria of a BAD THEORETICAL PHYSICIST. Congratulations for
being a champ!
60. Jason - February 5, 2009

John Baez’s

has disappeared! Did El Naschie intimidate him with legal threats? Does anyone have a cached copy?
61. davidspeyer - February 5, 2009

The text of John’s original post seems to be available at here . (I have no idea what the point of that blog is or who is running it.) I just downloaded a copy to my hard drive. But I can’t find the comment thread, which had a great deal of good discussion.
62. davidspeyer - February 5, 2009

I just sent John an e-mail. (Posting this here so that 1000 people don’t do the same.)
63. Jason - February 5, 2009

He calls himself Professor El naschie on his site.

He says he’s “a visiting professor in numerous universities.” Does anyone know what his home institution is, i.e., where this ostensible professor is visiting from?

I bet he’s not a professor at all.
64. Jason - February 7, 2009

It’s been established that El Naschie writes bad papers and publishes them in his own journal. But who is this guy? Is his claim to be a professor fraudulent?

The following is taken from his Web site, and I have made some comments inline.

“Mohamed El Naschie, born 1943 in Cairo, Egypt. He received his entire education in West Germany (Hamburg and Hannover ) and later on in England where he obtained his Ph.D. from the University College, London – U.K..”

This is apparently true.

“He is a fellow of the Institute of Physics, England”

This is worthless. Institute of Physics, England is not an academic institution, or associated with one. It’s a publishing house. (

“and a distinguished Fellow of the Physics Institute of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt.”

He’s no longer allowed to use this affiliation, though it may have been true in the distant past.


“He is a visiting Professor in numerous Universities including University of Cairo, University of Alexandria (Dept. of Physics), Egypt.”

Visiting professors are professors at some home institution from which they are visiting. Failure to mention where he’s a professor is suspicious.

“He is the current advisor of the Egyptian Ministry for Science and Technology (High Energy Physics and Nanotechnology).”

Sad for Egypt.

“He is Honorary Professor in Shanghai`s Jiao Tong University as well as the Donghua University in the People`Republic of China.”

Is he calling himself a professor merely on the basis of being an Honorary Professor? That wouldn’t be right. Honorary professorships are baubles for famous persons without specialist knowledge.

“He is the principle advisor of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KACST – Riyadh) since many years.”

So much the worse for Saudi Arabia.

“Professor El Naschie was trained initially as an engineer and worked extensively in Structural Engineering and Applied Mechanics. After becoming full Professor of Engineering”

Where did he become Full Professor of Engineering? How odd to leave that information out. Is that still his home institution — the place where he is a professor (as opposed to a “visiting professor”)?

“he followed his inclination towards theoretical subjects and moved first towards Applied Mathematics and later on Nuclear and High Energy Physics. His research interests include: Stability, Bifurcation. Atomic-engineering, Nonlinear Dynamics, Chaos, Fractals, High Energy Particle Physics, Quantum Mechanics and E-infinity theory. He is editor-in-chief and associate editor of numerous learned journals.”

Prof. M.S. El Naschie – P.o. Box 272 – Cobham, Surrey KT11 2FQ – England, U.K.”

It goes without saying, that’s not an academic contact address.
65. John Armstrong - February 7, 2009

Visiting professors are professors at some home institution from which they are visiting.

Not that I disagree with your overall point, Jason, but mathematicians are a pedantic lot by nature…

I’ve had three positions with the title “visiting assistant professor” with no home institution. In theory what you’re saying may be the original idea, but in practice that’s not how these things actually work.
66. Jason - February 8, 2009

I understand, but a “visiting professor” and a “visiting assistant professor” are very different. Academic institutions are generous with the latter title and in my experience cautiously stingy with the former, at least in the US and the UK.

El Naschie has claimed to be a “professor” (no institution specified); a “visiting professor” (validity of affiliations in dispute); and to have become “a full professor of engineering” (no institution specified).

His claimed affiliations vary from paper to paper even within the Jan 2008 edition of his execrable journal:

String theory, exceptional Lie groups hierarchy
and the structural constant of the universe

Department of Physics, University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt and Department of Astrophysics,
University of Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

Super-symmetric quantum gravity inverse coupling from the Exceptional Lie symmetry groups hierarchy

aDepartment of Astrophysics, University of Cairo, Egypt

bDonghua University, Shanghai, PR China

Notes on exceptional lie symmetry groups hierarchy and possible implications for E-Infinity high energy physics

aDepartment of Physics, University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt

bDonghua University, Shanghai, PR China

Exceptional Lie groups hierarchy and some fundamental high energy physics equations

aDepartment of Physics, University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt

Noether’s theorem, exceptional Lie groups hierarchy and determining 1/a 137 of electromagnetism

aDepartment of Physics, Alexandria University, Egypt

Neither Donghua University, nor Alexandria University nor University of Cairo list El Naschie as belonging to their faculty. Nor does Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt — an institution he’s apparently wised up enough to stop claiming affiliation with.
67. Jason - February 8, 2009

By the way, regarding the above comment and the email originating from That’s El Naschie’s email address as given in his recent papers.
68. Jason - February 8, 2009

I have emailed El Naschie and asked what institution gave him his full professorship and whether he is still a full professor.

By the way I am still on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what happened to John Baez’s El Naschie page which appears to have vanished down a black hole without any comment from John! WTF?! Were El Naschie’s lawyers involved, as seems likely? He’s apparently a millionaire many times over and so able to afford scary lawyers. Still, if that’s what happened, I admit to being disappointed in John, who got off to such a good principled start calling garbage garbage.
69. Jason - February 8, 2009

Oh my God, did The Great Man’s lawyers frighten Jacques Distler as well? Jacques had said:

So, let me review (as best as I can understand).

1. We have a crackpot.
2. Said crackpot is editor of a journal — possibly, at one time, a journal which carried serious work, but now entirely given over to publishing crackpottery.
3. Said journal is published by a well-known, if somewhat evil, publishing house.

1) is not terribly shocking. There are plenty of crackpots, and we mostly just try to ignore them.
2) is also not terribly shocking. There are a number of examples of formerly respectable journals, which now publish mostly sludge. In this case, it’s not clear to me that Chaos, Solitons, and Fractals was ever really respectable. At best, we’ve seen some evidence that — in its early days — some respectable people were not-yet aware that it was ill-advised to publish there.
3) is the most serious bit. If Elsevier were not evil, would we proceed differently?

This is now not to be found on Distler’s site! What the hell is going on!
70. Jason - February 8, 2009

God, I hope Baez and Distler have some explanation besides lack of testicular fortitude. Hopefully I’ve misunderstood, or overlooked something. Come on John and Jacques, tell us why your El Naschie criticisms went down a black hole.
71. Jason - February 8, 2009
72. davidspeyer - February 8, 2009

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Jason, I don’t think that any of us, John and Jacques included, are obligated to pursue this issue beyond our own interest, and I don’t think that we are cowards if we don’t care about it as much as you.

I don’t have any direct information regarding John or Jacques’ situation. It is even possible that they are relaxing for the weekend and not on the internet :). I do know that, when one is engaged in a complicated legal situation, it is highly prudent not to discuss everything in public, and to remove previous comments one has made from the public view. Again, I DON’T KNOW WHETHER THIS IS RELEVANT. But I think it is a possibility, and I don’t think that we should criticize John and Jacques if, in taking the best legal action, they have decided not to give us a rubberneckers the spectacle we want.

I am glad that Jason has started EL Naschie Watch, since he seems to be passionate about this issue. I don’t want our blog to become El Naschie central (and I know that many of my co-bloggers agree, although I haven’t heard from all of them.) I would suggest that those who are interested in investigating Naschie’s employment status, and his mathematical work, move the conversation over there.

If people are looking for something to discuss here, might I suggest that we move back to the original topic of how the journal and refereeing systems can be improved?
73. Ben Webster - February 8, 2009

I concur. The story of El Naschie is kind of sickly fascinating, but ultimately I think it’s a distraction.
74. Noah Snyder - February 8, 2009

I agree, we’d prefer it if people who want to keep discussing this issue would move discussion to another venue. Jason’s new blog seems like a better place.

We prefer to try to manage comment threads by asking people politely, but if discussion here doesn’t die down we of course reserve the right to shut down the thread.
75. davidspeyer - February 9, 2009

A note to zaki1900 (AT) While the information you have gathered is certainly interesting, I think posting it here would move the conversation in the wrong direction. I have forwarded your post to Jason, and would encourage you two to continue the conversation by e-mail.
76. Jason - February 9, 2009

By all means — anyone interested in El Naschie matters head over to my El Naschie Watch blog.

You can also email me:
hasten dot jason at gmail dot com

77. Chicago Boyz » Blog Archive » Junk Science Warning Signs, Part II - March 4, 2009

[...] I’ve dug a little deeper into the matter, and I’ve seen a lot of quotes similar to this one: For you see, the most simple minded, stupid, and yet pervasive index of journal quality is the [...]
78. Introduction to journals « Motivic stuff - July 22, 2009

[...] output. Other people have already written about why the Science Citation Index and the Impact Factor are stupid and dangerous. There exist attempts at constructing better measures, for example the [...]
79. Scandal In Mathematics « Hamaguri - August 28, 2009

[...] It is really sad to read stuff like this (via slashdot). More exposure on the scandal here. Well, I thought this was possible in other subjects, but in mathematics? Makes you wonder if the [...]

80. David - November 23, 2010

If I may bump an old thread, apparently El Naschie is on his own entirely responsible for Alexandria University cracking the top 200 in some “world’s top universities” list. If anyone ever gave credibility to such lists before…

From Chaos, Solitons and Self-Promotion

At 8:44 PM, November 13, 2008, Anonymous sciencetourist said...

I know fundamentally less about these topics than the average backreaction reader but as a snake oil salesman I was very impressed with the buzzword compliance of the quoted paragraph.

At 8:58 PM, November 13, 2008, Blogger Phil Warnell said...

Hi Stefan,

Actually Newton was the editor of one of the very early famous journals that survives to this day being ‘Philosophical Transactions’ and he published quite a bit I would imagine; although I don’t suppose it came anywhere close to being three hundred papers. I would be interested as to learn how often El Naschie cited himself? Then again come to think of it since Chaos theory as it relates to fractal structure is well known to be largely self referencing:-) All levity aside it has one wonder as to how today such a thing could have been allowed to happen.



