Nicholas Kollerstrom

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Nicholas Kollerstrom
Born (1946-12-13)13 December 1946
Nationality British
Education BA (Natural Sciences)
University of Cambridge, 1968
MA, University of Cambridge, 1973
PhD (Science and Technology)
University College London, 1995
Occupation Writer, historian of science

Nicholas Kollerstrom (born 13 December 1946) is an English writer and historian of science. Formerly an honorary research fellow at University College London (UCL) and BBC lunar gardening correspondent, he is the author of several books, including Gardening and Planting by the Moon (an annual series beginning 1980), Newton's Forgotten Lunar Theory (2000), Crop Circles (2002), and Terror on the Tube (2009).

Kollerstrom has been involved in a variety of issues as a political activist. He helped to set up the Belgrano Action Group after the sinking of the ARA General Belgrano by the British Navy during the Falklands War in 1982. His book, Terror on the Tube, argued that the 7 July 2005 London bombings were not carried out by the men accused of them. His UCL fellowship was withdrawn in April 2008 after he posted what he said was revisionist material about the Auschwitz concentration camp on websites known for their Holocaust denial.[1]

Education and career[edit]

Kollerstrom attended Corpus Christi College, Cambridge from 1965, obtaining his BA in natural sciences in 1968 (promoted to MA in 1973) with a focus on the history and philosophy of science.[2] He worked as a physics teacher before becoming a graduate student in science and technology at University College London (UCL).[3] He was awarded his PhD in 1995 for a thesis entitled, The Achievement of Newton's 'Theory of the Moon's Motion' of 1702.[4]

UCL awarded him an honorary research fellowship, and in 1999 he received a grant from the Royal Astronomical Society to work on the classification of correspondence related to the British discovery of Neptune. Along with William Sheehan and Craig Waff, he concluded in an article for Scientific American in 2004 that the British had wrongly taken credit for the discovery of the planet.[5] He has a particular interest in the effect of the sun, moon and planets on plant growth, and previously served as the BBC's lunar gardening correspondent. His Gardening and Planting by the Moon has been published every year since 1980 as an annual series.[6]

Political activism[edit]

Belgrano, London bombings[edit]

Kollerstrom was a founding member in 1986 of the Belgrano Action Group, set up to campaign for information about the sinking of the Argentine ship, the ARA General Belgrano, by the British Navy during the 1982 Falklands War. The group held an informal public inquiry in November 1986 at Hampstead Town Hall, addressed by Tam Dalyell MP and Clive Ponting, a former British civil servant.[7]

In the 2000s Kollerstrom became involved with the 911 truth movement,[8] campaigned against the Iraq War,[9] and appeared in a 2006 internet film by David Shayler arguing that the men accused of the 7 July 2005 London bombings had not carried out the attack.[10] Kollerstrom's book on the subject, Terror on the Tube: Behind the Veil of 7/7, An Investigation, was published in April 2009, and he was interviewed by the BBC for its series, The Conspiracy Files, broadcast in June 2009.[11]

Holocaust denial controversy[edit]

UCL removed Kollerstrom's honorary fellowship in April 2008 after articles of his appeared on Holocaust denial websites.[1] One was published in June 2007 on a website run by the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), and another in March 2008 in Smith's report, an online newsletter published by the co-founder of CODOH, Bradley Smith.[12]

In one of the articles Kollerstrom wrote that one million Jews had died in the Holocaust, not six million, that gas chambers had operated in Auschwitz only for the purpose of disinfection, and that "the only intentional mass extermination program in the concentration camps of WW2 was targeted at Germans ... in French and American-run concentration camps," material he said had been "erased from the history books."[13] In another he wrote that Auschwitz had had art classes and a well-stocked library for inmates, as well as an elegant swimming pool where inmates would sunbathe at weekends while watching water-polo matches.[14]

The articles were brought to the university's attention by bloggers, after Kollerstrom expressed views about the 2005 London bombings during a book launch that prompted people to make inquiries about him.[15] Kollerstrom gave an interview in May 2008 to the Iranian government's Press TV about the loss of his fellowship.[15]

Britain's Index on Censorship asked Brendan O'Neill of Spiked and "Unity" of Liberal Conspiracy to comment on the removal of the fellowship. "Unity" argued that it was justified because of the poor scholarship and lack of judgment, whereas O'Neill's position was that Kollerstrom was pursuing ideas in his spare time and his dismissal amounted to a witch hunt.[16] In 2010 historian of science Noel Swerdlow suggested in Isis that three entries Kollerstrom wrote for the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers be removed.[17] The Jewish Chronicle reported that Kollerstrom saw himself as the victim of a "calumny" by bloggers. He said that he had no interest in the Nazi movement, had always belonged to groups like the Green Party, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and the Respect party, and regarded himself as having been accused of a "thought-crime."[18]

Selected works[edit]

