Swedish National Radio paints it black

Sveriges Radio logoThe science news team of Sveriges Radio, the national Swedish Radio, has dedicated four months of research and a whole week of its air time to the story of Andrea Rossi, the E-Cat and cold fusion (part 1, 2, 3, 4 — English transcription 1, 2, 3, 4), and I’m honored that it has made me one of its main targets.

The result, however, is not impressive.

Ulrika Björkstén, head of the science editorial staff, has chosen freelance journalist Marcus Hansson to do the investigation.

Hansson apparently likes easy solutions. Black or white. I won’t go into detail of his analysis of Rossi’s background since I have no reason to defend Rossi. I’m just noting that Hansson believes he can sort out the truth in the twinkling of an eye in Italy, which is known as one of the most corrupt countries in Europe where the mix of powerful interests, politics and the judiciary is not always easy to penetrate.

I’m also noting tendentious conclusions such as being sentenced to prison implies being an imposter, and non-proven claims such as storing toxic waste in leaking cisterns equals the Mafia’s way of dumping such waste in secret pits.

After his analysis of Rossi, Hansson adds a group of Swedish researchers and the Swedish power industry’s research entity Elforsk, depicting them all as a bunch of gullible fools being used by Rossi for his purposes, and pointing at me as the one who got them involved in the first place. I’m flattered.

Hanson considers all this obvious, basing large parts of his report on the testimonials and opinions of Italian-French writer Sylvie Coyaud, scientific blogger for the weekly Italian style magazine D-La Repubblica.

But all this is only half of the problem.

Hansson starts his reportage by stating that the famous claim by Fleischmann and Pons in 1989, of excess heat compatible with a nuclear reaction, was wrong and later explained by erroneous measurements.

I believe he’ll find that hard to prove, given that there in 2009 were 153 peer-reviewed papers describing excess heat in experimental set-ups such as the one used by Fleischmann and Pons. And that’s only one of many reasons.

I discuss this in the beginning of my book. Hansson says he read the book and found it to be a tribute to Rossi. Coyaud says it’s a story where Rossi is Messiah and I am the Prophet. That’s poetic, but it’s an opinion.

Among those hundreds who have read it, about fifty persons have written reviews, most of them giving it the highest vote. A series of highly competent people with insight in the story thought it was well balanced.

I do discuss Rossi’s problematic background in the book, and when that’s done I discuss his problematic personality.

But the main focus I have chosen is another, reflecting the title of the book, discussing what is considered to be impossible and asking why more resources aren’t dedicated to investigating this strange phenomenon that could possibly change the world, providing clean water and clean air, saving millions of lives and solve the climate crisis.

Not because I wish this to be true, but because there are abundant scientific results indicating that the phenomenon might be real.

It’s insane that curious researchers are hesitating to enter this field for fear of ruining their careers (yes Björkstén, this is why most of them are old), and it’s insane that poorly researched media reports like this help scientific critics to continue attacking those researchers.

Marcus Hansson says he has read my book, but maybe he hasn’t understood what he read. In fact I’m worried that neither he nor Coyaud have the competence to evaluate this complex story from a scientific perspective. I might be wrong, but from Hansson’s reportage I’m not convinced.

What I find more problematic though is the position of Ulrika Björkstén, head of the scientific editorial staff at Sveriges Radio, holding a Ph.D. in physical chemistry. I agree with most observers that it’s not proven whether Rossi’s E-Cat works or not, and Björkstén might of course be convinced that it’s not working.

But in a concluding comment Björkstén discards the whole area of cold fusion/LENR as pseudo-science, stating that it is based on belief and group thinking, and that university researchers should discern such research from real science and stay away from it.

I find this alarming both from a journalistic and a scientific point of view. Such opinions have often been expressed regarding disruptive discoveries, and if we took advice only from people like Björkstén we would probably not have any airplanes or semiconductors today.

I welcome serious critic of my reports and of my book, but this reportage does not qualify. I’m not impressed, and I hope that the next scientific news team that decides to evaluate this story and my book will set the bar higher.

You might agree with me or not. If you have an opinion, I would suggest that you write an email to Ulrika Björkstén who oversaw the production of this reportage. Marcus Hansson probably just did his best.

– – – –

N.B. This is my personal opinion and not a statement from Ny Teknik. UPDATE: Here’s an official op-ed by Ny Teknik’s chief-editor Susanna Baltscheffsky. And here’s a piece by the Swedish researchers who have been involved in tests.