At 1:12 AM, November 14, 2008, Anonymous AngryPhysicist said...

Phil's comment reminds me of a short dialog from the Simpson's

Lisa: You started smoking, Dad?
Homer: Yes. Thomas Edison smoked several cigars a day.
Bart: [holds up Homer's empty notepad] Yeah, he invented stuff, too.

At 7:20 AM, November 14, 2008, Blogger Phil Warnell said...

Hi AngryPhysicist,

“Phil's comment reminds me of a short dialog from the Simpson's”

As noticed often my comments are tailored to match the attention span of the average reader. Gauged by your response it appears I have perhaps over estimated:-)



At 10:05 AM, November 14, 2008, Blogger Georg said...

what is the driving force behind such behaviour?
Money? I doubt Elsevier will pay real money
for writing in such a journal, right?
Does he crave for recognition? But this
gives rise to the question whether he knows how
shallow his papers are, does he?

At 3:40 PM, November 14, 2008, Anonymous changcho said...

Woah, 300 papers by him in a journal where he is the editor? That has got to raise many, many red flags.

" often El Naschie cited himself..."

It's a safe bet that he'd have cited himself many times.

At 10:00 PM, November 14, 2008, Blogger Plato said...

What a mess.:)

1:51 PM, February 23, 2008 Phil Warnell said... :)“Scientific responsibility taught, reinforces that every idea needs to go through it's phases before is can become an ideal.” See:Random Browsing: Online Access to Physics Journals

Since there is an on going correction process (Baez and the boys) it is beholding that in any system that is free(is it?), you will find ways profit was maximized while loosing credibility using it's sources??

Heck then, Peer review had gone by the way side, or is it one of these occasions that some without science background to understand what was going on, were buffaloed too?

Heck, then even a good scientist can be buffaloed:) Now, they'll all be pointing fingers, "hey look at me, I wasn't, and you were?" Your a Sokal maniac?:)

So what's lost here? The subject in it's entirety?


At 2:40 PM, November 16, 2008, Blogger Phil Warnell said...

Hi Plato,
1:51 PM, February 23, 2008 Phil Warnell said... :)“Scientific responsibility taught, reinforces that every idea needs to go through it's phases before is can become an ideal.”

Just as a point of clarification it was not I but you who said this. The crux of what I maintained was summed up in saying “The outcome will be not only be based on our ability technologically yet also of our intent.” That is to say that counter to natural process there is the human aspect which often is counter to this, sometimes for the better and yet more often for the worse. This is not to say that nature will always do better, yet rather that when intellect is involved that the ends are not always for the ‘good’. Of course your own namesake above all others was one of the first to recognize this important distinction.



At 1:27 AM, November 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

El naschie using his own journal as
a stock for his endless uncountable papers.
Here is, one of his marvelous paper found in Chaos, soltion and fractals.

On the universality class of all universality classes and E-infinity spacetime physics

M.S. El Naschie, a

aKing Abdul Aziz City of Science and Technology, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Available online 18 October 2006.

It is argued that E-infinity theory may represent the universality class of all universality classes of certain discrete dynamical maps which are at the root of relevant field theories. First we give a concise derivation of the basic equations of E-infinity and its ground state. Subsequently it is shown that the independence of the results obtained from the details of any equations of motion or Lagrangian is a clear indication that E-infinity may represent the universality class of all universality classes in the sense of Cantor with regard to relevant quantum field theories.

I'm amzed how this could be published

At 7:31 AM, November 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Prof. Jhon Baez
almost one year ago we have sent to Elsevier about this issue concerning
the "Chaos, soltion and fractl" Journal and his editor in Cheif El naschie

Here is the letter

Dear publishing responsible
We are writing you about the Journal of Chaos , solitons and Fractals and his editor in chief El Naschie. We are group scientists from different countries working in theoretical high energy physics and as a matter of fact we noticed that El Nashie the editor in chief the above mentioned journal has been publishing an incredible large number of papers in this journal, where he claims to have solved all the problems of particle physics using his E-infinity approach based on fractal geometry. We have looked at those papers very carefully and found them unscientific and meaningless, completely irrelevant to science and particle physics in particular. Moreover, those papers are not only without sense but complete junk. On the top of that El Naschie has published in 2008 ( in one month and 5 days) 33 papers, that is one paper per day!!, which scientifically unacceptable. Not only that, we discovered that most if not all the papers published in this journal by different authors have no scientific sense and are really junk and rubbish. What most authors, who publish in this journal, do is either to refer to El Nashie works or invent a theory title and attribute to El Naschie, and then write anything, in many cases they just copy formulas from books and write them and publish the same article several times by changing the introduction and the conclusion.As an evidence we attached some papers published in this journal and we invite you to ask any respectable scientist to evaluate those papers. Indeed it is not even needed to have a big knowledge of physics and mathematics to realize that the content of those papers is complete non sense.This journal has become preferred place of scientific junk.We wonder how a respectable and leading publisher which publishes prestigious journals like Nuclear physics, physics letters.etc...accept such misconducting of this journal by his editor in chief El Nashie. In fact, it is very weired and strange that El Naschie publishes all his papers in his journal and this does not happen in any respectable journal. Indeed we have nothing personal against this guy, but this journal as we said has become sort of source of rubbish and junk and in our view a source of jokes. We are afraid that the publisher Elesvier will be participating and playing an unintentional role in fostering and delivering junk science in the globe, in contrast to supposed policy of Elsevier. Best Regards

Here is the reply:

thank you for your letter.
We shall review the issues that you raise carefully. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.
David Clark David Clark
Publishing Director, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science and Astronomy
Elsevier B.V. Radarweg 29, Amsterdam 1043 NX
The Netherlands
Tel + 31 20 485 2451 | Fax + 31 20 485 2370 | |

But at the end nothing happened

At 2:57 PM, November 17, 2008, OpenID philramble said...

The number of incidents involving plaigiarism, self-plaigiarism, self-promotion through publications and usurping another's work for one's benefit are on the rise and growing thick and fast. The coming of the information technology revolution has fostered a new method of extensive internet-based research, which has also spawned new publishing avenues like online journals. Some of these journals take on the colour of self-promotion exercises, which are beneficial to one or a few individuals with vested interests.

I feel that it is more important to do "honest" science, true to the spirit of scientific discovery, either by letters/correspondence or by diligently recorded findings untouched by plaigiarism, misappropriation of intellectual property and self-promotion. However, the nature of research itself has changed over the last couple of decades, although the standards by which we publish haven't quite improved well enough to become legitimate, given these changing times.

Thanks for posting this.

At 12:05 PM, November 19, 2008, Blogger fluxqubit said...

To "Anonymous 7:31 AM, November 17, 2008" :

Would it be possible to post this letter to your official homepage (or any webpage your institution provides)?

The thing is, I am Egyptian physicist, and the case of Mohamed El Naschie is something that interests me for a host of reasons. The guy has essentially hijacked the middle-eastern media, and for five years, he has been saying that he is a Nobel prize candidate. He also claims that the West does not appreciate his works because of his firstname/nationality/religion ... etc. He is doing a real harm and I am VERY troubled about how Elsevier is ignoring the issue.

If you (or any other scholar) could raise the issue on your official institutional webpages, this will provide some creditability and we may be able to get the Egyptian media interested in investigating the case and probably reverse the damage he did.

Bee, what do you think?


At 12:09 PM, November 19, 2008, Blogger Bee said...

Hi Hassan,

Sure, the wider the story spreads the sooner Elsevier will do something about it. Stefan and I, we sent an email to the above mentioned CEO Herman van Campenhout (email address in post). No reply so far. I encourage everybody to write to him too. However, I should add that it's been mentioned to me that Elsevier is working on the problem but it takes time due to legal issues. Best,


At 12:22 PM, November 19, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Dear Bee,

we sent an email to the above mentioned CEO Herman van Campenhout (email address in post). No reply so far

ah - I was about to ask if you have got any response, as there was none to me, so far...

Hi Hassan,

thanks for your comment from the Egyptian perspective, that's very interesting - and a bit depressing.

I mean, if El Naschie has, as you say, essentially hijacked the middle-eastern media, and for five years, he has been saying that he is a Nobel prize candidate, then the comparatively minor changes in the editorship of some scientific journal will probably hardly be noted in Egypt. Even more so, when he also claims that the West does not appreciate his works because of his firstname / nationality / religion, then any measures taken by Elsevier with respect to Chaos, Solitons & Fractals can easily be interpreted by him in this light...

No idea how to cure that. There will be another journal, and E-ininity is to stay with us for a long time, I am afraid...

Best, Stefan

At 4:18 PM, November 19, 2008, Blogger fluxqubit said...

Bee, Stefan, thanks a lot for caring enough to talk about this case, and for the follow-up comments.

You have no idea how much attention that guy had in the Arab media. Google (his name AND Nobel prize) in Arabic, and you'll find +25,000 search hits. Today, I was chatting up a guy who happened to be a carpenter. He recognized the name of El Naschie immediately!

If you have an Arab student around, or anyone who speaks Arabic for this reason, it would be a real fun to follow some of the guy's news/interviews online. I can send you tens of links; I tried how Google-Translate handles the pages, but the result is not very satisfactory.

Nonetheless, I could get these (Sorry for Google's awful translation!):

* An interview with El Naschie on the printed version of a famous Egyptian magazine "Rosa ElYosef". A news website wrote the whole interview transcript. You'll find statements like "I was a candidate for the Nobel Prize since 6 years" and " I especially permanent candidate for the prize since 6 years"

* Another article about the guy in the second most popular newspaper in the country. The very first sentence is, "Consider this man very well, it soon become the fourth Egyptian Nobel prize after President Sadat, writer Naguib Mahfouz Dr. Ahmed Zewail". The picture in the article says it all (him with Mahfouz, the 1988 literature Nobel prize winner).

Holy crap? I know!


At 1:35 AM, November 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To prof. Jhon Baez

El naschie using his own journal as
a stock for his endless uncountable papers.
Here is, one of his marvelous papers found in Chaos, soltion and fractals.

The title

“On the universality class of all universality classes and E-infinity spacetime physics”

M.S. El Naschie,

King Abdul Aziz City of Science and Technology, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Available online 18 October 2006.

