|Education||BA (1968), Natural Sciences, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.|
PhD (1995), history of science, University College London.
|Known for||History of science, lunar gardening, conspiracism, historical negationism|
Nicholas Kollerstrom (born 1946) is an English historian of science and author who is known for Holocaust denial and the promotion of conspiracy theories. Formerly an honorary research fellow in The Department for Science and Technology Studies (STS) at University College London (UCL), he is the author of several books, including Gardening and Planting by the Moon (an annual series beginning in 1980), Newton's Forgotten Lunar Theory (2000), Crop Circles (2002), and Terror on the Tube (2009). He has also written entries for the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers.
Kollerstrom has been involved in a variety of issues as a political activist. In 1986 he co-founded the Belgrano Action Group after the sinking of the ARA General Belgrano by the Royal Navy during the Falklands War, and has argued that the 7 July 2005 London bombings had not been carried out by the men accused of them. UCL withdrew his fellowship in 2008 after he posted material about the Auschwitz concentration camp on a Holocaust-denial website.
Education and career
Kollerstrom studied Natural Sciences at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge from 1965, specializing in the history and philosophy of science. He obtained his BA in 1968 (promoted to MA in 1973).[a] According to his book Lead on the Brain, he worked from 1971 to 1976 for the Medical Research Council's Air Pollution Research Unit in London,[b] and later as a physics and mathematics teacher. Supportive of the view that gardening by the lunar cycle affects plant growth (known as lunar gardening), he worked on a biodynamic farm in the 1970s, and in 1980 his Gardening and Planting by the Moon was published, the first of an annual series. This was followed by Lead on the Brain (1982), with a preface by Paul Ekins, then Astrochemistry: A Study of Metal–Planet Affinities (1984), which examined astrochemistry and plant growth.
In 1990, Kollerstrom was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and in 1994 he was awarded a PhD by University College London (UCL) for a thesis entitled The Achievement of Newton's "Theory of the Moon's Motion" of 1702. He was also awarded a Leverhulme scholarship and an honorary (unpaid) post-doctoral research fellowship in UCL's department of science and technology studies. His book Newton's Forgotten Lunar Theory: His Contribution to the Quest for Longitude was published in 2000. He published research that year in Equine Veterinary Journal on lunar phases and horse breeding and in 2003 in BMC Psychiatry on lunar months and human behaviour. In 2002 his book on the mathematics of crop circles was published, Crop Circles: The Hidden Form.
In 1999, Kollerstrom received a grant from the Royal Astronomical Society to work on the classification of correspondence related to the discovery of Neptune. He and his co-authors concluded in Scientific American in 2004 that the British had wrongly taken credit for it.
Kollerstrom was active in political campaigns in the UK throughout the 1980s. In 1985 he co-founded the London Nuclear Warfare Tribunal, which sought to question the legality of nuclear weapons. The following year, he became a founding member of the Belgrano Action Group, set up in protest at the sinking of the Argentine ship the ARA General Belgrano by the Royal Navy during the 1982 Falklands War. The group held an informal public inquiry in November 1986 at Hampstead Town Hall, addressed by Tam Dalyell and Clive Ponting, among others. In 1989 Kollerstrom stood as a Green Party candidate for East Guildford in the Surrey County Council election.
In August 2002, in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq War, Kollerstrom became a founding member of the Legal Inquiry Steering Group, a citizens' tribunal in the UK that challenged the legality of the war.
In 2006, he appeared in a video by David Shayler supporting a fringe conspiracy theory that the men accused of the 7 July 2005 London bombings had not carried out the attack. He thought they were "innocent patsies" set up by the secret services of Britain, the United States and Israel. According to the BBC, Kollerstrom found that the Luton–London train on which the bombers were at first said to have travelled had been cancelled, which led the government to correct the official account of the men's movements. The police said the correction had come from them. Kollerstrom's book Terror on the Tube: Behind the Veil of 7/7, An Investigation was published in 2009, and he was interviewed that year for the BBC series The Conspiracy Files.
