See here for a brief introduction to the Gateau Method.

In 1996, NYU physics professor Alan Sokal wrote an essay entitled Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity. The essay, purportedly stating that quantum gravity was a social and/or linguistic construct, was published in the May 1996 issue of Social Text, an academic anthropological magazine.

Sokal also wrote an exposé of his article in the May 1996 issue of Lingua Franca, showing Transgressing the Boundaries to be a hoax—and panning Social Text for its lack of intellectual rigour and its editors’ failure to properly research the article before its publication. Not surprisingly, the scandal spread, fuelling an ongoing war between scientific academia on the one hand, and the postmodernist movement on the other.

The most prominent physicist we’ve covered thus far in our Gateau Method articles is, of course, Professor Emmett Lathrop Brown of Hill Valley University. As one of the most accomplished theoreticians in the world—who else has managed send a DeLorean through time and alternate dimensions?—he’s undoubtedly published widely, but even so, once his family estate burnt down, he’s hardly wealthy.

Perhaps Brown salts his published works with obscure but noticeable mistakes; by sabotaging his own reputation, he ensures that his knowledge of time travel remains in good hands—his own. Not only does he write for academic journals, but he also sends articles to crackpot amateur press associations and other, less reputable publishers. Most of Brown’s colleagues, tired of his latest theories on sunspots from an article only tangentially related to the mimeographed marigold horticulture magazine in which it appeared, sigh and bemoan his descent into madness, but since he has tenure, what can they do?

Even a (deliberately) stopped clock is right twice a day, though. The Silver Shirts have shut down the mining technology journal which published his article on ground-penetrating radar—the one which hinted at subterranean aliens (or “subterraliens”) sending messages to the surface world—and the government isn’t talking. Brown is missing, too, and about this, the government speaks even less…