Correspondence between Thomas Widlar and Bas Straub (SciTopics/Elsevier)
that was originally displayed on Evans' website but deleted meanwhile

Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 02 Mar 2009 11:44:12 -0600
From: Thomas Widlar

I have been talking with Straub via email and phone. Today we got his "final" decision (see below), that Elsevier will take down the ECE page. The reason he gives is that his "research" tells him MEU is a questionable and unaccredited operation. Even if we addressed this point and perhaps admit that we discissused it too openly too soon, I doubt it would change the situation, he will do more research and find something else.

Straub told me last week the reason he offered us the ECE page is that he wanted to be on the side of a future Nobel Prize winner and be there among the first. He was reluctant to take down the page because he didn't want to "lose" Myron. It was also clear that he hoped in a fit of idealism that the controversy would work itself out positively and magically on his site with little effort on his part.

But we don't need him. probably gets more response from knowledgable sources than his site.

I think what set him off was Myron's blasting Elsevier on the blog, not just repoting what happened, but casting dire aspersions on him and Elsevier as a whole. I think to Straub that was more offensive than anything the others did. As a business man, anything that attacks the integrity of your business needs to be neutralized.

I think all comments about Elsevier should be taken down except for a bare recital of the facts. 1) Myron .was invited, 2) Myron created a page, 3) his opponents showed up with their same charges and didn't address the refutations already made, 4) a controversy ensued with Elsevier on how to handle this, 5) the page was withdrawn. It may be that with some of our own devices, other recognition, corporate effort, the films and the university, Straub will regret this and return to us.

I would like leave him on polite terms. If he returns, we dictate the terms. I think Straub fired us before we quit. I made it clear to him that's what we would do if we didn't have the proper controls. That's why I would leave it at "the page was withdrawn".

I wish we could concentrate on ECE theory, the theory itself and how to bring it to the world. All the various side battles just impede us. I think it is fine for Myron to tell us how he feels about things, that's how his process works and it has produced spectacular results. But the blog should be pure ECE science. Any discussions on the blog about the decrepit state of science, standard modelers, universities, publishers, politicians, harassment, police, legal interpretations, prosecutions among others should be left out. It is just fuel and incentive to let people drive off track and take us with them.

Also I don't believe that website statistics are proof of general acceptance of ECE or that no response to a paper means it has been accepted . I don't let that get in my way in looking at his work for what it is but I think quite a few others don't accept this reasoning and become resistant to what Myron says. I think anything that can be looked upon as self-promotion hurts. This all came up briefly in my conversation with Straub.

I think the website statistics are very welcome and useful. I would regard them as proprietary information not to be released (it is additional fuel for the others, it tells them who they can harrass). We should keep is as a catalog of who is interested and possibly potential colleagues. In the internet marketing business this kind of info is very carefully protected.

I would like to write Straub that I understand his decisions but I think his reasoning about MEU is wrong. I would like a statement on why it is wrong. But I would continue that we have arrived at the same conclusion about the site as he but for different reasons. We have lived with this controversy and are not willing to engage in it without some form of moderation which we would strive to be fair and seem fair. And that even Wikipedia has fallen far short of its noble goals, it is a hotbed for this kind of controversy and that it is very usual for the opponents of some person or issue post the issuse first at Wiki, make the article seem objective by feeding negative material and leaving out the positive (this is easy to do), establish themselves as "experts" to Wiki, get control on the page and block any attempt to correct it. . Wiki itself has little clue on how to fix this. Several lawsuits have been over thisand many more people wish they could sue.

I would like the board's ideas before I respond to Straub. Please forward this to the board.

Thomas Widlar

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: Fwd: Update: SciTopics site on shortcomings of ECE theory
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 09:42:42 +0100
From: Straub, Bas SC (ELS-AMS)
To: Thomas Widlar

Dear Thomas,

Many thanks for your email and for the open discussion we have on the ECE page. Please allow me to address your remarks regarding 'Elsevier inviting Myron Evans to author a page'. When we designed the editorial strategy we felt that it should be a wiki where authors should have a scientific level and both authors and commenters should be identified by name'. As a rule for having a 'scientific level' we set that an author should have at least some publications in an ISI-recognised journal. Myron Evans does fit that criteria and I believe that that is the reason why he was invited/accepted to become an author. I cannot trace back how exactly he was invited/accepted.

I have pondered our discussion and the various options over the weekend, and also did some more 'web-research' into the subject and its players. During this research I came across the Myron Evans University at I was quite surprised to read that this University is offering Ph.D. degrees in the area of the application of the Einstein Cartan Evans theory. A quick check on the website of the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills at es.list learned me that this 'university' is not officially recognised. I believe, but could be mistaken, that advertising an entity as being a university offering degrees, without proper recognition from relevant authorities, is not allowed.

I fear that this can have a negative impact on the perceived quality of SciTopics specifically and Elsevier in general. Therefore I have decided to take down the ECE page from SciTopics. In all fairness I will therefore also not allow the opponents to publish a page.

Many thanks,
Bas Straub

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Widlar []
Sent: 02 March 2009 03:32
To: Straub, Bas SC (ELS-AMS)
Subject: Re: Fwd: Update: SciTopics site on shortcomings of ECE theory

Dear Dr. Straub,

You have mentioned that the ECE page has caused a lot of discussion at Elsevier which have included your lawyers, perhaps more than once. That is quite a distraction for a simple page on the website.

It occurred to me over the weekend that Myron simply posted to your website as you requested him to do. While doing that, he used the choices given to him on the website of blocking messages knowing full well that the people who have been following him around would find their way to SciTopics because he talked of it on his blog which they follow very closely. As I understand it, nothing had been said to Myron that the buttons could not be used.

The other parties must have made quite a commotion at Elsevier with calls and letters and suggestions that various actions may or may not be aken when their messages were blocked. It is they who have created this situation, not Myron. Myron's understandable reaction only started when the decision was made to block him. Neither he nor we have made any threats towards Elsevier nor do we have any interest in doing so.

Even though you gave the others a page, they have not used it. Do they have any other interests besides their ongoing conflict with Myron?

I too would like to see an ongoing civil discussion about ECE. That will be difficult considering the history of these participants but I would be willing to try to move this issue forward. But I need the mechanisms to do so.

Please let me know what your decision is.
Thank you.
Thomas Widlar