User Tools

Site Tools


The Brothers Bogdanoff

“Two brothers, Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff, journalists and science fiction writers, both in their late 40's, decided it is high time to earn a PhD, and that this should be just as easy in `stringy' high energy physics as it alledgedly is in sociology.

First they interviewed a number of prominent French string theorists in order to accquire the lingo, then (apparently without help from a trained physicist) spoofed two theses. To prepare the ground for their defense they spread rumors of them being geniuses and their theses being a milestone in theoretical physics. Although the official PhD? awarding institution is only the (so far not too renowned) Universite de Bourgogne the members of the thesis committee certainly make up for it: R. Jackiw (MIT), J. Morava (John Hopkins), S. Majid (Cambridge), C. Kounnas (ENS), I. Antoniadis (CERN and Ecole Polytechnique), and others. For the actual defense they rented a hall in the prestigeous Ecole Polytechnique, arranged a big dinner with the president, invited the TV, … and passed gloriously. The thesis can be found on the offical CNRS server ( Already the abstract is a delightfully meaningless combination of buzzwords, that almost beats Sokal's, but which apparently has been taken seriously by the committee!” – Max Niedemayer

'Several sources have referred to the Bogdanov Affair as a “reverse Sokal” hoax, drawing a comparison with the Sokal Affair, where the physicist Alan Sokal published a deliberately fraudulent article in the humanities journal Social Text in order to demonstrate the risk of postmodernist academics accepting scientific validation without adequate evaluation. […] Both Igor and Grichka Bogdanov have vigorously insisted upon the validity of their work, and possess academic qualifications in the fields in which they are publishing, although some people question the bona fides of both the validity of the papers and the academic credentials of the writers.' –wikipedia

Then, the plot thickens

Category Physics

brothers_bogdanoff.txt · Last modified: 2013/09/25 12:59 by