Monday, August 04, 2008

Baez, John. "The Bogdanov Affair."

Update: Foucault Blog has an interesting recent entry on Foucault and the Bogdanov brothers:
These guys (tv celebs in France) were the eponymous characters in the “Bogdanov Affair” which is a kind of reverse “Sokal Affair.” They published papers in scientific journals with a new theory explaining the Big Bang that some physicists say were a hoax and comprised of pseudoscientific jargon (see wikipedia entry for more on the affair, including details of how the French wikipedia entry on them had possibly been edited by they themselves). . . .
Read the rest here: Original Post (July 17, 2008): We all laughed when the physicist Alan Sokal wrote a deliberately silly paper entitled Transgressing the boundaries: towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity, and managed to get it accepted by a journal of social and cultural studies, Social Text. But in 2002, on the 22nd of October many of us began hearing rumors that two brothers managed to publish at least five meaningless papers in physics journals as a hoax - and even got Ph.D. degrees in physics from Bourgogne University on the basis of this work! . . . To read the rest, visit:


  1. Come on! This "affair" was mirrored by John Baez in 2002! We are in 2008. Lots of events have occured since the beguinning of this fuss. In particular there is a book published by a physicist from Harvard (The Bogdanov Equation, Lubos Motl) where he explains why the Bogdanov brothers may have discovered a new solution to quantume gravity problems.
    Stay tuned.

  2. The 'scandal' is far from over even 6 years after the debate began to reach a worldwide audience (the whole affair actually started even before this). The Bogdanoff brothers are still very much in the news. Moreover, while Motl does write in support of the brothers, many others vehemently oppose them. For a sense of the continuing debate, see the Wikipedia article on the Bogdanoff Affair. There are other items available online.