Holocaust denial and later writing
In 2007, on the website of the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), a Holocaust-denial group, Kollerstrom argued for a fringe view that the gas chambers in the Auschwitz concentration camp had been used for disinfection purposes only. First proposed by the French fascist writer Maurice Bardèche in 1947, this position has no support among historians. In March 2008, a second article of his on the CODOH site alleged that Auschwitz had had art classes, a well-stocked library for inmates, and an elegant swimming pool where inmates would sunbathe on weekends while watching water polo. David Aaronovitch called this "one of the most jaw-dropping pieces of insulting stupidity" he had ever seen. UCL removed Kollerstrom's honorary fellowship in April 2008 when the articles were brought to its attention.
Responding to the loss of his fellowship, Kollerstrom said he had been accused of "thought crime"; he had no interest, he said, in Nazism and had always belonged to progressive groups such as the Green Party, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and the Respect Party. The following month, he was interviewed by Iran's Press TV, which published another of his Holocaust-denial articles. The historian of science, Noel Swerdlow, suggested in Isis in 2010 that the publishers of the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (2007) should withdraw it and replace the entries Kollerstrom had written on John Couch Adams, John Flamsteed, and Isaac Newton; Swerdlow wrote that a "line has been crossed that should never be crossed". In 2014, Kollerstrom's book Breaking the Spell: The Holocaust: Myth & Reality was published by Castle Hill Publishers, Germar Rudolf's Holocaust-denial imprint in Sussex, with a foreword by James H. Fetzer, co-founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth. According to Kollerstrom, the Holocaust did not happen and "the British-American war-myths from Nuremberg are toxic to the soul". It was one of several Holocaust-denial books removed from sale by Amazon.com in 2017.
Kollerstrom's The Life and Death of Paul McCartney 1942–1966: A Very English Mystery (2015) supported the "Paul is dead" conspiracy theory, namely, that Paul McCartney died in 1966 and was replaced by a look-alike, while his Chronicles of False Flag Terror (2017) suggested that several terrorist attacks in Europe had been false-flag operations. Writing in 2017 about the relationship between conspiracism and historical negationism, Nicholas Terry, a historian at Exeter University, referred to Kollerstrom as a "classic example of so-called crank magnetism".
Around 2017, Kollerstrom co-founded the group Keep Talking (with 9/11 truther Ian Fantom), many of whose meetings are dedicated to the promulgation of Holocaust denial and other antisemitic conspiracy theories. The group is a coalition of far-left and far-right activists. People involved in the group include expelled Labour Party member Elleanne Green; Miko Peled; Piers Corbyn (the older brother of Jeremy Corbyn); Gill Kaffash, a Holocaust denier and former Palestine Solidarity Campaign activist; Alison Chabloz, fined for an antisemitic song; and James Thring, who is linked to David Duke.
- (1980) with Simon Best. Lunar Planting Manual 1980–81, Marlow: W. Foulsham & Co. Ltd. ISBN 0-572-01059-1
- (1980) Gardening and Planting by the Moon, Marlow: W Foulsham & Co Ltd (an annual series).
- (1982) Lead on the Brain: A Plain Guide to Britain's No. 1 Pollutant, London: Wildwood House. ISBN 0-7045-0476-6
- (1984) Astrochemistry: A Study of Metal–Planet Affinities, London: Emergence Press. ISBN 0-946937-00-1
- (1988) with George Farebrother (eds.). 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
- (1994) with Mike O'Neill. The Eureka Effect: Astrology of Scientific Discovery, Oxford: Auriel.
