Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Smoke and mirrors

El Naschie is a literate man and speaks (and presumably is able to write) English very well.

You can see that from the first of these videos. He may be a crackpot, but he's a well-spoken crackpot.

Yet as I consult the primary sources of information about him, I am frequently struck by their poor quality simply as documents written in the English language. Here I am referring partly to grammar, punctuation and the like; but more to the practice of failing to call things by their right names, and to specify them unambiguously. That is not difficult to do even if one's English is poor. I shall give examples further on.

The deficiencies hardly make sense whether he wrote them himself, or they were written by a secretary. One plausible explanation is that everything he "writes" is dictated to an unpaid acolyte whose English is poor. But there's another explanation that looks increasingly likely: The vagueness is intended to thwart fact-checking.

Example 1.

After becoming full Professor of Engineering he followed his inclination towards theoretical subjects and moved first towards Applied Mathematics and later on Nuclear and High Energy Physics.

Q: What good reason is there to omit the information as to what University made him a full professor? A: To thwart fact-checking.

Example 2.

Mohamed Salah El Naschie

Advisor to President of King Saud University, Riyadh,

Arab Republic of Egypt

Why the comma after Riyadh? The other biographies are mostly in perfect English, so it can't be blamed on the organizers.

He obtained PHD in applied mechanics from London university and High school from Western Germany and diploma in construction engineering from Hanover university.

He worked as a professor in many universities of which university college (London University), and taught in King Saud university in Riyadh, and in New Mexico university in USA and in King Abdulaziiz city for science and technology (Riyadh) and in a number of other universities.

There is a University of London of which University College London is a part. Why screw up the name? Similarly, there is University of New Mexico and a separate New Mexico State University. WTF is "New Mexico university"?

He is a founding member of physics establishment in Frankfurt university

He's getting on my nerves. There is no "Frankfurt university" to the best of my knowledge. There are Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, and Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder).

and a part time professor in physics section of Alexandrian university,

There is an Alexandria University (which doesn't include him on the faculty list), but could this refer to some other university in Alexandria?

and a part time professor in the astrophysics section in Cairo university and a part time professor in physics section of Al Mansourah university.

Cairo University doesn't list him as faculty. I can't find a Mansourah list.

He was honored in many occasions and got medallions. He is founder and chief editor of the biggest journal in science and its applications in physics and engineering.

He is chief editor of a number of international scientific journals. Nominated many times for major prizes. The number of his published researches is around 450.

That "founder and chief editor" business sounds very impressive. I wonder why the name of the journal is not given.

Example 3.

There are too many inaccuracies here to cover all of them.

M.I.Ph. Chartered Physicist, Institute of Physics, U.K.

I've never heard of a M.I.Ph. degree. Also, Institute of Physics is a scientific charity with a publishing arm. It's not a university or part of one.

FinstP Fellow of the Royal Institute of Physics, U.K.

I've never heard of a FinstP degree. Moreover, if there is a "Royal Institute of Physics" then someone must let Google know about it right away.

Academic Career
• Research Scientist, University College 1974, London, U.K.
• Associate Professor, KSU 1980, Saudi Arabia
• Distinguished Professor, New Mexico 1981, USA
• Professor, KACST 1985, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
• Director, KACST 1987, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
• Professor, Cornell 1988, Sibley School of Aeronautics & Astronautics, USA
• Professor, Solvay Institute for Physics & Chemistry 1990-2004, Free University of
Brussels, Belgium
• Professor, DAMTP 1991-2002, Cambridge, U.K.
• Professor, School of Electronic Engineering 2000-2004, University of Surrey,
Guildford, U.K.

New Mexico, the 47th state in the Union, made him a distinguished professor. I did not know American states did that.

That's enough. It's more than I can stand.

There is, despite the deficiencies of the CV, some good information in it, particularly when taken together with "Professor" El Naschie II and my comment there. In the unlikely event that El Naschie was, as he claims, made a full professor, it was probably at King Saud University. And it is very unlikely indeed, because El Naschie only claims associate professor status there in the November 2008 CV. Searching the KSU site for "naschie" gives two hits (the second unfortunately requires a password) but the paucity of hits is not conceivable for a full professor there. I put in some known (i.e., Googled) King Saud University professors' names into the KSU search engine and their genuine professorial status was abundantly clear.
Translate English to Arabic

محمد النشائي El Naschie Watch محمد النشائي El Naschie News محمد النشائي
محمد النشائي All El Naschie All The Time محمد النشائي



  1. The point with frankfurt university has another major problem. It is not, that El Naschie says "Frankfurt university". This is somewhat normal in German language. The names of the towns where the universities are located are more known than the university names. Therefore, one typically says just something like "Frankfurt's university", or "the university of Frankfurt", with which mostly the university in Frankfurt (Main) is ment.

    However, Naschie writes:

    "He is a ***founding member*** of physics establishment in Frankfurt university"

    Clearly, this cannot be. The University of Frankfurt (Main) was founded in 1912.

    For example, one could perhaps regard Nobel Laureate Max-Born as one of the founding members of the physics department in Frankfurt. Born became physics professor there in 1919 and developed the statistical intepretation of Quantum mechanics:

    Certainly, El Naschie has not founded any physics department in germany.
    Even if he claims to do so. To say that one has founded a well known department is a rather outrageous claim for a crackpot like Naschie, I think

  2. Everybody,
    start searching not only for "naschie" at such pages but also for
    محمد النشائي
    محمد means "mohamed" and النشائي means "el naschie" or "alnashaee" or "naschie" or "alnchii" whatever the english transcription would be. The arabic spelling is much more accurate and useful to find him in such places! For example in the King Saud University (KSU) here:
    Searching for محمد النشائي
    gives two pages of results! Including the contents of the agreement El Naschie signed with King Saud University, you know the one of these photos, there where some guys with turban are watching him signing something. What is the nature of his cooperation with King Saud University? See yourself here:
    Paste the arabic content of the box below the slideshow into
    and choose: arabic -> english. There you are.

    Have fun with all the other links, by the way, Jason, I could follow both "naschie" links from your search!

    Martin Klicken