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Home » General statements » Concerns about Scientific Ethics

Concerns about Scientific Ethics


I have grave concerns about the erosion of contemporary scientific ethics, notably the deliberate undermining of the four hundred year old scientific method by tactics such as e mail harassment and continuous refusal to accept rebuttals. I think that strong, coordinated and effective action by university administrators, the police, and by legislatures worldwide is needed to stop this felonious activity. It is well known that my staff at AIAS and myself have been subjected to literally thousands of harassing e mails for about five years or more, and that the founding editor of "Foundations of Physics", Prof. Alwyn van der Merwe of Denver University, was viciously harassed by e mail prior to his forced replacement by G. 't Hooft. The latter is known to have a website that attacks the British Civil List scientist in a vulgar and sour manner, without knowing anything about the Civil List Scientist's work. This is conduct unbecoming of a Nobel Laureate, and brings the Royal Swedish Academy into disrepute. It is clear that 't Hooft cannot be an impartial editor, and I do not recognise him as an editor due to the brutal way in which van der Merwe was removed.

It is also well known that a purported "moderator" of Wikipedia, "Science Guy", is A.Lakhtakia, an associate of 't Hooft and G. Bruhn who is known to have sent many personally abusive messages to my staff and myself, and even to the Prime Minister's office using different usernames from one computer. We traced this computer, using feedback software, to Penn State University at University Park, where Lakhtakia works. The main harasser is G. Bruhn, who has ignored numerous requests to desist from sending harassing e mails to my staff. He has ignored all these requests, and has had to be blocked electronically. Lakhtakia's bile on Wikipedia has been to a large extent modified in response to an international condemnation of his conduct. After many complaints to the Penn State administration and Penn State campus police, Lakhtakia's abusive e mail assaults have ceased. He is a "community leader" in University Park, and his hostility towards the British Civil List scientist is all too apparent. This raises grave concern about what is happening at Penn State University in University Park.

The most worrying aspect of this epiosode is that Bruhn was able to force into print an erroneous paper in "Physica Scripta". Appendixes 2 and 10 of paper 89 on (extended rebuttal of Hehl et alia) show that this is trivial nonsense by Bruhn, as is all his comments about my work. Yet the referees of a purportedly respected journal let this through, and the editors let it through. Aggravated harassment is a felony, so any association with such conduct, or any condoning of such conduct, is tantamount to compounding a felony, which is in itself another felony as is well known. So this matter causes grave concern and should be investigated at the highest level. I urge the Prime Minister's Office to look into this and start an international police investigation of the acitivities of such harassers.

On a purely scientific level, I have posted many rebuttals of Bruhn, and one long rebuttal of Hehl et al., on These have been examined by the entire professions of physics, chemistry and engineering and not a single expression of support for Bruhn or Hehl et al. has been received by me in a span of about four years. We know from the huge impact that ECE is making that our work is intensively read on literally hundreds of thousands of visitors every year from a total of 116 countries. The long Hehl rebuttal has been read over a thousand times in about three months. I extended it to rebut new comments by Hehl.
It was decided NOT to submit this rebuttal to "Foundations of Physics" because the editor 't Hooft has clearly admitted bias by posting his website about me. Also, 't Hooft has repeatedly referrred to my title of Civil List Scientist in a sarcastic, demeaning way which is tantamount to contempt of the British Parliament. It is clear from Appendices 2 and 10 that 't Hooft AGAIN let through trivial nonsense by Bruhn into print, and so will almost certainly contrive to block and refuse to publish a rebuttal if sent to him. Sending a rebuttal to 't Hooft would also implictly recognise him as a bona fide editor, which I refuse to do, and advise all others to refuse to do. We have counter criticised 't Hooft on I also protest in the strongest terms at the way in which the universally respected and admired Prof. Alwyn van der Merwe was harassed and removed after many years of distinguished service. This process has made Prof. van der Merwe quite seriously ill and this cannot be tolerated by the civilized international community.

British Civil List Scientist

21July 2007 


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