- (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: His Contribution to the Quest for Longitude, Santa Fe: Green Lion Press. ISBN 978-1888009088
- (2002) Crop Circles: The Hidden Form, Salisbury: Wessex Books. ISBN 1-903035-11-2
- (2003) with George Farebrother (eds.). The Case against War: The Essential Legal Inquiries, Opinions and Judgements Concerning War in Iraq, Legal Inquiry Steering Group, Nottingham: Spokesman Books (available here). ISBN 978-0851246925
- (2004) with Nicholas Campion (eds.). Galileo's Astrology, Bristol: Culture and Cosmos. ISBN 9781898485094
- (2008) Venus, the Path of Beauty, Butleigh: Squeeze. ISBN 9781906069025
- (2009) Terror on the Tube: Behind the Veil of 7/7, An Investigation, San Diego: Progressive Press. ISBN 1-61577-007-0
- (2013) Farmer's Moon, New Alchemy Press.
- (2013) Interface: Astronomical Essays for Astrologers, New Alchemy Press.
- (2013) Eureka: The Celestial Pattern at Times of Historic Inspiration, New Alchemy Press. ISBN 978-0957279902
- (2014) The Secrets of the Seven Metals: A Bridge Between Heaven and Earth, New Alchemy Press. ISBN 978-0957279926
- (2014) Breaking the Spell. The Holocaust: Myth & Reality, Uckfield: Castle Hill Publishers.
- (2015) The Life and Death of Paul McCartney 1942–1966: A Very English Mystery, United States: Moon Rock Books. ISBN 978-1517283131
- (2016) How Britain Initiated Both World Wars, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
- (2017) Chronicles of False Flag Terror, United States: Moon Rock Books.
- (1977) with P. W. Lord and W. F. Whimster. "A difference in the composition of bronchial mucus between smokers and non-smokers", Thorax, April, 32(2), pp. 155–159. PMID 867327 PMC 470554
- (1977) with P. W. Lord and W. F. Whimster. "Distribution of acid mucus in the bronchial mucous glands", Thorax, April, 32(2), pp. 160–162. PMID 867328 PMC 470555
- (1980) "The Lawther Report: Whitewashing Leaded Petrol", The Ecologist, 10(6/7), July/Aug/Sept, pp. 246–249.
- (1983) "Planetary Influences on Metal Ion Activity", Correlation, 3(1), pp. 38–50.
- (1985) "Newton's Lunar Mass Error", Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 95, pp. 151–153.
- (1987) with George Farebrother (eds.) The Unnecessary War: Proceedings of the Belgrano Inquiry, November 7/8th 1986, The Belgrano Action Group, Nottingham: Spokesman Books.
- (1988) with Mike O'Neill. "The Eureka Effect: An Initial Report", Parts I and II, The Astrological Journal, Spring and Summer.
- (1990) "The Edmond Halley 'Bull's Eye' Enigma", Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 100, p. 7.
- (1991) "Crabtree's Venus-Transit Measurement", Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 32, p. 51.
- (1991) "Newton's two 'Moon-tests'", The British Journal for the History of Science, 24(3), September, pp. 369–372. doi:10.1017/S0007087400027424
- (1992) "Thomas Simpson and 'Newton's method of approximation': An enduring myth", The British Journal for the History of Science, 25(3), September, pp. 347–354. doi:10.1017/S0007087400029150 JSTOR 4027257
- (1992) with Mike O'Neill. "Invention Moments and Aspects to Uranus", Correlation, 11(2), December, pp. 11–23.
- (1992) "The Hollow World of Edmond Halley", Journal for the History of Astronomy, 23, pp. 185–192.
- (1993) "Bio-Dynamic Constellation Division", Science Forum, 9, Spring, pp. 29–32.
- (1995) with Bernard D. Yallop. "Flamsteed's Lunar Data 1692–95, Sent to Newton", Journal for the History of Astronomy, 26, pp. 237–246.
- (1996) "'A Reintroduction of Epicycles': Newton's 1702 Lunar Theory and Halley's Saros Correction", Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 36, pp. 357–368.