It is argued that E-infinity theory may represent the universality class of all universality classes of certain discrete dynamical maps which are at the root of relevant field theories. First we give a concise derivation of the basic equations of E-infinity and its ground state. Subsequently it is shown that the independence of the results obtained from the details of any equations of motion or Lagrangian is a clear indication that E-infinity may represent the universality class of all universality classes in the sense of Cantor with regard to relevant quantum field theories.

I’m quite amzed how this could be published.

In fact, for any one who knows little about particle physics realize that the results of any theory depend strongly on the particle content of the theory. For example in QCD, asymptotic freedom depends on the number of colours and flavors. The presence of CP violation in the quark sector depends on the number of generations. No CP violation for one and two generations, at least three generations is required for the presence of CP violation.

At 1:20 PM, November 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have looked hard at wikipedia and I found this article written by an Egyptian about El naschie

Facts about Mohamed ElNaschie

Facts about Mohamed El Naschie

Please My Sir, check all the following information. This article i just to show the facts not anything else.

This article is just trial to show the fact of Mohamed El Naschie by scientific proof. Really we have been disappointed very much when we saw many journals like Almasry Alyom, Almesryoon, El Ahram, El Akhbar and many big Egyptian journals are speaking about him that he is the best physicist after Newton and Einstein. we asked ourselves why they are making this without any kind of confirmation about the fact that he is nothing in High energy Physics, and his papers are nothing in High energy Physics. Now, the members of the parliament of IKHWAN Muslims are asking why Mohamed El Naschie has not selected in the council of Technology of Egypt. We want to prove our words with a scientific proof which could convince a professional man. so could you please read the following letter. We hope if you could please interest in that matter, because really we have deep fears that we will see a day in which Mr Mohamed El Naschie become responsible man in the science in Egypt , and really Egypt don't deserve that at all.

1- First, El Naschie is publishing his papares in only one journal, and he is editor of this journal Chaos, Solitons & Fractals and he never published in Physics Review, Nuclear Physics, or and good known journal

2- he is publishing a a paper each day approximately, and this has not happened in the history of the science

and of course all of them are published in his journal

3-if we want to see his citation, we will find great surprise that no scientist take him as refrence at all and this is illustrated in the greatest data base of High energy Physics of SLAC, Stanford,+M+S

4- He has been selected as the chief of Nanotechnology project in Egypt, and the funny thing he published only one paper in popular science about nanotechnology

Nanotechnology for the developing world Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Volume 30, Issue 4, November 2006, Pages 769-773

5- he alwayes saying that he was working at Cambridge University, but he didnot mention that at his website

but when we search about his name and his affiliation at arxiv, we will see scandal. His papers which carried the affiliation of Cambridge University has been withdrawn because Prof Michel Green ( Chief of DAMPT at Cambridge University) complained to ARXIV that Mr El Naschie didnot have at any time the Cambridge University. You could look at the following sites.

6- Mr El Naschie alwayes saying that he awarded great prize in China, and he is nominee for Nobel Prize, and the funny thing the editor Ji-Huan He is not professional in High energy Physics and his journal has very bad reputation in china

and this could be confirmed from the following website, the most repectable place of theoretical physics in China

Institute of Theoretical Physics Chinese Academy of Sciences

As we already mentioned, the all the media in Egypt is saying the he is Nobel prize nominee , the problems of the research will be solved by his blessing hands and now he become the chief of nanotechnology project although he don't know any thing about this science.

And also a comment due his brother
Amr El naschie

'Comments on the Article 'Facts about Mohamed El Naschei'

Hey writer of the above article, I just want others to know that you combine ignorance with poor use of the English language to attack one of the World's, and certainly the Eastern Worls' premier scientists. Mohamed El Naschie was traind as a Civil Engineer, with an emphasis on structural mechanics. He achieved international fame, as well as fortune, in a short period of time during which individuals like your good self would have probably spent cooking up lies about others. Once he resolved a number of critical issues in mechanics, his inqisitive mind led him to start reading in physics. How many researchers made the transition from structural engineering to pure physics, and achieved international recognition of their work in both within 20 years? ONLY Mohamed El Naschie. That he does not have ANY degree in physics is indeed his Miracle, not a point to be ashemd of. I was sitting next to the late Ilya Prigogine, Professor at the University of Brussels, I think, and a Nobel Loreate (1977), when Mohamed El Naschie was giving a lecture, using the black board and a piece of chalk. I MYSELF, WITH MY OWN EARS, heard him say "If this is proven completely, this is a Nobel Prize'. Enough said about your slander! An YES, Mohamed El Naschie was honored in China like very very few are, and a whole conference, to which I was invited but could not go, was held in his honor and named after him. What is the standing of the Conference Chair is really not an important issue, but for people like you. Finally, why does El Naschei publish in his own journal? Simple, if I had a shop selling cars, and I was the best car manufacturer in the world, why bless other shops with my cars? I would place my cars in my shop. Mohamed's work is simply brilliant, so he promotes his Journal, as if it needs promotion, by publishing his work in his Journal.

Good luck with your anger management course.

At 1:28 AM, November 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the case of El naschie is a scandal by all measures. This case opens the door for many questions: what are the organizations involved in this matter?

In the first place, one can mention Cambridge university which allowed him to publish his articles for nearly ten years 1993-2001 using its affiliation. It is far from reality to imagine that people in Cambridge have been fooled for that long time. According to the following data base

One can find:
17 articles where the affiliation is DAMTP, Cambridge, UK.
72 articles where the affiliation is Dept. of Appl. Math. & Theor. Phys., Cambridge Univ., UK
40 articles where the affiliation is Univ of Cambridge

No prize for one who guesses at which journal those articles have been published.

In the second place, it comes Elsevier that has been the main stage for producing such a scandal bomb of heavy weight. It is clear that there have been many people behind that matter who got direct benefits (earning money, most probably from El Naschie himself).

At 4:00 PM, November 24, 2008, Anonymous Simon said...

Having read all this trash and defamatory slander against Mohamed El Naschie on this site, I realized immediately the style and the awkward English of the Author who calls himself Annonymous who is aching about poor Egypt and its media. This is Dr. or Mr. Al Shishtawi whose real name is Said Salah El-Din Hamad. His wife Shadia Al Shishini went to prison for 18 months in Al Khanata Women’s prison near Cairo. The lady went to prison while her husband Said escaped to the USA for nine years. Now his is back to take revenge and he is hiring all internet scum to help him. That is all what there is to it.

At 4:15 PM, November 24, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Simon, last anonymous,

what must I do to gain your cairvoyant capabilities? Getting this deep understanding of shallow motives such as ramblings for extortion of money and back handers for silence, extracting the identity of writers from a few sentences by analysing style and the awkward English? Is a grasp of E-infinity sufficient, or does it require stronger drugs?

Anyway, defamation is on your side, entirely. I am sorry if you can't stand reality. Have a nice life, nevertheless.


At 5:09 PM, November 24, 2008, Blogger Bee said...

I've deleted an anonymous comment submitted at 3:52 PM, November 24, 2008. I want to remind you all that we don't allow anonymously made insults. If you can't hold back on insulting others, you will have to sign with your name. Best,


At 10:20 AM, November 25, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is wholly untrue that Mohamed El Naschie publishes his papers exclusively in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. What you are saying here shows a major faux pas, hasty and faulty judgement. Here are two samples of about 250 others. First, Superstrings, knots and noncommutative geometry in E-infinity space, published in Int. Journal of Theoretical Physics, Vol. 37, No. 12, 1998. The Editor-in-Chief is Prof. David Finkelstein from Georgia Tech University, himself a distinguished theoretical physicist. I know that the referee of this particular paper was connected to the Nobel prize. Second, Average exceptional Lie group hierarchy and high energy physics, published in Frontiers of Fundamental & Computational Physics. American Inst. of Physics 2008, AIP Conference Proceedings, 1018. Mohamed El Naschie presented his work and lectured in the presence of the following Nobel laureates in physics: Gerrardus ‘tHooft, Douglas Osheroff, Ilya Prigogine, Anthony Leggett, Gerd Bennig. He was in countless conferences and has been honored by numerous universities and institutions all over the world. There is no need whatsoever to defame people and to undermine them because you are obviously getting defamatory and untrue information from sick souls who are jealous, vindictive or both. This campaign reflects badly on you and I am sure it will have far reaching repercussions against you and your blogs and your scientific credibility. I sense a lot of hate and jealousy.


At 10:46 AM, November 25, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Hi Flores,

I am sure it will have far reaching repercussions against you and your blogs and your scientific credibility.

Is this supposed to be a threat? Uuh, that's really intimidating. You know what: I have had the pleasure to listen to talks of El Naschie, and he is producing rubbish, in my humble opinion. I don't mind if he has talked in front of Nobel prize winners, obviously, he knows several of them. Aha, and he has published papers in other journals then CS&F? Well, I know how to use spires, thanks for the advice.

So, I don't delete yet my comment addressed to Simon - just read it, it applies to you also.

Thanks, Stefan

At 12:16 PM, November 25, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Stefan,

You are out of your depth in this subject. You are the one who doesn’t understand the difference between number theory, set theory and the so-called numerology. Numerology is a very cheap shot invoked when physicists are unfamiliar with Cantor sets and number theory which is the queen of mathematics. Mohamed El Naschie uses causal and partially ordered sets as well as number theory. You obviously understand neither. But any case and also with respect your objective is not science. You seem to have something completely different in mind and everyone reading this blog knows it.


At 4:36 PM, November 25, 2008, Anonymous S Halayka said...

I don't think it's reasonable to assume that every paper published in any one journal is all junk.

There are a lot of papers related to the pure math of fractals in CS&F, undiluted by attempts to connect them to the unification of all physics. It sure would be a drag if these papers were to be looked down upon because of the journal they are published in (it is a journal devoted to fractals after all). But I doubt that could ever happen, what with scientists and mathematicians being such invariably objective people. :)

At 6:09 AM, November 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Simon:
Please, owing to your strong quality english, Iam wondering if you are SO in telling real facts regarding Elnaschie works, providing a scientific discussion about his results that revolusioned ALL fields in Physics....TRY if you can!!!!!!!!!!