UPDATE 2: Even though the reportage by SR is tendentious and based on incorrect and defective scientific belief, not taking into account a series of over 100 peer reviewed papers strongly indicating that cold fusion/LENR is an existing phenomenon, in March 2015 it was rewarded with an honorary mention at the Swedish investigative journalistic reward Guldspaden (‘The Golden Shovel’). Unbelievable.

More comments on this blog post can be found here.

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11 comments

  1. Dear Friends,

    I am pleased to inform you about our original article in letter format, entitled: “Armenian Theory of Special Relativity – One Dimensional Movement”, for your consideration and records for – 100 anniversary of Armenian genocide.

    Our article has been published “Infinite Energy” magazine – The Magazine of New Energy Science and Technology, Issue 115, May/June 2014, pages 40-42. http://www.infinite-energy.com/iemagazine/issue115/index.html

    Or you can download full “Infinite Energy” magazine, issue 115, from here: http://www.armeniantheory.com/atfiles/arm_odm/pdf/InfiniteEnergy115.pdf

    In this 4 page article-letter we provide important results only from our main research manuscript by Robert Nazaryan and Haik Nazaryan, published in 2013 by Yerevan State University (in Armenian language, 98 pages).

    It is our pleasure to inform the scientific community that in our main research-manuscript we have succeeded to build a mathematically solid theory of relativity in one dimensional space, which is an unambiguous generalization of the Lorentz transformation equations. Our article is the accumulation of all efforts from mathematicians and physicists to build a more general transformation equations of relativity in one dimension.

    It is worth to mention that Lorentz transformation equations and all other Lorentz relativistic formulas can be obtained from the Armenian Theory of Special Relativity as particular case, by substituting s=0 and g=-1.

    In our main manuscript, we derive general transformation equations for relativity in one physical dimension for homogeneous and anisotropic time-space continuum. Accordingly we build a new relativistic theory and receive many amazing relativistic formulas.

    As you can see from our article-letter, we are a few steps away from constructing a unified field theory, which can change the face of modern physics as we know it now. But the final stage of the construction will come after we finish the Armenian Theory of Special Relativity in three dimensions.

    Our published manuscript creates a paradigm for advance studies in relativistic kinematics and dynamics. Armenian energy and momentum formulas, which the world has never seen before, have unpredictable applications in applied physics. For example, by manipulating the time-space constants s and g we can obtain numerous fascinating practical results. Our manuscript would be of interest to a broad readership including those who are interested in theoretical aspects of teleportation, time travel, antigravitation, free energy and so on…

    Furthermore Armenian momentum formula for rest particle – is the formula for the future, which shows how we can unleash unlimited free energy from a vacuum.

    Please address all correspondence concerning this main research and published manuscript to Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia or Yerevan State University Physics Department and feel free to correspond by e-mail (robert@armeniantheory.com).

    Thank you for your consideration of our scientific research, which can enlighten the World!

    Sincerely,

    Robert Nazaryan
    robert@armeniantheory.com

  2. @ Eplinovo
    “Rossi must provide the detailed information about his REACTOR (after taking care of patents if necessary, he has had time to do that already) so that 1000 labs in the world replicate his REACTOR and or not to.”

    You are asking for his bank account password and number. How about asking Rossi to pay your mortgage as well!!!LOL. We all know the communist system of everyone sharing without individual rights/benefits will not work (been there done that tested its an epic failure…whwellmmm!!). Bring your market and devices to CHINA, Dr. Rossi, we will give you exclusive rights, Protections, factories (how many do you need? – how about 120 in Beijing?) and labours (is two and a half millions men/women OK?)

  3. @Peter Thieberger
    I absolutely agree with what you write (Not sure it is what you mean really).
    The care should be general and in particular symmetrical.

    When a team makes a bad experiment and the editor detect what he consider as a fraud, or at least a malpractice, it should be considered.
    http://www.infinite-energy.com/images/pdfs/mitcfreport.pdf

    When bias in some research clearly endanger the sincerity of research it should be corrected
    http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/1991/eirv18n37-19910927/eirv18n37-19910927_052-clearing_the_air_about_the_cold.pdf

    when errors, malpractice and fraud are detected that may endanger the decision taken about a technology, it should be considered and published
    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJhownaturer.pdf

    when incompetence of some key experiment is proven, it should be considered
    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/conferences/2012/ICCF17/papers/Miles-Examples-Isoperibolic-Calorimetry-ICCF17-ps.pdf

    when bad logic and unscientific behaviors are spreading like fever, academic societies should restore good practice
    http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/cf/293wikipedia.html

    when people continue to publish and spread false information they should be villified, not supported by scientific authorities:
    http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJcoldfusion.pdf#page=4

    when good report by recognized lab, are not even considered because of fear, alarms should be raised
    http://www.rainews24.rai.it/ran24/inchieste/documenti/letteraSCIENCE001.pdf