- (1999) "The Path of Halley's Comet, and Newton's Late Apprehension of the Law of Gravity", Annals of Science, 56(4), pp. 331–356. doi:10.1080/000337999296328
- (2000) "How Newton inspired China's calendar", Astronomy & Geophysics, 41(5), pp. 21–22. doi:10.1046/j.1468-4004.2000.41521.x
- (2000) with Camilla Power. "The influence of the lunar cycle on fertility on two thoroughbred studfarms", Equine Veterinary Journal, 32(1), January, pp. 75–77. doi:10.2746/042516400777612107 PMID 10661389
- (2001) with Gerhard Staudenmaier. "Evidence for Lunar-Sidereal Rhythms in Crop Yield: A Review", Journal Biological Agriculture & Horticulture, 19(3), pp. 247–259. doi:10.1080/01448765.2001.9754928
- (2002) "Newton, Halley and Uranus", Astrological Journal, August.
- (2003) "Galileo as Believer", Culture and Cosmos, 7(1), Spring/Summer.
- (2003) with Beverly Steffert. "Sex difference in response to stress by lunar month: A pilot study of four years' crisis-call frequency", BMC Psychiatry, 3(20), 10 December. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-3-20 PMID 14664724 PMC 317316
- (2003) "Recovering the Neptune files", Astronomy & Geophysics, 44(5), pp. 23–24.
- (2004) with William Sheehan, Craig B. Waff. "The Case of the Pilfered Planet: Did the British steal Neptune?", Scientific American, 291(6), December, pp. 92–99. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1204-92 PMID 15597985
- (2004) "Galileo's first trial", Astronomy Now, 18(7), pp. 33–36.
- (2004) "Galileo and the new star", Astronomy Now, 18(10), pp. 58–59.
- (2004) "Lunar Effect on Thoroughbred Mare Fertility: An Analysis of 14 Years of Data, 1986–1999", Biological Rhythm Research, 35(4), pp. 317–327. doi:10.1080/0929-1010400000624
- (2004) "William Crabtree's Venus transit observation", Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, IAUC196, pp. 34–40. doi:10.1017/S1743921305001249 Also in D. W. Kurtz (ed.), Transits of Venus: New Views of the Solar System and Galaxy, Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 34ff.
- (2005) "Acropolis Width and Ancient Geodesy", International Journal of Metrology, Oct/Nov/Dec.
- (2006) "John Herschel on the Discovery of Neptune", Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, 9(2), pp. 151–158.
- (2006) "An Hiatus in History: The British Claim for Neptune's Co-prediction, 1845–1846: Part 1", History of Science, 44, pp. 1–28.
- (2006) "An Hiatus in History: The British Claim for Neptune's Co-prediction, 1845–1846: Part 2", History of Science, 44(3), pp. 349–371.
- (2007) "Decoding the Antikythera Mechanism", Astronomy Now, 21(3), pp. 32–35.
- (2007) "Adams, John Couch", "Flamsteed, John", and "Newton, Isaac", in Thomas Hockey et al. (eds.), Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Springer, pp. 12–13, 373–374, 830–832.
- (2009) "The naming of Neptune", Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, 12(1), pp. 66–71.
- Cambridge University Reporter: 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. (At Cambridge a BA may become an MA without examination at least six years from the end of the first term of residence and two years after graduation.)
- "We thank Nick Kollerstrom for making many of the measurements and also Professor P. J. Lawther, formerly Director of the Medical Research Council's Air Pollution Unit at St. Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, where this work was largely done ..."
- Nicholas Terry (2017). "Holocaust denial in the age of web 2.0: negationist discourse since the Irving–Lipstadt trial", in Paul Behrens, Olaf Jensen, and Nicholas Terry (eds.), Holocaust and Genocide Denial: A Contextual Perspective, Abingdon: Routledge (pp. 34–54), pp. 48–49.
- Jonathan Ames; Frances Gibb (8 February 2017). "Disgraced lawyer was connected to Holocaust denier". The Sunday Times.
