El Naschie questions journalist in Nature libel trial
Updated 16:08 16 November 2011 by Chelsea Whyte
Update: Mohamed El Naschie, a former editor of the scientific journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, appeared in London's High Court today for the libel lawsuit he has brought against the scientific journal Nature.
El Naschie is representing himself.
During El Naschie's cross-examination of journalist Quirin Schiermeier, who wrote the 2008 article about him, Schiermeier stood by the content of the work, saying, "We wrote the article because you published 58 papers in one year in a journal where you acted as editor-in-chief. That is unusual and potentially unethical."
El Naschie responded that he felt it wasn't unheard of for journals to publish work that isn't peer-reviewed. He also said that his work had been stolen. "We published my work to secure it," he told the court. "Senior people are above this childish, vain practice of peer review." [OMFG as Shrink says in the comments. El Naschie is in a hole and he's still digging.]
The case continues.
Original article, posted 15 November 2011
A libel case brought against the scientific journal Nature by an independent physicist is hearing statements from defence witnesses this week in London. Mohamed El Naschie, a former editor of the physics journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, is claiming that an article published in Nature in November 2008 damaged his reputation. The article is currently unavailable on the Nature website. [El Naschie Watch has it here.]
The article questioned the peer-review process at Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, where El Naschie served as editor and published many of his own papers. Peer review is at the heart of science publishing: research papers submitted to journals are assessed by scientists who are experts in the relevant field.
The Nature article also reported that several of El Naschie's claims of affiliation with academic institutions could not be verified.
The trial started in London's High Court on Friday, although El Naschie, who is representing himself, has not been present during the proceedings. [Well he's not really representing himself then, is he. Nobody is.]
Benjamin De Lacy Costello, a materials scientist at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK, testified yesterday that when El Naschie was editor, the peer-review process at Chaos, Solitons and Fractals was "frustrating" and unlike that of other journals.
With regard to the dispute over El Naschie's affiliations, Timothy John Pedley, former head of the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge, said that El Naschie was a visiting scholar with access to libraries and collaborations at the department, but was not an honorary scholar working with the privileges of a professor. [Thus he did not have the right to claim Cambridge affiliation as he did for eleven years.]
Nature will continue to make its case until next Monday, calling the author of the piece [Quirin Schiermeier] and editors who worked on the article to testify this week. Should El Naschie appear in court, the proceedings will continue another week. A judgment is expected early next year. [See Odds on El Naschie v Nature outcome, which has been updated.]
At the time of posting, El Naschie has not responded to New Scientist's emails asking for comment.
- February 14, 2009: Fight!
- March 2, 2009: He's toast
- February 18, 2010: El Naschie vs Nature news
- April 1, 2010: El Naschie wins law suit against Nature!
- April 17, 2011: El Naschie vs. Nature law suit news
- June 12, 2011: El Naschie vs. Nature BOMBSHELL!
- June 12, 2011: El Naschie vs Nature: Paragraphs 4 and 5
- September 21, 2011: Nature zaps Yahia's blog post!
- October 21, 2011: Excitement builds: Countdown to 31 October
- October 24, 2011: My email to Nature's law firm
- October 24, 2011: Judge hails from One Brick Court!
- October 24, 2011: El Naschie v Nature pre-trial review in 3 hours!
- October 28, 2011: El Naschie v Nature starts Monday morning
- November 10, 2011: My patient Mohamed is not feeling well today
- November 11, 2011: BBC report on El Naschie v Nature!
- November 14, 2011: PhysOrg article on El Naschie v Nature
- November 14, 2011: The Scientist magazine on El Naschie v Nature
- November 14, 2011: British Medical Journal subscriber sought
- November 15, 2011: El Naschie has not appeared in court even once!
- November 16, 2011: Mathlog on El Naschie v Nature
- November 16, 2011: El Naschie finally shows up in court!