At 10:54 AM, November 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why now this intense smear campaign? Mohamed El Naschie is the Editor-in-Chief of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals for almost 20 years. There are several reasons, but two are the most important and do not need a Sherlock Holmes to solve. First, the article in Scientific American by Dr. Renate Loll and her colleagues from Utrecht University which have allegedly hijacked all of El Naschie’s ideas about fractal spacetime, Cantor sets as well as Causal and partially ordered sets. Second the vendetta of Said Salah El Din Hamed, Chemical Engineering Dept @ Penn State University against his half brother. The wife of Said, Dr. Shadia Al Shishini was sentenced by an Egyptian Criminal court to 2 years hard labor for stealing more than ten million pounds from the mother of Mohamed and Amr. Mohamed’s brother, Amr Elnashai is the Director of the Earthquake Center at University of Illinois, Urbana . Said knows Dr. Skoda and Dr. Skoda was in touch with Renate Loll and she worked with John Baez. This is how the circle closes. To steal Mohamed’s work, you need to discredit him. Many have vested and monetary interests in his downfall; that plus the stupidity and greed of some Elsevier employees brought about this unholy slanderous alliance against Mohamed. Elementary Dear Watson!

At 11:40 AM, November 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some have been asking, although with nothing good in the back of their minds, what El Naschie was doing as a Ph.D. student. I found a remarkable book on Stability and Catastrophe by J.M.T. Thompson, University College, London and a fellow of the Royal Society. The book is called: Instabilities and Catastrophes in Science and Engineering and published in 1982 by John Wiley and Sons. In this book and on page 54, Sir J. M. T. Thompson writes: The buckling and post buckling of a strut on an elastic foundation with a free, un-pinned end has been discussed by El Naschie who has also elucidated the mechanics of ring buckling.

I have inquired further and found out that both Thompson and El Naschie were working in a famous stability research group founded and directed by Lord Henry Chilver who was the adviser of Margaret Thatcher on all research and higher education matters. Using set theory for a discrete space time makes a great deal of sense.

W. Martin

At 11:47 AM, November 26, 2008, Anonymous Giotis said...

Hi Christiansen,

What do you mean exactly when you say that they want to steal his ideas and his work? It is already published isn't it? Wouldn't be obvious if someone tries to introduce these ideas as his own? I don't understand it.

At 11:54 AM, November 26, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Hi Anonymous Christiansen,

so, you say that Renate Loll has stolen El Naschies ideas and made her career from them, and now, to cover up her traces, uses her connections to John Baez to get rid of El Nashie? That's an intriguing plot, indeed.

I just wonder, since 't Hooft was in Utrecht also, he must be involved somehow - at least, he should have noticed what his colleague has been doing. What is his role in the game? What is the meaning of the photos showing him with El Naschie? And if greed was the motive of Elsevier, why should they be intereested to stop a profitable journal that's running quite well?

How comes that you dare to accuse anyone else of slander?

What you are suggesting is just ridiculous, but maybe it is meant as a joke. And thanks for the comments on the family background, that's really very important.

Anyhow, I strongly suggest you propagate your smearing somewhere else.

Best, Stefan

At 12:05 PM, November 26, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Hi Halayka,

I don't think it's reasonable to assume that every paper published in any one journal is all junk.

Good point, and thank you for the opportunity to emphasise this again:

I have no reason whatsoever to doubt the quality of the major part of the papers published in CS&F, which deal with the topic of the journal proper, nonlinearities, "chaos theory" and related topics. I know personally one of the authors of a paper in the December 2009 issue.

But I am not convinced, to put it mildly, of a large bunch of other papers. Probably, as Flores suggests, I am just to dumb to understand this topic - but then, I am happy to wait and learn about E-infinity and all that from a forthcoming Nobel lecture.

Best, Stefan

At 12:40 PM, November 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As mentioned in an earlier comment, here is the Editorial for the first issue:

"Today, it must be difficult to find a scientist of stature who would deny the influence of the broad sweep of developments in science, philosophy or even art on his specialized research. Ludwig Boltzmann, founder of statistical mechanics, gave a good example of this when he proposed to name the 19th century, the century of Charles Darwin - not of electricity nor of steam. Likewise Robert May, who recognized deterministic chaos in population dynamics and economic cycles, is a physicist not a demographer nor an economist. I cannot see such new discoveries arising except from thinkers with an interdisciplinary stance. Of course, there have been times when there were practical benefits in the narrow view. In the early days of the Royal Society it was virtually forbidden to talk about the grand design and philosophical issues. Scientists and practical men took refuge in the absolute objectivity of specialized science in order to counterbalance the misuse of metaphysics. Nevertheless there have been frequent dissenters even among rigorous modem mathematicians. George Cantor, for instance, regarded metaphysics as a most important part of his work on transfinite sets, which is a cornerstone of today’s nonlinear science. Cantor reluctantly eliminated philosophical reasoning from his papers and only at the insistence of his friend Mittag-Leffler, the Editor of Acfu Mathemafica. It was Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend who dealt a final blow to the superficial mathematical objectivity based on the narrow view of science. They showed how objectivity has to be understood in a global cultural context. This point might be nicely illustrated by the connection between Prigogine’s early fascination with history and the revolution he initiated in irreversible non-equilibrium thermodynamics, another cornerstone of nonlinear science. Similarly, Mitchell Feigenbaum came to universal behavior in nonlinear maps from electrical engineering via nuclear physics. His interest in mathematical physics is rivaled only by his passionate interest in Goethe, Mahfouz and Puccini. In an even wider context, I believe that political science would have looked very different if Toynbee and Spengler had known about the possibility of complete nonperiodicity in a completely deterministic system. It seems that history has made a full rotation. We understand now that returning to interdisciplinary thinking may hold the key to the future. Prigogine among others has contributed essentially to our understanding of this point. Five years ago it seemed that a very high level, scientifically tolerant and wide ranging periodical might help a little in restoring the scientific traditions of people like Da Vinci, Gauss and Poincare. After some delay, that eccentric thought is now reality. I would have liked to have taken the credit for the dedicated work which has made this journal possible. Alas, it is not even remotely so. As a person who worked mainly in engineering design, management and politics, I take a broad and serious interest in nonlinear science and have merely suggested an obvious idea. Almost everything else in the creation of this journal is the work of the numerous members of the Editorial Board: mathematicians, physicists and engineers, who are well known internationally. Some of them are the pioneers who laid the foundation of the subject. I am particularly grateful to Professors P.C. Miller, E. Kreutzer, Y. Ichikawa, G. Casati, G. Schmidt, A. Jeffrey, G. Rega, H. 0. Peitgen, T. Kapitaniak, C. Grebogi and G. Herrmann. The journal would have remained only an idea without the generous support and encouragement given by Professors Sir Herman Bondi, I. Prigogine, B. Chirikov, Y. Ueda, 0. Rossler and Sir Brian Pippard. Lack of space prevents me from mentioning the role of every member of the Editorial Board but to all of them I give my deep and sincere appreciation, especially to my lifelong friend H E Professor S. Al Athel for his unstinting support of the project. The scientific policy of our journal is mainly the responsibility of the Honorary Editors and the regional and associate Editors, who will review this policy from time to as necessary. The Editorial Board on the other hand support and guide the practical business of publishing the journal, refereeing papers and encouraging the submission of manuscripts to the journal.

The journal emphasis is on applications. However, and in accordance with our general philosophy, theoretical, experimental and numerical studies of a fundamental nature will also be encouraged to give a balanced picture of current advances in nonlinear science.

Our publishers have allocated a generous number of pages and are willing to print illustrations in color to enhance the clarity of presentation. The refereeing will be rigorous but rapid and publication will be fast.

In conclusion allow me a few informal words at the risk of appearing facetious. I. Stewart wittily remarked in his delightful book Does God Play Dice? that anyone who thinks in terms of a model stripped to the bare essentials, such as E. Lorenz’s model of climate, becomes a mathematician. Consequently he concluded, chaos was discovered by mathematicians. To that I would like modestly to remark that since H. Poincare, the undisputed first discoverer of chaos, was trained first in engineering, following the Napoleonic traditions, then it follows that chaos was discovered by engineers, a word which derives from ingenuity. At a minimum let us agree that there is room for all sorts of creative thinking, at least in this journal.

I sincerely hope that this will be a truly interdisciplinary journal which is not only useful, applications oriented and informative, but also true to what must be the prime objectives of life, elevating and enjoyable. Judging by the first issue it seems we are well on our way to achieving just that.

M. S. El Naschie"


At 1:05 PM, November 26, 2008, Blogger Flower said...

In volume one, issue one of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals the founding Editor in Chief Prof. Mohamed El Naschie set out aims, objectives and the philosophy of the journal almost two decades ago. In his Editorial he wrote that it is an interdisciplinary journal in the lost traditions of people like Leonardo Da Vinci and Poincare. He said it would be off center and tolerant with an emphasis on applications of nonlinear dynamics. The man seems to have remained faithful to his project. You can read it all on Elsevier’s Science Direct site. It sometimes helps to read and understand before one embarks on a rampage.

At 1:13 PM, November 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mohamed El Naschie is the elder brother, teacher and friend of Amr Elnashai, Director of the largest earthquake engineering centre in the USA at Urbana, Champaign. In a special issue of CS&F dedicated to Mohamed’s 60th birthday, Amr wrote a wonderful tribute to his brother entitled Recollections. The El Naschie’s are one of Egypt’s most distinguished and richest families and all three brothers are famous. Said, the middle brother is a famous professor at Pennsylvania State University. Although he has some serious health problems he is a distinguished professor of environmental studies and a world renowned researcher of chaos in chemical engineering. He dedicated two of his books published by Gordon & Breach to Mohamed El Naschie. You should see and

At 2:19 PM, November 26, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Hi Flower,

I have indeed read the editorial a while ago - the name dropping is impressive. But seriously, the idea of the journal is fine, per se ...

BTW, this week's edition of Nature has a news item by Quirin Schiermeier about the story, Self-publishing editor set to retire (Subscription required). As we had mentioned the connection to Frankfurt in the original post, I'd like just to add this quote from the piece:

But he is not, as he claims on his website, a distinguished fellow of the Institute of Physics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, says Walter Greiner, a former director of the institute. Greiner also says El Naschie has ignored his requests to remove his name from the list of members of the journal's honorary editorial board. [...] A small minority of physicists cautiously recognizes the originality of El Naschie's ideas. "They're at least interesting," says Werner Martiennsen, a retired physicist at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, and one of the regional editors for Europe on Chaos, Solitons and Fractals.

I also suggest that the comments section at Nature is a much more appropriate and visible place to continue discussions of this issue.

