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infinite energy

Sir Arthur C. Clarke Challenges the Scientific Community with Provacative Essay in Science
(Originally Published July, 1998 In Infinite Energy Magazine Issue #20)
by Eugene F. Mallove
"Cold Fusion scientists need not apply." Yes, the pages of Science Magazine are closed to them. Science, the magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has a standing policy (unwritten but demonstrated in practice many times) of rejecting any submitted scientific articles on cold fusion that provide supportive evidence. In June 1990, Science published a virtually libelous article by journalist Gary Taubes against the research group at Texas A&M University--alleging the likelihood that tritium was fraudulently introduced into electrochemical cold fusion cells by associates of Distinguished Professor of Chemistry John O'M. Bockris.

A.C. Clarke
Sir Arthur C. Clarke
These accusations were baseless and were disproved, but they were published and never withdrawn by Science— or by Taubes.

This negativity did not stop Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who since 1992 has been a serious student of the cold fusion controversy. He penetrated the Science barrier. Clarke is so revered by most scientists, that Science dared not prevent him from stating his opinion of cold fusion when it invited him to participate in its "Science and Society" series of essays.

The lead essay in the June 5, 1998 issue of Science is Clarke's eloquent, "Presidents, Experts, and Asteroids." In this wide-ranging composition, Clarke makes his position very clear. He politely calls the treatment of cold fusion "perhaps one of the greatest scandals in the history of science." By implication, he criticizes the well-known negative position of Science magazine on this topic. It will be interesting to see whether even the mighty Sir Arthur can cause a re-assessment of cold fusion at Science.

Clarke opens his essay with: "For more than a century science and its occasionally ugly sister technology have been the chief driving forces shaping our world. They decide the kinds of futures that are possible. Human wisdom must decide which are desirable. It is truly appalling, therefore, that so few of our politicians have any scientific or engineering background." (Amen!)

...perhaps one of the greatest scandals in the history of science, the cold fusion caper.
After musing on various themes--from the failings of experts ("Lord Kelvin's declaration that x-rays must be a hoax, and Ernest Rutherford's even more famous dismissal of atomic energy as 'moonshine.'") to what can be done about the threat of asteroid impacts, Clarke ascends to the unthinkable--support for cold fusion:

"Even more controversial than the threat of asteroid impacts is what I would call perhaps one of the greatest scandals in the history of science, the cold fusion caper. Like almost everyone else, I was surprised when Pons and Fleischmann announced that they had achieved fusion in the laboratory; and surprise changed to disappointment when I learned that most of those who had rushed to confirm these results were unable to replicate them. Wondering first how two world-class scientists could have fooled themselves, I then forgot the whole matter for a year or so, until more and more reports surfaced, from many countries, of anomalous energy production in various devices (some of them apparently having nothing to do with fusion). Agreeing with Carl Sagan's principle that 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs' (spoken in connection with UFOs and alien visitors), I remained interested, but skeptical."

"Now I have little doubt that anomalous energy is being produced by several devices, some of which are on the market with a money back guarantee, while others are covered by patents. The literature on the subject is now enormous, and my confidence that 'new energy' is real slowly climbed to the 90th percentile and has now reached the 99% level. A Fellow of the Royal Society, also originally a skeptic, writes: 'There is now strong evidence for nuclear reactions in condensed matter at low temperature.' The problem, he adds, is that 'there is no theoretical basis for these claims, or rather there are too many conflicting theories.'"

"Yet recall that the steam engine had been around for quite a while before Carnot explained exactly how it worked. The challenge now is to see which of the various competing devices is most reliable. My guess is that large scale industrial application will begin around the turn of the century--at which point one can imagine the end of the fossil-fuel-nuclear age, making concerns about global warming irrelevant, as oil-and-coal-burning systems are phased out..."

"Finally, another of my dubious predictions: Pons and Fleischmann will be the only scientists ever to win both the Nobel and the Ig Noble Prizes."

SIR ARTHUR CLARKE, a graduate of King's College, London, is the of numerous works of science and science-fiction, including his well-known collaboration with Stanley Kubrick on the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. He is presently Chancellor of the International Space University and Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, where he has lived for 30 years. He is the acknowledged originator of the concept of geosynchronous communication satellites that have made our world One--almost.

Related Articles
2001: The Coming Age of Hydrogen Power, by A.C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke: The Man Who "Predicted" Cold Fusion and Modern Alchemy, by Eugene Mallove

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