Friday, December 3, 2010

Comments from a Bogdanoff thread

Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff, or Bogdanov, readers may remember, are media celebrities in France, which incidentally does the French media no credit. They have PhDs widely considered to be marginal or unsatisfactory and are the authors of a popularized physics book, Le Visage de Dieu (The Face of God). Luboš Motl of the Reference Frame blog has written a book about them, L' équation Bogdanov, giving them more credence than they deserve.

The video embedded above is an interview of Igor and Grichka by Guillaume Erner on France-Inter. Original French or Google's English translation.

The interview is discussed in an article by Sylvestre Huet in the science section of the newspaper Libération. Original French or Google's English translation. Huet's article includes scathing criticism of the Bogdanoffs by Damien Calaque and Bruno Vallette.

There are reader comments following the Libération article that mention El Naschie Watch, the D.D. Guttenplan article in The New York Times, Rami El-Nabulsi and Nature, and John Baez, Richard Poynder and Chaos, Solitons and Fractals.

El Naschie and the Bogdanoffs are sometimes compared. Does their work make any sense? Do they have delusions of grandeur? Are they conscious frauds? In both cases there are ranges of opinions. The Bogdanoffs have sometimes been accused of being Sokal-style hoaxers. I don't think that's true. I think they're barely competent scientists getting more attention than they deserve. El Naschie isn't even at their level. The Bogdanoffs at least have PhDs in a relevant field.

The Google translation into English of the four comments of most interest to El Naschie Watch readers is shown below.

Tues, November 16, 2010 at 4:52:52 p.m. by Marquis

@ AR

Sorry to abuse, but here is a case which seems quite exceptional

with approximately 100 publications to MathSciNet. This case seems to have managed to skew the rankings,

which says a lot about them. It seems, however, always be the case very interesting review of Chaos ... etc.

Tues, November 16, 2010 at 4:27:30 p.m. by Marquis

@ AR

So much for me, El Nabulsi has published in journals. It has more ressmble journals third area, except perhaps some of them.

An interesting case is Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, or the money seems to have been an important factor, cf the case of

Writing on the Uncommon Ground blog, for instance, Kent Holsinger Concludes "whether Elsevier Admit It or Not, Their oversight" of this newspaper Appears to Have Been Non-Existent. It Appears They Were more interested in. The $ 4250 in Annual subscription fees El Nasch's Newspaper Than in Ensuring Garners 'That all published reports of research reviewed by Have Been suitably qualified reviewers' as required by The Committee on Publication Ethics. "

Tues, November 16, 2010 at 1:03:27 p.m. by Marquis

@ AR

Thank you for the case Trabulsi, but it does seem qu'Arxiv on? In this case, there are publications in journals of very good, and my question was rather on that point. There are obviously flaws in the process of referees but to my knowledge the first time it goes so far in an area called hard sciences.

In my opinion, the reaction of the international community was already in itself a scientific opinion, and I'm not convinced that a ruling or French reaction can make anything. I also note that Baez reacts primarily on the fragility of the process of publication (departing he believes that publications are a hoax was the Sokal and Bricmont), which is a very important aspect for life science, and unfortunately largely disappears of debates.

I do not think that those involved in this case have been "SANCTIONED" (and I'm not sure what should be a possible "penalty", I think the only advertising is enough). One reason is that many of the players were close to retirement (and therefore difficult to slow down the career ...), and even died for the supervisor and the person who was likely introduced in the mid Bogdanov. Many were very powerful and recognized: one speaker was President of the Mathematical Society of France, president of another section of the committee of scientific research, a third is still a good magazine editor, etc. ...

Sat, November 13, 2010 at 10:27:51 p.m. AR

@ Marquis

We must understand that celebrity Bogdanov is that their tips were so spoiled while referring to a staggering number of concepts more or less sophisticated than researchers have believed the rumor that it was a hoax. It was at that time made any hay, and was mentioned in The New York Times and even in Nature. It was evident that the buzz that this story has created the International could not leave indifferent the French academic institutions. On the other hand, it is ever possible at the time there is doubt about the motives of some who spoke of this matter. Remember that the case has taken shape across the Atlantic with a thread initiated by John Baez, and that in these troubled times (late 2002 - early 2003), there was a "light" different Franco-American about Iraq, and the denigration of France had become a political doctrine in the U.S.. It was therefore natural that the university which awarded the diploma and the employer (CNRS) of a package of thesis directors, reporters and reviewers of these theories seeks to know if all small world had been shamefully defamed by very bad American or rather had failed beyond reasonable (there was unfortunately little half measure possible).

Awaited the findings of this report, the fact that decision makers have chosen to dismiss the case without further action can perhaps be explained by the fact that those responsible for this charade had already taken full head and they would drag this pan lifetime.

> And if you're the science is concerned, is
> It easier to publish articles in doubtful
> Magazines that seem to be very good? Is it
> Happens very frequently or is that chance can not
> Not explain it?

This happens from time to time. In 2003 (again) there was a history of massive cheating done by some Nabulsi which 22 papers were withdrawn from the arXiv preprint server, and, for the most part, journals that were missed. Nature had an article from elsewhere ( Comparatively, Bogdanov were small players: they have not managed to publish more than 6 items (including 4 identical) before being caught by the patrol. Anecdotally, this Nabulsi has resurfaced several years later by signing his article El Nabulsi, before again taking to rebuild the patrol (yours truly is even modestly participated). If you look at the case of this guy, it is clear that the real filter are not magazines (he managed to adopt a style that will pass under the radar), but the scientific community as a whole has completely ignored the work of pseudo-gentleman. That's exactly what happened to the two brothers.

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  1. is this another one of yours?

  2. That's a Naschienal Socialist blog whose blogmaster, David, may be Ji-Huan He. I'm not sure. I see they are cranking out some new E-infinity communications. Nice!

  3. "I think they're barely competent scientists getting more attention than they deserve. El Naschie isn't even at their level. The Bogdanoffs at least have PhDs in a relevant field."

    Please, have you tried to read either the thesis of Grishka Bogdanoff or the one of Igor Bogdanoff ? Both are full of mistakes and absurd statements (some of them "not even wrong").

    They are defintely not "barely competent scientists".

  4. :) Ok. But El Naschie has no math or physics degree, not even an undergraduate one. I think El Naschie is still lower on the scale of competence.