Thanks, Stefan

At 2:30 PM, November 26, 2008, Anonymous S Halayka said...

But I am not convinced, to put it mildly, of a large bunch of other papers. Probably, as Flores suggests, I am just to dumb to understand this topic ...

I tend to reserve judgment on the creativity of others, and so I'm neither "for or against" El Naschie. However, I have to admit that trying to piece together his work is extremely difficult since it's so fragmented (300 papers, as mentioned before).

Anonymous does bring up a good point though. Is John Baez so bored that he needs to reaffirm his self-appointed position as defender of the orthodoxy, nearly 20 years after the start of CS&F?

It's kind of annoying, and smacks of boredom. Perhaps a new hobby is in order for Baez, so that he can focus again on actually contributing to society (whining doesn't count).

- Shawn

At 4:48 PM, November 26, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Hi Shawn,

please stop speculating about other people's motives. If you don't like Baez, this may not be the appropriate place for telling him.

And, BTW, congratulations to your contribution to society, your forthcoming publication of your paper, Is the anisotropic interaction of luminous matter responsible for the extrinsic gravitation usually attributed to exotic dark matter? in CS&F.

Best, Stefan

At 6:31 PM, November 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

This is going to be fun. When El Naschie was made a Distinguished Fellow it was in the University of Frankfurt in the presence of Nobel laureates, hundreds of people as well as the press. Many German and Egyptian newspapers reported the occasion with photographs taken in the University of Frankfurt. El Naschie is also a Member of the Board of Directors and he has produced certificates and letters to this effect on one of his homepages. In fact there is a photograph of him at this ceremony together with Prof. Dr. Walter Greiner which appeared in the newspaper of Frankfurt. There is only one conclusion. Either the German professor or the German journalist is lying. My guess, and it is only my guess, is that Nature’s reporter is lying. I think Nature has taken a huge gamble and it will be interesting to see if this is going to end with an equally huge court case.

At 6:56 PM, November 26, 2008, Blogger Bee said...

Hi Anonymous:

My guess, and it is only my guess, is that Nature’s reporter is lying.

Though I of course can't know for sure, I very strongly doubt that Nature would take the risk to use unverified or unauthorized quotations. If you read our post you'll find a possible reason for what you seem to be puzzled about, though again we of course don't know for sure. But we all know what makes the world go round, don't we? Best,


At 6:58 PM, November 26, 2008, Blogger stefan said...


1 - You could try to spell my name correctly, just out of politeness.
2 - If you want to say that Quirin Schiermeier and Nature is lying, tell them, not me. But what makes you so sure that the published version of the Frankfurt story cannot be right?
3 - Which German newspaper? Can you tell me? Which Board of Directors? Who is the liar here? But more probable, you are just one more anonymous poor soul who has no clue whatsoever what he is talking about.

Whatever the entertainment value of comments such as yours, there are a few other blogs happy to receive their share of this dirt.

At 7:05 PM, November 26, 2008, Anonymous first-time poster said...

Thank you for keeping this blog open for comments---their entertainment value is quite high.

At 7:14 PM, November 26, 2008, Anonymous (ex) first-time poster said...


Just curious...were you able to see my comment (as I was typing it) before I posted it? What is the probability that two people are thinking of the same words "entertainment value" within minutes of each other? Makes me wonder, that's all.

At 7:18 PM, November 26, 2008, Blogger Bee said...

We have a very special connection to our readers ;-)

At 4:17 PM, November 27, 2008, Anonymous S Halayka said...


Thanks for the warm wishes on the publication of my toy model.

I'll assume that it wasn't intentional that you mention my only physics project, and skipped the dozens of others related to mathematics and computer science.

- Shawn

At 4:27 PM, November 27, 2008, Anonymous S Halayka said...

P.S. I should have worded my response better -- I'm not trying to say that anyone in particular isn't contributing to society.

What I'm trying to say is that blatantly cutting down others is generally not useful. God knows how many times you and Bee have been called crackpots by [you know who] for no reason.

I just find it annoying to see someone whining about something, when the high road could be taken instead (e.g.: like writing to Elsevier, as you've done).

Even if your intentions were the same as Baez's, your actions were not. So, I hope it's clear that I'm not speculating about intentions, but criticizing actions. Sarcasm about hobbies was only used to emphasize the absurdity of it all. I mean, to muddy the name of two journals and an entire scientific community (China) just because he finds the work of an author questionable is a little ridiculous.

At 2:15 PM, November 28, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a response to Baez on his link through the n-Category Cafe

Jokes more than anything else say more about the character, upbringing and intelligence of the comedian than they do to describe the innocent victim(s). The truth is John Baez is clearly worried about what he has done assuming that he understands the precarious situation in which he has brought Nature and himself. He lied his head off manipulating a good German journalist working for Nature and brought the journalist and Nature into an indefensible situation. Now he is recommending a freelance journalist who has nothing much to loose to be his next cat’s claw. Not that we are saying that John Baez is a monkey. That would be an insult to our predecessor primates. Oh, it is only a joke, okay – a tasteless bad joke as a tribute to a tasteless bad person.

At 2:43 PM, November 28, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been trying to put comments on the link you mention above. It seems these gentlemen have closed this Café unless you are ready to libel El Naschie. This alone is for me an indication that El Naschie must be innocent. I do not know of a single Editor in Chief who does not publish in his/her journal. This applies to commercial publishing as well as learned societies. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals was intentionally created to be a liberal journal as the Founding Editor, Mohamed El Naschie clearly stated in his Editorial. It is a journal where an engineer, a philosopher, an economist or a physicist can publish their work as long as it is related to nonlinear dynamics. It is not a journal for theoretical physics as naively stated in a clearly defamatory article published in the latest edition of Nature. It is a journal with little hierarchy where an intelligent person with no university affiliation can publish interesting papers side by side with a Nobel laureate in whatever discipline. I know for sure that all papers in this journal have been refereed and refereed meticulously. Three years after getting his Ph.D. El Naschie had already published 60 papers in international journals. This was in the 70’s when he was about 30 years old. He was known then to be the most prolific engineering scientist in the field. During this time he taught himself physics, quantum mechanics and particle physics. In addition he built a large consulting engineering company which brought him success and fortune. God knows how he was able to do all that simultaneously. Now he is retired, it is natural that his productivity should increase ten fold. It did not because he indeed spends a lot of time with his family, skiing and following his artistic inclinations. Another aspect you should not forget is that Nottale, El Naschie and to a certain extent Ord are the creators of the fractal spacetime approach to particle physics. They are the elite of this field. Of course they and their friends and students refer to each other. They are from the same field. Green, Schwarz and Witten refer to each other because they are from the same field. They referee each other’s work. The same applies to the school of nonlinear dynamics in high energy physics. Physics Review hardly ever accepts papers outside their gospel. That is the reason of existence for journals like Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. It is not a physics journal. It is an inter-disciplinary nonlinear dynamics journal and it is the best journal in this area with an impact factor of 3.5 for the current year. What do you think the great Chopin would think of music like that of Schoenberg? Of course it is only an analogy and the situation is quite different. The school of nonlinear dynamics and fractal spacetime is exploring new possibilities. The great thing about the American spirit in doing science is what Gell-Mann said once to me; while everybody says why, the Americans say why not? I am sorry but the American way is definitely superior in many respects. Now they are leading the world by saying yes we can and why not. We are now living in the century of Obama and those people in the n-Category Café should take note of that

At 3:36 PM, November 28, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Hi Anonymous,

I have been trying to put comments on the link you mention above.

Yes, I have also noted this, sorry... it seems that blog posts at the cafe are closed for comments after two weeks or so. But following the hint of your anonymous colleague, you can now leave your long sermon in the comments section of the follow-up post, The Case of M. S. El Naschie, Continued. I am sure that your contribution will be highly appreciated there.

Moreover, I would suggest that when further commenting here, in case you have the strong urge to do so, you sign the post with your name or some unique pseudonym - just click on "Name/URL" in the "Choose an identity" menue below the text field where you type the comment. An URL is not required.

Thuss, it will be much easier for the readers to differentiate between otherwise indstinguishable comments.

Best, Stefan

At 4:02 PM, November 28, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Hi anonymous,

thanks for the reference to the follow-up post, The Case of M. S. El Naschie, Continued - but your comment on that post should clearly be left there, not here.

By the way, if you insist on propagating libel, slander and lies, as you do, using a real name or at least a consistent pseudonym enhances the chance of not being deleted. Just read the hint addressed to your anonymous colleague to see how this can be done.

On the other hand, your comment clearly has its merits for its high entertaining value, and for the clear demonstration of the utter loss of touch with reality that seems to be a hallmark of the mindset of the most ardent disciples of El Naschie, To long an exposure to E-infinity appears to transform the brain in a Cantor sponge and transfer the student to a parallel universe.

Have a great time there, Stefan

At 11:14 AM, November 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember seeing Barkley Rosser at the Conference in honor of Prof. Tonu Puu in Odense where I also met Mohamed El Naschie who is truly a distinguished gentleman “Un homme distingue” with all its implications. Tonu Puu retired from the University but he did not retire from the Journal. In fact he wrote me a letter, a couple of weeks ago expressing his admiration for the versatility of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. It is wrong to describe this Journal as a Theoretical Physics Journal. The article in Nature is missing completely the point. But this is really not my concern. I was in blissful ignorance of the low standards which academicians can reach but alas! Now I know of Baez , his n-Category café and his crew and what struck me most is that they are blocking supporters of El Naschie from posting comments on their blog. This happened to me when I tried to respond to Rosser’s comments on their blog. The trick Baez and his followers are pursuing, as the propaganda Minister of Adolf Hitler put it, is to make a lie so big that people would say even 50% of it is true then it is enough and when it is said so loud and by the mob then it must be true. I can assure you that ninety percent of what is written on their site – the n-Category café - are half truths and guess which half are they putting? They are connected to a blog known as Backreaction and they are coordinating their work very well. They are experts in this business. In the Nature article, the name of John Baez, the originator of all this rambling is conspicuously absent. The valiant brave hero feels more secure behind the bar of his café. His lawyer told him that blogs are difficult to prosecute. The bad news for him is that the loopholes in the international law have been taken care of so he may enjoy it while it lasts. Two or three more weeks make no difference.

At 12:22 PM, November 29, 2008, Anonymous A.Kayam said...

