Monday, August 20, 2018

Space Dentist, sign of the time
Space Dentist, so outta line

"When the recruiting call goes out for the first crewed mission to Mars, and the practical necessity finally dawns on NASA for someone aboard the probe who can tend to the zero-gravity dental needs of the rest of the crew, who're they gonna hire for those specialised skills? Balwant Rai, world's only Space Dentist!" According to the Riddled Dream Machine, that's what young Balwant Rai thought when he read 'Prostho Plus' at an impressionable age, and was thereby inspired to greatness.

So here is the OMICS version of his CV, all fulsome and sunriped (other versions exist, equally cleansed of false modesty):
Professor, Department of Aeronautic Dentistry, Kepler Space Institute
Assoc. Professor Dr. Balwant Rai is the founder of curriculum aeronautical (2006) and space Dentistry and JBR group association of space and aeronautical dentistry (2006). He is Program Director and Associate Professor of Aeronautic Dentistry at KSI. He is working as Researcher, VU, Amsterdam. He is also consultants and adviser of different companies. He is also the President and Founder of the JBR Institute of Health Education Research and Technology.
Dr Rai has more than 100 published articles in international and national journals, has written seven books, and is Editor-in-Chief of four international journals He is also founder of the BR formula and BR regression equation used in forensic technology. His current work involves the effect of micro-gravity on the oral cavity, human physiology and psychology and non-invasive biomarkers, including the elaboration of technologies to prevent the adverse effects of microgravity on the human physiology including oral cavity. His biography has been published in Who’s Who in Health and Medicine and Who’s Who in the World, USA. He is invited Editor of Mars Quarterly. He is an invited reviewer to NRF, South Africa, reviewer of more than 10 different journals, and has seven pending patents. He is an invited reviewer of many national and international indexed journals.
The Kepler Space Institute does exist, being the successor of the old L5 Sociey, and inheritor of that Sociey's dream of human expansion into the high frontier of Space (though with a realistic acceptance that mining the asteroid belt and filling the Langrangian-point orbits with hollow rotating O'Neill Habitats is a long-term goal rather than an immediate prospect). I fondly remember the spaceward enthusiasm of L-5 members in the 1970s. Anyway, there is no indication on the KSI website of Associate Professors, nor a Department of Aeronautic Dentistry, nor Program Directors; and especially nothng about Balwant Rai... leaving one to suspect that the association is not current (if it is not fabricated entirely).

"Working as Researcher, VU, Amsterdam" was accurate five years ago, but probably not now, after the ignominious retraction of a paper he plagiarised and published with a Vrije Universitiet affiliation:
The journal had been informed by one of the co-authors, Jack van Loon, that he had noticed after publication that Fig. 1 of the article had been taken from the internet and masked, giving the wrong impression that it is showing the setup used in the studies discussed in the paper. Further investigations by the publisher revealed a significant textual overlap with the paper “Srisurang et al., Journal of Investigative and Clinical Dentistry (2011), 2, 23–28”.
The co-author, Jack van Loon, strongly dissociates himself from that note adding the remark that, “unfortunately and in my view, this publication had to be withdrawn because of plagiarism and false information within the paper without me knowing.”
The claim to edit International Journals is probably true, using "journals"in a broad sense that includes various scuzzy little scholarly jizzmops from the mockademic-publishing genre of grift... not just from the lowlife at OMICS, but all the way down the human-centipede foodchain to SciDoc.

As for the "JBR Institute of Health Education Research and Technology" (it is not clear what the 'J' stands for), this has no existence or activities other than its frequent appearance in Balwant Rai's CVs, adorning and bolstering his scientifical plausibility... much as I always include the Riddled Institute of Experimental Ethics and Impure Science in the 'Author Affiliations' line of my published papers.

There is, on the other hand, a JBR Conference website, for Balwant wants his turn at the Scamference moneyteat... rather than gracing other people's predatory conference scams with his authoritative presence as Judas Goat Prestigious Invited Keynote Speaker, he has decided to be the organ grinder rather than the monkey [that came out sounding ruder than I intended]. Please tell me that you are not surprised:*

The prospect of being stuck with Balwant Rai on a Baltic Cruise-liner overnight Copenhagen / Oslo ferry does not enormously appeal. Suppose it is a dress rehearsal for the Hohmann transfer-orbit mission to Mars, and he seizes the opportunity to monitor the dental condition of his fellow-crew? This is not rocket science... well, I suppose in fact it is.

Reassuringly, the most recent JBR Conferences have been downgraded to a purely land-based affair, so I'm guessing that the "Baltic Cruise" scam has not been as remunerative as was originally hoped. But if you are in Copenhagen in the next day or two, it is your opportunity to pay a lot of $$$ to hear Keynote Speaker Balwant Rai ranting for 40 minutes about the endless educational possibilities of his own eponymous University, even though it is at a time of the morning when decent citizens have just been thrown out of the Mikkeller Bar and are still on their way home to bed:
Breakfast and Networking : 8:30-10:00 am 

1. JBR University: New way of education system
Prof. Balwant Rai, JBR Health Education and Research, Denmark 10.00-10:40 am.
But wait, there is more! For thanks to RetractionWatch, we learn that there is someone else still later in the foodchain than Balwant Rai, who is reduced to plagiarising the latter's research speculative essays into the effects of zero-gravity on teeth: I can only suppose that Balwant is not alone in his Space Dentistry ambitions, so we advise him not to rest on his laurels. it is an uncomfortable posture and the aphids get up one's bum.

* The notion of using the meeting-room facilities of overnight Baltic ferries as venues for this grift was plagiarised from Ashutosh Tiwari.

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