Something About Sky & Telescope


Stephen J. Crothers

The Death of Julieka Dhu in Police Custody

The popular astronomy magazine Sky & Telescope seems to have a very unscientific editorial policy. Indeed, it seems to engage in selective publication, deliberately denying its readers access to all the facts, thereby supporting and condoning bias and vested interests. I report and document here my personal experiences with Sky & Telescope.

In late July 2008 I sent the Editor of Sky & Telescope this short and simple non-mathematical paper which clearly explains why the alleged black hole is nonsense. The article was written for the consumption of a broad readership, in the fashion of articles routinely published by Sky & Telescope.

Within a day or two of receiving the hardcopy of my article, "Black Holes, Unicorns and All That Jazz", I received, on 29 July 2008, the following email advice from the Editor, Mr. Robert Naeye:

"Greetings Mr. Crothers,
Thank you for submitting your article on black holes to Sky & Telescope. Unfortunately, it does not meet our editorial needs, but we nevertheless appreciate your thinking of S&T, and hope you can find an alternative publisher.
Best regards, Robert Naeye, Editor, S&T"

On 29 July 2008 I sent email this in reply:

"Mr. Robert Naeye,
Editor S&T,

Please explain to me why my article does not meet your "editorial needs", bearing in mind that the following recent nonsense currently appears on the website of Sky & Telescope:

Am I to interpret your rejection of my article as deliberate obstruction of free and open scientific discussion? It certainly appears to be the case that Sky & Telescope is unwilling to print anything which shows that the black hole is rubbish, in view of the above article Sky & Telescope has sanctioned, thereby suppressing irrefutable evidence that everyone interested in astronomy and astrophysics should be made aware of. And surely your readers are intelligent enough to decide for themselves, given the facts. Yet you will not give them the facts, only the one-sided claptrap such as that cited above.

It is extraordinary that you reject my simple and clear article yet publish on your Journal's website an absurd article about weighing black holes with a thermometer, then claim that my article does not meet your editorial needs. I think you are not telling the truth.

I await your explanation.

Stephen J. Crothers.

Naeye did not reply to my request for explanation, so I sent this email to him on 1 August 2008:

"Mr. Robert Naeye,
Editor Sky and Telescope,
Dear Sir,

I refer to my previous email dated 28 July to which you have not responded. I therefore suggest the following options for resolution of this matter.

1. You provide me with an explanation as to why my article does not meet your "editorial needs" in light of the article on weighing a black hole with a thermometer which appears on the S&K website; or
2. You publish my article; or
3. I place all relevant documents (i.e. including all emails between us) on a webpage and invite international comment and discussion, from readers of S&K, scientists, astronomical commerical interests, and any other interested person whomsoever.

If I do not hear from you within say 24 hours, I will take it that you favour option 3, which I will then implement with your tacit approval.

I await your advice.

Stephen J. Crothers.

Mr. Naeye did not reply to my email, and so apparently favoured option 3.

The email between Naeye and me is here.

All readers are duly invited to send comments on this matter, and my article, to Mr. Naeye and me. Here is Mr. Naeye's email address. Mine is given below.

Stephen J. Crothers email

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Last update: 29th December 2014