Dear Barkley:
We know from Shahriar that you are a decent man and a poet. How on earth can you get entangled with these hooligans of the n-Category café? When Baez found no success in science proper, he turned out to become an internet thug launching campaigns against rich publishers and demanding protection money. This is not the environment that a man like you should be involved in. And why don’t you ask your best friend Tonu Puu what he thinks of Chaos, Solitons and Fractals. He said in writing that this is the most exciting project in his life that he has ever been involved in. And again M. El Naschie did not publish 300 papers, he published over 900 papers. He doesn’t hold the record in publishing in his own journal. The record holder is Prof. Leon Chua from University of Berkeley. His journal is published by World Scientific. The second is Naifeh. His Chaos and Bifurcation Journal was published by Kluwer and now by Springer If every editor in chief who publishes in his journal resigns, we will end up with no publications. But John Baez intention is extortion and obtaining money from Elsevier and other publishers. I must really say he is succeeding and one good thing which might come out of all that maybe the end of commercial publishing and better still the end of learned society publishing. Read the book: Faster than the Speed of Light where Physics Review is referred to as Physics Refuse and he called its Editorial Board the Physics Refuse Mafia. M. El Naschie is guilty of one thing: he is a gentleman who entered a profession where the word gentleman is foreign.

At 1:11 PM, November 29, 2008, Blogger Bee said...

Hi A.Kayam:

But John Baez intention is extortion and obtaining money from Elsevier and other publishers.

I strongly doubt this accusation has any foundation whatsoever. I would really appreciate if you and everybody else in this comment section would stop inventing intentions of others.

Read the book: Faster than the Speed of Light where Physics Review is referred to as Physics Refuse and he called its Editorial Board the Physics Refuse Mafia.

The problem addressed in that book is a completely different one, namely that established journals are are afraid to publish out-of-mainstream work, and their conservatism hinders to establish new approaches. I think there is some truth in this (whatever one thinks about the faster-than-c idea in particular). I don't see however what this has to do with the question of an editors' own publications. Best,


At 1:57 PM, November 29, 2008, Anonymous Duncan said...

I concur with Philip Davis’ rational analysis of El Naschie’s case. I find the communiqué of the Editorial Board of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals enlightening and revealing. Unlike on other blogs, I am not afraid to say that I am completely persuaded that El Naschie is totally innocent. There is a great deal more here than what meets the eyes. First this campaign, masterminded in the n-Category Café started only when many students and colleagues of El Naschie were appalled by an article written in Scientific American ( They were of the opinion, right or wrong, that the Authors Renate Loll, Jan Ambjorn and Jerzy Jurkiewicz should have given priority or at least referred to the work of the fractal spacetime school. The three most visible exponents of this school are, in chronological order, Garnet Ord, a Canadian, Laurent Nottale, a French man and the Egyptian, Mohamed El Naschie. It did not go unnoticed that John Baez is the Editor of many of Renate Loll’s publications. This brought many people to think, again right or wrong, that the entire thing is simply a diversion maneuver from an embarrassing situation, particularly when a highly respected Nobel laureate, Gerrard ‘tHooft is the scientific head of the team in which the said three scientists are working in Utrecht, Holland. Then there is the ticklish issue of prizes. It is my conviction that in this particular case, the Nobel Prize is not the prime mover. It is another highly sought after prize given in the Middle East, namely the King Faisal prize of the King Faisal Foundation. Many Dutch, American and German were nominees and recipients of this prize. For instance Prof. Dr. Greiner whose name was mentioned in the Nature article of this week’s issue was a nominee of this prize four or five years ago and maybe a nominee for this year’s prize in theoretical physics. There is an enormous amount of politics played behind this prize. This is not much unlike the Nobel Prize. Here is another piece of information which may be interesting. Thanks to a twelve year campaign by Mohamed El Naschie throughout the Arab world, there are now nanotechnology initiatives everywhere in Arabia. It is more talk than deeds but something will materialize at a certain point. There is a group led by Prof. Munir Nayfeh from the Physics Dept. in The University of Illinois in Urbana, Champagne who very much hopes to lobby for getting the prize. The Nayfehs are Palestinians living in America. Ali Nayfeh, the brother of Munir is the Editor in Chief of a Chaos journal established to compete with Chaos, Solitons & Fractals by another Dutch publisher Kluwer. He published in his own journal more than twice of that which El Naschie has published in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. You can check it for yourself. The journal has since been bought by Springer, beating Elsevier in the process. Commercial publishing is a cut throat business. I made a small calculation based on internet statistics. In the first three years after getting his Ph.D. in 1974 El Naschie published more than 50 papers in international journals for engineering science. This means he published about 1.4 papers a month. The alleged 300 papers he published in the last 17-20 years in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals gives almost exactly the same productivity index, namely 1.4 papers per month. Clearly the man is prolific and has kept his productivity index from the age of 30 to the age of 65 but this is no where as much as the Nayfehs who produce double as much in their own journals and in addition one book a year. Different people, different interests. However there is fierce competition between the Nayfehs and El Naschie. As if this is not enough, there is something more to the complexity of the situation. There is Prof. Ahmad Zuwail who is an experimentalist who works in chemistry. He is nowhere as intellectual as the Nayfehs nor of course El Naschie but he has a bigger advantage on all of them because he is Egyptian and got the Nobel Prize in chemistry the same year ‘tHooft got his in physics. One in chemistry, the other in physics. When you follow the news of Ahmad Zuwail you will know that he has the ambition of becoming the President of Egypt. He is the only Arab who ever got the Nobel Prize in science and as such, is a celebrity beyond imagination in a country with virtually no scientific research and no higher education as we understand it in the West. For many political reasons, Nayfeh and El Naschie are a source of infinite annoyance to put it mildly for Zuwail. In addition there is Farouk al-Baz. He is the Arab world’s most famous scientist besides Nayfeh, El Naschie and Zuwail. It is fair to say that he wished all three would not have happened. He has his projects with building a major highway from Libya to Egypt cutting through the Western desert. This is a many trillion of dollars project which Egypt could never afford. The construction companies are very keen on this project for obvious reasons. al-Baz is a geologist who claims to have helped the Americans land on the moon. He is politically very well connected everywhere in the Arab world particularly in Egypt and Qatar. He plays a major role in the Qatar Foundation where there are many trillions of dollars which are supposed to be spent on science and technology. In all of these complex relations, Mohamed El Naschie is the only one who enjoys a popular support of the ordinary man on the street. El Naschie comes from a noble family. He grew up in West Germany. Received his education in Germany and England and returned to Egypt only eight years ago. At the age of 35 he was already a very rich man and a well known engineer and he decided to devote the rest of his life on enjoying his various hobbies and pursue his love of music, painting and art. Many have speculated about his reasons for spending such an unreasonable amount of effort and time on something like Chaos, Solitons & Fractals and keep up with the most unconvincing arguments. They asked why a man of his stature, wealth and prestige should risk being subjected to people like John Baez or Renate Loll just for the sake of a new theory for quantum gravity based on fractals. People who imagine that money and power is what makes the world go round, which is surely true, could never understand El Naschie. He is entirely different. For him love makes the world go round and besides his family and his country, nothing was ever nearer to his heart than theoretical physics. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals was conceived to be the organ of a new way of seeing the universe through a fractal eye. Whether this is laughable, naïve or right is irrelevant. It is simply the manifesto of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. It was never meant to be a traditional theoretical physics journal. What would be the point of that? It was meant to be a revolutionary journal in the good sense. When you read his first editorial written in 1991 you will understand. These comments are now too long and I cannot go on anymore. However if the kind Master of this blog allows me, I will take the next opportunity to dwell more on this subject to the benefit of our scientific community. If they wish, I will also ask my colleagues and those who know Mohamed El Naschie much better than me to write in more details about this subject in the style far from the maddening crowd of the n-Category Café. Need less to say, I apologize to Thomas Hardy for using the title of his novel and connecting it to the far less glorious Café. Two final points: First if any Editor in Chief resigns because they publish in their own journal, then all Editors in Chief in Elsevier and elsewhere must resign, particularly those in World Scientific and Physica D. Second, El Naschie has published about 900 papers and only 300 are in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals.

At 2:09 PM, November 29, 2008, Blogger Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“I don't see however what this has to do with the question of an editors' own publications.”

Actually this is a very interesting point as to what distinguishes between a blog and a journal as in terms of reliability of the value of its content from the standpoint of integrity.

With a blog integrity is largely measured by means of the stregth of its openness to criticism from those that would comment and how those commentators are in turn perceived in being both knowledgeable and earnest.

With a journal it rests more with the editors formal credentials of which the publisher is responsible to assure. Whether or not the editor has been acting truly professionally in carrying out thier duties comes back to the publisher as to being ultimately responsible.

It appears in this respect the mob despite the nature and intent of its character has proven to be more readily able to be evaluated within the context of a blog (of course contingent upon it having no preset screening of comments and that anonymous commentators be properly scrutinized), then a journal where the integrity is assumed as a given. It then leaves one wonder if perhaps a blog can be more readily trusted and a further reason for journals to explore this methodology of publishing more seriously.



At 5:42 PM, November 29, 2008, Anonymous can't-fool-me said...

To "Duncan":

From what university did El Naschie earn his Ph.D. in 1974?