Books
  • (1980). with Best, Simon. Lunar Planting Manual 1980-81. W Foulsham & Co Ltd. ISBN 0-572-01059-1
  • (1980). Gardening and Planting by the Moon, an annual series .
  • (1982). Lead on the Brain: A Plain Guide to Britain's No. 1 Pollutant. Wildwood House. ISBN 0-7045-0476-6
  • (1984). Astrochemistry: A Study of Metal-planet Affinities. Emergence Press. ISBN 0-946937-00-1
  • with Farebrother, George (eds.) (1988). The Unnecessary War: Proceedings of the Belgrano Inquiry, November 7/8th 1986. The Belgrano Action Group, Spokesman Press.
  • (1993). The Metal-Planet Relationship: A Study of Celestial Influence. Borderland Sciences Research Foundation. ISBN 0-945685-14-9
  • with O'Neill, Mike (1994). The Eureka Effect: Astrology of Scientific Discovery. Auriel, 1994.
  • (1995). The Achievement of Newton's 'Theory of the Moon's Motion' of 1702. PhD dissertation, University of London.
  • (2000). Newton's Forgotten Lunar Theory. Green Lion Press. ISBN 1-888009-08-X
  • (2002). Crop Circles: The Hidden Form. Wessex Books. ISBN 1-903035-11-2
  • (ed.) (2003). The Case against War: The Essential Legal Inquiries, Opinions and Judgements Concerning War in Iraq. The Legal Inquiry Steering Group.
  • with Campion, Nicholas (eds.) (2004). Galileo's Astrology. HR Wallingford Ltd. ISBN 1-898485-08-9
  • (2009). Terror on the Tube: Behind the Veil of 7/7, An Investigation. Progressive Press. ISBN 1-61577-007-0
  • (2009). Venus, the Path of Beauty. New Alchemy Press.
Papers

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dr Nicholas Kollerstrom", UCL News, 22 April 2008.
  2. ^ Cambridge University Reporter, 1968: Kollerstrom matriculated in Michaelmas Term 1965 at Corpus Christi College. He was awarded a BA on 21 June 1968, and an MA on 20 October 1973. MA is awarded as a mark of status within the university, not by examination.
  3. ^ "Nick Kollerstrom", Foulsham Publishing, accessed 26 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Nicholas Kollerstrom", University College London, June 2005.
    • Kollerstrom, Nicholas. The Achievement of Newton's 'Theory of the Moon's Motion' of 1702. PhD dissertation, University of London, 1995.
  5. ^ McGourty, Christine. "Lost letters' Neptune revelations", BBC News, 10 April 2003.
  6. ^ Nicholas Kollerstrom, Gardening and Planting by the Moon. W Foulsham & Co Ltd, annual series from 1980 to the present; the cover of the 2009 edition, for example, calls the author "BBC's Lunar Gardening Correspondent."
  7. ^ Kollerstrom, Nick. "A Brief Bio of a Truth Activist", Terror on the Tube, accessed 26 November 2009.
    • Kollerstrom, Nicholas and Farebrother, George (eds.). The Unnecessary War: Proceedings of the Belgrano Inquiry, November 7/8th 1986. The Belgrano Action Group, Spokesman Press, 1988.
  8. ^ Kollerstrom, Nick. "A Brief Bio of a Truth Activist", Terror on the Tube, accessed 26 November 2009.
  9. ^ Kollerstrom, Nicholas (ed.). The Case against War: The Essential Legal Inquiries, Opinions and Judgements Concerning War in Iraq. The Legal Inquiry Steering Group, 2003.
  10. ^ Aaronovitch, David. "Red and green meet brownshirts", The Jewish Chronicle, 1 May 2008.
  11. ^ Interview with Kollerstrom, BBC Conspiracy Files, 2008, accessed YouTube, 26 November 2009.
  12. ^ Kollerstrom, Nicholas. "The Auschwitz 'Gas Chamber' Illusion", CODOH, June 2007.
  13. ^ Kollerstrom, Nicholas. "The Auschwitz 'Gas Chamber' Illusion", CODOH, June 2007.
  14. ^ Kollerstrom, Nicholas. "School Trips to Auschwitz", Smith's Report on the Holocaust Controversy, No. 148, March 2008. pp. 3–4:
    • "Let us hope the schoolchildren visitors are properly taught about the elegant swimming-pool at Auschwitz, built by the inmates, who would sunbathe there on Saturday and Sunday afternoons while watching the water-polo matches; and shown the paintings from its art class, which still exist; and told about the camp library which had some forty-five thousand volumes for inmates to choose from, plus a range of periodicals; and the six camp orchestras at Auschwitz/Birkenau, its theatrical performances, including a children's opera, the weekly camp cinema, and even the special brothel established there. Let's hope they are shown postcards written from Auschwitz, some of which still exist, where the postman would collect the mail twice-weekly. Thus the past may not always be quite, as we were told."
  15. ^ a b Williams, David. "The apologist for terror and the BBC", Searchlight, July 2008.
  16. ^ "Debate: the Kollerstrom question", Index on Censorship, 28 April 2008, accessed 26 November 2009.
  17. ^ Swerdlow, N. M. "Thomas Hockey (Editor). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers", Isis, 101(1), March 2010, pp. 197–198.
  18. ^ Peled, Daniella. "College rejects Shoah denier", The Jewish Chronicle, 24 April 2008.