    When scientific society support a conspiracy theory without the least supportive evidence, with only 4 refuted papers that show more on the incompetence and bias of their author than anything real against cold fusion, the society should be either closed or beheaded.

    on the other side, there is massive replications, many peer-reviewed papers despite violent opposition. many cross replications, and various phenomenon that support at least that the domain is interesting.

    as it is clear to any honest informed observer, there is clear evidence of malpractice, misconduct, frauds, incompetence, against cold fusion.
    Any people which doubt on what I say, should simply dig more. Start by reading the book of Beaudette
    http://iccf9.global.tsinghua.edu.cn/lenr%20home%20page/acrobat/BeaudetteCexcessheat.pdf#page=35

    I am more violent than you about the fact that fraud and malpractice should be strongly punished, people demoted, memories corrected, misconduct denounced, complicity published, pension fund and prize removed, media fined, societies beheaded…

    I’m just afraid that we disagree on who have to be fired.

    I make an announce for attorneys, to prepare for the battle. There is business.

  4. I agree with Matts that there are some puzzling results that should be investigated further. But to have any validity that needs to be done in a serious and ethical way. Yes, ethical. Professional malpractice other than plagiarism is something we seldom consider when thinking about physicists, chemists or astronomers. In medicine we require extensive and multiple double-blind studies before telling the public that a medicine or a procedure is safe and effective. Those who attempt to violate this requirement are considered quacks or criminals.

    In physics, the standards are much lower. But we do have standards. We require peer review, and for experimental claims we also require full disclosure and independent replication. The standards can be lower because the health and wellbeing of the public are not directly impacted by an erroneous result. But we do need to adhere to our standards to advance our science and to ensure wise expenditure of the funds we receive.

    In some rare cases there are additional reasons to be especially careful. We need to watch out when large financial interests are involved and when claims originate with non-scientists of questionable morals. Failure to do so can affect our reputation, the reputation of our institutions and the public support of our science. Erroneous results can also mislead investors, and in such cases we may even become liable as accessories to fraud.

    Unfortunately, some of us as we age no longer play with a full deck of cards (so to speak) making us more susceptible to unscrupulous fraudsters. That is one of the reasons standards are good. You just follow them without having to think too much. Let’s make sure our simple standards are always followed and enforced.

  5. There are 4 main problems at this moment:
    1. Rossi until now can’t prepare e-cat for sale, it was planed to start production in 2012 .
    2. Andrea Rossi acknowledged he can’t repeat F&P invention.
    3. Andrea Rossi says that new report for ecat can be negative as well .
    4. If it is revolutionary invention all secrets about it should be known for china, israel , rusia and usa inteligense services, governments and energy companys which are in tight relations with goverments. It should be masive sale of oil and gas actives and masive increase of nickel price.

    My own opinion 😉 Andrea Rossi invented solid fuel which is similar to russians used in some military rockets 🙂 If you use wery small quantities of hidrogen+ nickel and some catalyst and you can control explosion/fusion with smal qty of heat, you can get big qty of heat for personal needs 🙂

    Best wishes to You Matts !

    Regards Gediminas

  6. I really from bottom of my heart wish LENR to work. But Rossi has not been able to prove it for many years as well as others. The main problem with Rossi is not his personality, or his past. We are not going to have a buddy to have beer with, who he is has nothing to do with the science. But what has to do with science is scientific method. Any serious scientist would and must make it possible for any other scientist to replicate his tests and make the same test. Rossi must provide the detailed information about his REACTOR (after taking care of patents if necessary, he has had time to do that already) so that 1000 labs in the world replicate his REACTOR and or not to. This is how science progress.

  7. There is so much opposition to this tech in the West but rest assured, Asia will welcome ..it with open arms
    we will invest, pour our money and effort to get to the bottom of this. The evidence is encouraging

  8. Its too bad when people like Hansson get to be involved in key journalism. As for me, I don’t know what to think at this point. If lenr is real it should have been commercialized by now providing there are no big road blocks to that. But do we really think the big commercial powers, the oil, gas and coal crowd, are going to let this commercialization take place if they can stop it. I believe that Rossi and others in the c-cat area may have somehow been discouraged to take further action. And there hasn’t been much word from Justin Church (H-cat) lately. The world desperately needs this technology yet the key players are, at best, dragging their feet.

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