At 7:05 PM, November 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer your question Mohamed El Naschie got his Ph.D. from University College, London 1974. University College is part of the University of London and is in Dover Street. The back of the University looks directly at a book shop which used to be Dillons until it was bought by an American company and now it is either Blackwells or Waterstones. The title of the Ph.D. is The role of formulation in elastic buckling. El Naschie derives in this thesis the equation of shells, rings and struts from 3 dimensional elasticity. Subsequently he determined the imperfection sensitivity of various structures using Koiter’s theory of initial post buckling. That is how he later on came to stability, bifurcation and chaos. Papers extracted from his Ph.D. were published in English, German and French. After three years from obtaining his Ph.D. he had more than 50 published papers to his credit. Presently he does not know how many papers he has written. He told me he stopped counting almost 15 years ago. He is the first to say that there is no definite correlation between the number of papers and the quality of the Author. He frequently quotes Cromwell saying ‘a few good men are better than numbers’. The problem with El Naschie as he himself always says is his enormous range of interests. He is interested in everything and wants to know everything. He is not a weird guy though. He is a family man, fun loving and extremely approachable. He treats the Minister of Higher Education as if he is his driver and treats the driver as if he is a Minister. No arrogance what so ever. The U-tube was not done by him. It was done by Thompson ECI. His student added some pictures. You could see him together with Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann if you blog into the appropriate link. Gell-Mann was very impressed by him but you are wrong if you think that he cares whether he is sitting with a Prime Minister or a student. He treats almost everyone the same. However he is very traditional and has great respect for older people. The way he is described in n-Category Café is appalling and based on a vendetta. I know slightly about the story. A relative of his together with the wife of this relative stole 10 million or so pounds from his late mother. The woman Shadia Al Shishini was sentenced to three years hard labor. The husband whose name is Said Salah El-Din Hamad, a former professor of Chemical Eng. in King Saud University suffers from severe manic depression and paranoia and was seeking revenge. They contacted a Croatian because Said had a lot of friends in the former Soviet block. In his youth he was a well known communist leader of Egypt. This Croatian contacted John Baez who believed his story eagerly because he is a friend of Renate Loll who has all reason to discredit El Naschie maybe thinking that she can then get the King Faisal Prize. It all sounds like a cheap oriental conspiracy with cloak and dagger but it is not a play, it is unfortunately real. The first real victim of this oriental way of doing things is El Naschie himself; second the poor journalist of Nature and third Nature itself, the respectable magazine. It is a real fix and God knows how it will end. It is very easy to start these things but it is very difficult to end it. I do not know John Baez that well but there is something wrong with this guy. Maybe the mixture between Scottish and Mexican temperament proves to be far worse than a full night of Tequila but the man is hot headed and he shoots first and asks questions later. He made fun of two and three Stein spaces and had to eat his words. Then he challenged El Naschie regarding the 8 exceptional Lie groups and had to admit defeat. Then he spoke about knot theory and realized he is out of his depth on wild knots to really discuss it with El Naschie. Then he found another ignoramus to make fun of Mohamed’s paper about the universality class of all universality classes and made a fool of himself because he clearly knows nothing about set theory or descriptive set theory or transfinite set theory. In addition Mohamed is one of the first who used causal partially ordered sets in high energy physics. As you read his 300 papers, you will discover how much this civil engineer has done in physics and don’t forget, he is a civil, structural engineer. Mohamed is a man with a kind heart who easily forgives his most ardent enemies but this campaign is something else and I think John Baez will live to regret it, if he is lucky.

At 8:16 PM, November 29, 2008, Anonymous Giotis said...

Either there are many people who dislike John Baez or El Naschie has many supporters.

Anyway this feud is boring, sad and does not contribute anything. Its only result is to give science and scientists a bad name.

At 8:20 PM, November 29, 2008, Blogger Bee said...

You have to mod out N anonymous commeters, they only count as one.

At 8:36 PM, November 29, 2008, Anonymous can't-fool-me said...

Why is there no thesis by that title or that author at the University of London? Please enlighten.

At 8:38 PM, November 29, 2008, Anonymous Giotis said...

Ha! Yes maybe. I didn't realize that. So there is only one guy but he really hates Baez:-)

At 10:31 PM, November 29, 2008, Anonymous Yemon Choi said...

Quoting "anonymous" at 7:05 PM, November 29, 2008:

He made fun of two and three Stein spaces and had to eat his words. Then he challenged El Naschie regarding the 8 exceptional Lie groups and had to admit defeat.

Could you please point out where this "eating of words" or "admission of defeat" is supposed to have taken place?

You will indeed spot a comment on that thread, making fun of the terminology "two and three Stein spaces", and a follow up by the same commenter where he retracts the mockery -- although, since no answer or citation was given by the supporters of Prof El Naschie, said commenter had to go and look up the references in the literature where the terminology is spelled differently.

However, since that comment was written by me, and not by John Baez, I fail to see any evidence that he has been forced to admit any error in his assessments of the content or lack thereof in the works of MS el N.

I've been following the comments on that thread for a while now, and have not seen any explanation of the phrase "the eight exceptional Lie groups E_1, ..., E_8". Nor have I seen any defence of the use of a formula, given by Nash as an upper bound in high dimensions, in the case n=1 and n=2 when it is manifestly meaningless.

Regarding these long tales of skullduggery: perhaps the apposite word here is "projection"?

At 6:20 AM, November 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking for the numerous amazing articles of El naschie, I found a wonderful one whose title is
"P-Adic analysis and the transfinite E8 exceptional Lie symmetry group unification"
M.S. El Naschie
King Abdullah Institute for Nano and Advanced Technology, KSU, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Volume 38, Issue 3, November 2008, Pages 612-614

Just reading the first sentence in the introduction which is
"One of the most amazing results in high energy physics is the T-duality discovered in the context of superstring theories by Witten [1] "
But, for your surprise, in the list of references you find no mention of any reference of Witten.
Reference [1] is just a paper of El naschie himself. Here is list
[1] M.S. El Naschie, A few hints and some theorems about Witten’s M theory and T-duality, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals (2005), pp. 545–548.
[2] A. Leonovich, Comments on E8 unification and P-Adic numbers. http:/ (10/03/2008).
[3] M.S. El Naschie, Transfinite harmonization by taking the dissonance out of the quantum field symphony, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals (2007).
[4] M.S. El Naschie, High energy physics and the standard model from the exceptional Lie groups, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 36 (2008), pp. 1–17.
[5] M. Kaku, Introduction to superstrings and M-theory, Springer, New York (1999) see p. 385 in particular.
[6] M.S. El Naschie, Infinite dimensional Branes and the E(?) topology of Heterotic super strings, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 12 (2001), pp. 1047–1055.

The first reference as already mentioned is El naschie paper. The big surprise about this paper is its tilte
"A few hints and some theorems about Witten’s M theory and T-duality" here again we find no reference to any of Witten's papers . here is list of references of this paper ;
[1] E. Goldfain, Cantorian spacetime and unified field theory, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 23 (2005), pp. 701–710.
[2] M.S. El Naschie, A review of E-infinity theory and the mass spectrum of high energy physics, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 19 (2004), pp. 209–236
[3] M.S. El Naschie, Gödel universe, dualities and high energy particles in E-infinity, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 25 (2005) (3), pp. 759–764.
[4] El Naschie MS. On the cohomology and instantons number in E-infinity Cantorian spacetime. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, in press doi:10.1016/j.chaos.2005.12.019.
[5] M. Kaku, Strings, conformal fields and M-theory, Springer-Verlag, New York (2000).
[6] A. Khrennikov, Non-Archimedean analysis, Kluwer Academic Publishers, London (1997).
[7] V. Vladimirov, I. Valovich and E. Zelenov, P-Adic analysis and mathematical physics, World Scientific, Singapore (1998).

Something more peculiar about the list of references, of the first paper, is that one of the references is just a comment on an article published in the Telegraph, unfortunately the comment has been deleted. Also the address of the first paper raises another question about the so many false affiliation of El Naschie. The address seems not to be related to his activities.

It is obvious that there is no kind of peer review for these papers even at the fromal level apart from the content.

One can guess that papers may be generated using a program of language generation like n-moles or n-grams or whatever kind of program used. I think, at least for me, that the 'a b' of scientific writing should fulfill certain basic criteria:
1- If you mention a paper of Witten (or any name) [], then one should put reference for that person in the square bracket.
2- If you have a paper titled with theory of some one, then the list of references should contain at least one reference for that guy.

I hope, by now, El naschie has a plenty of time to fix the bugs in the program generating papers, implementing these two mentioned rules in the code and acknowledge this blog for drawing his attention.

At 7:25 AM, November 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a comment posted on one of the physics blogs that deserves our attention. It calls for ending the smear campaign which is of course long overdue and uncalled for. Archie

To All,

I think that both Lisi and El Naschie have something to contribute to modern physics, and I have an idea to end these smear campaigns.

I like Lisi’s E8, but consider this a “Minimal Theory of Everything”. If that sounds like an oxymoron to you, it also bothers me. It is clear to me that Lisi’s E8 is incomplete.

El Naschie has written volumes about E-infinity, Cantorian Spacetime, and Alpha Bar Theory. Of course, Eddington invented Alpha Bar Theory before El Naschie’s birth, but El Naschie is still trying to contribute to the idea, and won’t let it die. I can’t criticize that, because I also won’t let Dirac’s Large Numbers Hypothesis die. El Naschie has published so many ideas in so many different places (mostly different articles in “Chaos”) that he or one of his students should consider organizing all of the ideas into one book.

I’m still working on E12. The ideas that I published in my book last May are incomplete, and I know it. Eventually, I will figure out E8, E10, and E12; and finish the job that Lisi started (unless Lisi or someone else finishes it first). Then maybe I can examine the connections between E12 and E-infinity.

My solution to these smear campaigns is as follows: Someone should organize a conference and invite Lisi to talk about E8, invite El Naschie to talk about E-infinity, and invite me to talk about E12. I will gladly take the worst time slot. I understand there are still politics to determine who gets the best time slot – Lisi is probably more popular in America, and El Naschie is probably more popular in Europe and the Middle East.

Personally, I would like to meet both of these men. Give us several days together, and there’s no telling how we’ll shake up modern physics.

Sincerely, Ray Munroe

At 10:36 AM, November 30, 2008, Anonymous Disillusioned said...

Re: The Case of M. S. El Naschie, Continued
John Baez,

There are lies and almost nothing but dam lies and twisting of facts on your 0-category café. Why don’t you say that El Naschie published these 300 papers you are so obsessed with over the period of nearly 20 years? This is a modest rate. By contrast over how many years did Nayfeh publish his 60 papers in his own journal? Why not comment on how many other journals Nayfeh owns, edits and publishes his own work in? For example, Nonlinear Vibration owned jointly by him and an employee of Kluwer.

Shame on you Baez - but keep going. The more you and your kind rant and rage without any semblance of being balanced in any way at all just proves to anyone with a brain at all that this is nothing more than a witch hunt. To start with you sparked interest but you have all gone so over the top you would have to be brain dead not to see what is happening here.

I for one and I am sure there are more rational people out there, am now truly interested in seeing what this El Naschie has to say. It must be quite something for all of you to be so scared of him and unable to have any proper debate.

At 11:04 AM, November 30, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Hi Archie, Disillusioned, A Kayam, Duncam, and all other split identities:

Please stop abusing this thread to post prefabricated statements you have not even bothered to adopt to this blog. This is not a public bulletin board. Moreover, stop adressing, and worse, insulting and slandering people who have never posted in this thread. This is a matter of civility and manner.

