Robert Duncan on Cold Fusion and the Scientific Method
A week following the airing of the 60 Minutes piece, Rob Duncan gave a presentation at the 2009 Missouri Energy Summit in which he talked about cold fusion and discussed how he felt it should be approached from the point of view of legitimate scientific inquiry. He discusses his involvement in the 60 minutes story, and what he observed when he visited Energetics Technologies in Israel. Duncan also talks about other experiments in which the excess heat effect has been observed.
Duncan remarks that he has faced criticism for his position on cold fusion and talks about one angry Ivy League professor who chastised him for being involved in the 60 Minutes story. Duncan states his position that, “the scientific method is a wonderful thing, in my opinion it’s time to stop growling at each other from separate sides of this issue and apply the scientific method to figure out what’s going on.”
In concluding his remarks, Duncan outlines the major lessons he has learned from his involvement in cold fusion research:
• There is a huge gap between new science discovery and useful engineered systems.
• Mass media needs to approach new discoveries in light of the above point (the media should not be overspeculative and create false expectations, but rather engage the public in the scientific process)
• Research funding needs to become less dependent on the common assumptions within the culture of scientific communities, and much more courageous and objective
• The scientific method is a wonderful thing. Use it always — no exceptions.