Opening arguments in the libel trial against the venerated scientific journal Nature got under way last week in London's High Court. Egyptian physicist Mohamed El Naschie is suing the publication for running a 2008 news story that he claims damaged his reputation. The article alleged that El Naschie self-published numerous papers in the Elsevier-owned theoretical physics journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, where he served as editor-in-chief for 17 years. The Nature story, which is "temporarily unavailable" on the journal's website, also claimed that El Naschie listed several honorary professorships and other affiliations that journalist Quirin Schiermeier could not confirm.
According to BBC News, the lawyer representing Nature in the case said in his opening statement that he would argue the validity of the article, which represented what he called "true, honest opinion and responsible journalism on an issue of public interest." El Naschie is representing himself in the case. The blog site El Naschie Watch, which is highly critical of the physicist, has predicted that the High Court is likely to rule in favor of Nature within a month.