Thanks - Stefan

At 12:11 PM, November 30, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Dear all,

regarding comments such as

Why is there no thesis by that title or that author at the University of London?

Also the address of the first paper raises another question about the so many false affiliation of El Naschie.

- Please stop questioning El Naschie's credentials or affiliations without any substantial proof. This is just fair and helps the actual case at hand.

For example, there are plenty of engineering papers by El Naschie published in the 1970s in ZAMM (Journal of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics), which to me seem to make it quite bold an assertion to doubt his doctorate in engineering. Has any of the doubters really digged through dusty "real" archives and libraries at the University College in London?

Regarding affiliations, my impression is that El Naschie may be a bit sloppy in using them - but I am not sure if he is aware of this, or bothers much about this. For example, the distinction between an Honorary Fellowship of the private "Förderverein für physikalische Grundlagenforschung" and the "Fachbereich Physik" at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University is an essential but subtle one, as the same people are involved, and even harder to see if you translate the titles and names into English. I am also quite sure that at some early point, El Naschie was involved in the foundation of the "Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Sudies", although I am not sure what his status, if any, is today. The controversy about the DAMTP affiliation may have had a similar background. Anyway, I see a priori no reason to doubt that he is somehow related to the King Abdullah Institute for Nano and Advanced Technology at King Saud University, though some more transparency may be welcome.

Sticking to facts really helps strengthen the actual case at hand, the question if these hundreds of papers by El Naschie written in the style exhibited by the anonymous comment above could have been published in the same way in another journal where he is not on the editorial board.

My personal impression is that without serious and critical feedback, and without the necessity to respond to criticism due to the convenient publication outlet CS&F at hand, the Cantorian spacetime and E-infinity business somewhen in the past has jumped the shark. It seems to be a classical case of group think and immunisation, but I may be wrong.

Maybe it is now just time to calm down and see what happens next.

Thanks, Stefan

At 12:41 PM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Phil Warnell said...

Hi Stefan

I realize it might sound like rather a dumb question, never the less I have to ask if you or some of the others know of any predictions that have been made that can be tested, or in upcoming experiments could be, where a result could assigned as attributed solely to be resultant of the consequences of El naschie’s theories? For despite admittedly not being either a scientist or mathematician it appears in being not much more then numerology.

All this talk about integrity, devote followings, mismanagement, accusations and alike is ignoring that what we are talking about here is science or perhaps relevant mathematics, if preferred, where only the presence or absence of proof should decide such matters. So I would suggest let’s have a prediction which can be carefully accessed, for surely within the sum total of all this prolific writing there must have been at least one made.

My personal interest and concern in all this relates to pseudoscience, which I feel presents to be a growing and even greater danger then simple ignorance. I also feel that in recent years this has worsened with a small part of it being assignable to a few scientists themselves, where unfortunately it is not so blatantly obvious to the vast majority as to what it is.



At 1:58 PM, November 30, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Hi Phil,

there are kind of predictions, for example in Exceptional Lie groups, E-infinity theory and Higgs Boson by Ayman A. El-Okaby, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 38 (2008) 1305-131. Here is a quote for the Conclusions:

Also, the numerical value of the inverse of electromagnetic fine structure constant has been estimated in a simple way, namely

[\alpha\bar_zero] = ... = 137.135225.

No idea what this means and how this fits with the CODATA value of 137.0359..., but there for sure is an explanation, just fix the energy scale or whatever. Moreover, the quote goes on and concludes the paper (I have added links to the references as they are used in the text, as they are quite typical) by saying:

We thus conclude that at least one more particle probably the Higgs must be found experimentally in the near future, making the number of particles in the standard model 61. However the most likely number to be discovered is 6 more elementary particles, namely 66 all in all. The maximum number at energy below one Tesla is found by El-Naschie, namely 69 particles, i.e. 9 more particles must be found [25].

Nonetheless at higher energy involving super-symmetric parameter, the value 72 predicted by Marek–Crnjac and El-Naschie is possible. In fact at ever higher values there are possibilities with the E8 to E-infinity scenarios [29] that a total of 80 or 84 elementary particles exist. This means we could discover as many as 20 or even 24 more particles. Clearly Experimental High energy physics still a long way to go [13].

Best, Stefan

At 2:10 PM, November 30, 2008, Anonymous Peter said...

stefan said: Has any of the doubters really digged through dusty "real" archives and libraries at the University College in London?

Well, there is no thesis by anyone with the surnames "El Naschie", "El Nachie", "Elnaschie", "Elnachie", "Naschie", "Nachie", "Nachee", "Naschee", "El Naschee", or "El Nachee" in the online PhD thesis catalog of the University of London.

Is this absence part of the alleged conspiracy against El Naschie too? Perhaps the great man could be persuaded to upload a photograph of the first few pages of his PhD thesis to his web-site, to assure us all that it really does exist and was granted, and then we can query the Librarian of the University of London over the apparent gap in the catalog.

At 3:13 PM, November 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Baez Esquire, what about Leon Chua? He published far more than El Naschie and Nayfeh combined in his own journal of Bifurcation and Chaos However the owner of World Scientific, the publisher, is your own publisher and friend. Did you sign an agreement with him not to disclose details about Chuas self publishing or have you signed a contract to undermine Chaos, Solitons and Fractals so that World scientific can take its share in the market. I think your behavior is disgraceful and we will make sure that everybody knows really who you are.


At 3:18 PM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Bee said...

Josh and all other anonymouses:

Your accusations only show you did not even bother to read this post. If this continues, we will delete all anonymous comments and close this comment section.

At 3:58 PM, November 30, 2008, Blogger stefan said...

Hi Peter,

thanks for pointing out the catalogue of the University of London Research Library Services. Indeed, I did not find either his thesis there.

But what I wanted to say is that one should be cautious to draw conclusions from the absence of entries on theses of the 1970s in modern electronic online catalogues.

To demonstrate my point:

I have just checked out the "Integrated Catalogue" of the British Library. You will find the following under the entry with system number 014720109:

System number: 014720109
Cataloguing level: Minimal record
Author - personal: El Nashie, M. S.
Title: The roll of formulation in elastic buckling.
Publisher/year: [S.l.] : University of London, 1974.
Physical descr.: pp. 348.
Dissertation: Doctoral Thesis - University of London.
Reproduction note: Microfilm. 35 mm.
Added name: University of London.
Holdings (All): Details
Shelfmark: D11176/74 DSC Request

You even have a shelfmark to look it up. So, if you continue doubting his doctorate, he may indeed be in a good position to sue you.

Best, Stefan

At 3:59 PM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Phil Warnell said...

Hi Stefan,

Thanks as this is the first of anything of what I would call substance being presented. That said with the nature of the predictions you have made note of it seems a little difficult as to have them be considered as being of committed certainty. In context I would ask if GR would have been accepted if the range of deflection detected allowed for by Eddington’s experimental results would have been so wide and non committal.

So unless something can be produced more definitive then this I personally would consider this not much more credible then when a fortune teller looks into your eyes and proclaims that you are about to have you life affected by a stranger.

At the same time as yourself I wouldn't want it thought I have drawn any firm conclusions, it’s just that for me this type of thing is how I will access to determine as to what credence I should give it all. In the end it's not so important or even our right to decide if something should be allowed to be published or not, rather our obligation and right to simply decide for ourselves if one should have reason as to have it considered seriously.



At 6:46 PM, November 30, 2008, Anonymous peter said...

Dear Stefan --

It would behoove you to read my previous post more carefully, before threatening legal actions. I do not for one moment doubt that M.S. El Naschie claims to have a PhD from the University of London. I noted merely that no record of such a thesis exists in the online catalog of the Library of the University of London, the institution which is supposed to have awarded it. This online catalog contains records of University of London PhD theses going back at least to the 1950s, so any absence from the catalog is not because the online catalog does not extend back to 1974.

Thank you for finding the BL record of the microfilm copy of the thesis, although I note this record appears to have mis-spelt his surname.

Perhaps you or the great man will now contact the Librarian of University of London regarding their missing catalog entry and let us all know the result.

At 7:04 PM, November 30, 2008, Anonymous Ludwig said...

Please spare me the crocodile tears. I have read for days and days now what you are writing. You are heart and soul with your colleague in the trade John Baez. You knew from day one that first Prof. El Naschie has a Ph.D and second he is a Distinguished Fellow. Are you really seriously asking how I know that? Because you are both German and married and your supervisor Bee was Horst Stocker who is a student of Walter Greiner who is a friend of Mohamed El Naschie. I am sure you are going to take this comment out. You have the nerve to have a go at those who are speaking the truth about John Baez and then you leave all these untruthful comments about Prof. El Naschie. John Baez might not know the whole truth, but both of you did. It is becoming a case for the police of Frankfurt where you live.

At 7:24 PM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Bee said...

Hi All:

Everybody who is familiar with the blogosphere has surely noticed by now that there is something decidedly odd about this comment section. We have a large amount of anonymous and pseudoanonymous commenters who repeat suspiciously similar sounding explanations, accusations, or paranoid conspiracy theories that do not refer to anything which was actually said here. I am not even remotely interested in continuing this fruitless exchange, and - with apologies to those who actually had something substantial to say - will therefore close this comment section.



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  1. This is hilarious! Of course, I view this whole business half in mortification and half thinking it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen. (For what it's worth, I think the entire journal Chaos, Solitons, and Fractals is crap. I work in the field it covers, and I would never actually bother submitting anything there.)

  2. I would like from people psting comments here
    to post it also in

    That would more exciting because they will receive direct response of El naschie and his sock puppets.

  3. What you can read there is very very bad. Unbelievable. Why are so many sockpuppet posts repeated over and over again? But what really makes me sad is the quite natural way in which accusations are presented. I hope this will one day be tracked back to El-Naschie and he will be held responsible for these postings. Sometimes I wonder how he would look like, sitting there at the other end of the line, jumping between his virtual characters, maybe a glass of wine, and as if it is the most natural thing in the world starting to type: "this is not your real name, your real name is Abu Grabuk, you got fired by me, uhm, El-Naschie, and your mother's sister's husband's dog's paperboy was your father's roommate's aunt and all egypt knows about that"
    What is going on in such a mind? How can he claim for himself realistically not to speak bad of others - with these stories. Incredible.