- Graham Macklin (2015). "The 'cultic milieu' of Britain's 'New Right': meta-political 'fascism' in contemporary Britain", in Nigel Copsey and John E. Richardson (eds.), Cultures of Post-War British Fascism, Abingdon: Routledge (pp. 177–201), p. 190.
- Martin, Nicole (10 June 2008). "BBC pays disgraced academic expenses for part in 7/7 bombings documentary". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
- "Dr Nicholas Kollerstrom", UCL News, 22 April 2008.
- Daniella Peled (24 April 2008). "College rejects Shoah denier", The Jewish Chronicle.
- David Aaronovitch (1 May 2008). "Red and green meet brownshirts", The Jewish Chronicle.
Also see David Aaronovitch (2011). Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History, London: Riverhead Books, p. 12.
- Nick Cohen (4 May 2008). "When academics lose their power of reason", The Observer.
- Cambridge University Reporter, Class Lists.
- Nick Kollerstrom (1982). Lead on the Brain: A Plain Guide to Britain's No. 1 Pollutant, London: Wildwood House, back cover.
- Whimster, W. F.; Lord, P.; Biles, B. (1984). "Tracheobronchial gland profiles in four segmental airways". The American Review of Respiratory Disease. 129 (6): 985–8. doi:10.1164/arrd.19126.96.36.1995 (inactive 10 September 2020). PMID 6732055.CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of September 2020 (link)
- For physics teacher, Lead on the Brain, back cover, and "Nick Kollerstrom", Foulsham Publishing, accessed 26 November 2009.
For mathematics teacher, Nick Kollerstrom (2002). Crop Circles: The Hidden Form, Salisbury: Wessex Books, back cover.
- Elspeth Thompson (31 February 2000). "Urban Gardener", The Sunday Telegraph magazine.
- Nicholas Kollerstrom (1980). Gardening and Planting by the Moon, W. Foulsham & Co. Ltd., annual series from 1980 to the present.
Ken Thompson (31 January 2012). "Moon planting: just a passing phase", The Daily Telegraph.
John Manley (1 April 2017). "The Casual Gardener: Biodynamics – planting by the light of the moon", The Irish News.
- Mick Duggan (3 February 1983). "Is it safe to breathe?", New Scientist.
- Egil Asprem (2014). The Problem of Disenchantment: Scientific Naturalism and Esoteric Discourse 1900–1939, Boston: Brill Publishers, p. 490, n. 29.
For a summary of a 1983 article by Kollerstrom on astrochemistry, see John T. Burns (1997). Cosmic Influences on Humans, Animals, and Plants: An Annotated Bibliography, Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, p. 120.
- "Nicholas Kollerstrom". Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London. January 1998. Archived from the original on 12 November 1999.
- "The Achievement of Newton's 'Theory of the Moon's Motion' of 1702", eThOS.
- Kurt Smith (September 2005). "Newton's Forgotten Lunar Theory: His Contribution to the Quest for Longitude, by Nicholas Kollerstrom", Isis, 96(3), pp. 437–438. JSTOR 10.1086/498778
- N. Kollerstrom and Camilla Power (January 2000). "The influence of the lunar cycle on fertility on two thoroughbred studfarms", Equine Veterinary Journal, 32(1), pp. 75–77. doi:10.2746/042516400777612107 PMID 10661389
Nicholas Kollerstrom and Beverly Steffert (10 December 2003). "Sex difference in response to stress by lunar month: A pilot study of four years' crisis-call frequency", BMC Psychiatry, 3(20). doi:10.1186/1471-244X-3-20 PMID 14664724
- Julie Gibbon (2013). "Crop Circles: The Hidden Form". Association of Teachers of Mathematics. Archived from the original on 2 September 2013.
- William Sheehan, Nicholas Kollerstrom, and Craig B. Waff (22 November 2004). "The Case of the Pilfered Planet", Scientific American, 291(6), pp. 92–99. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1204-92 PMID 15597985
Christine McGourty (10 April 2003). "Lost letters' Neptune revelations", BBC News.
Robin McKie (12 December 2004). "Revealed: how Britain put the spin on Neptune", The Observer.
Mario Livio (7 August 2013). "Who Predicted the Existence of the Planet Neptune?", The Huffington Post.
- Geoffrey Darnton (ed.) (1989). The Bomb and the Law, The Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Foundation, Stockholm; "Convenors", London Nuclear Warfare Tribunal.
- New Statesman, 112, 1986, p. 43; Nicholas Kollerstrom and George Farebrother (eds.) (22 October 1987). The Unnecessary War: Proceedings of the Belgrano Inquiry, November 7/8th 1986, The Belgrano Action Group, Nottingham: Spokesman Books.
- Election results, Surrey Advertiser, 12 May 1989.
- "Legal Inquiry Steering Group". www.war.inquiry.freeuk.com. Archived from the original on 27 August 2017.
George Farebrother and Nicholas Kollerstrom (eds.) (2003). The Case against War: The Essential Legal Inquiries, Opinions and Judgements Concerning War in Iraq, The Legal Inquiry Steering Group, Nottingham: Spokesman Books, pp. 5–6, 268, 283. ISBN 0851246923 Available here.
- The Conspiracy Files: 7/7, BBC Two, 30 June 2009, from 00:17:00; John Reid (Home Secretary), Hansard, 11 July 2006: Column 1307.
- "Reid reveals 7 July account error", BBC News, 11 July 2006.
- Robert Mendick and Jonny Paul (10 June 2008). "7/7 was an MI5 plot, Holocaust denier claims in BBC film", Evening Standard.
- Nick Kollerstrom (2007). "The Auschwitz 'Gas Chamber' Illusion". Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust. Archived from the original on 24 June 2007.
- Deborah E. Lipstadt (1993). Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Plume, p. 50 for Bardèche, p. 225ff for the disinfection claim.
Michael Gray (2015). Teaching the Holocaust, Routledge, p. 106.
- Nick Kollerstrom (March 2008). "School Trips to Auschwitz" (PDF). Smith's Report on the Holocaust Controversy. Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust. pp. 3–4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2009.
- Nick Kollerstrom (18 May 2008). "The Walls of Auschwitz". Press TV. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012.
Martin Bright (20 May 2008). "Why do we tolerate Press TV?", New Statesman.
- N. M. Swerdlow (March 2010). "Review: The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers by Thomas Hockey", Isis, 101(1), pp. 197–198. JSTOR 10.1086/653858
- Kamm, Oliver (11 December 2014). "'Respectable' revisionists". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 24 December 2017. For Castle Hill, also see Atkins, Stephen E. (2009). "Holocaust Denial as an International Movement". Westport, CT & London: Praeger. p. 113.
- Courouble, Stephanie (9 March 2017). "Why Does Amazon Sell Holocaust-Denying Authors Next To Real Historians?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
- Nick Kollerstrom (2015).The Life and Death of Paul McCartney 1942–1966: A Very English Mystery, Moon Rock Books.
- Nick Kollerstrom (2017). Chronicles of False Flag Terror, Moon Rock Books.
- "New Report: Inside Keep Talking, the antisemitic conspiracy theory group". HOPE not hate. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
- Townsend, Mark (22 February 2020). "UK left activists attended events with far right antisemites". The Observer. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
Also present in the audience was Ian Fantom, co-founder of Keep Talking and a 9/11 “truther”, who has appeared alongside Piers Corbyn, older brother of the Labour leader, at a Keep Talking event.
- Weich, Ben (7 October 2019). "Church apologises for hosting event staged by Keep Talking, a group founded by Holocaust denier". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
- "Footage shows pro-Corbyn activists in meeting with far-right Holocaust deniers". Jewish Chronicle. 23 February 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
- "Report: London conspiracy group uniting far-left and far-right". Jewish News. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.