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CMNS/LENR Update August 4, 2008
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2008 @ 23:43:57 GMT by vlad
From New Energy Times: [CMNS/LENR Updates are archived
Anomalies Within the Anomalies Conference
July 31, Larry Forsley of JWK Technologies Corp. sent an e-mail to Ashraf Imam,
secretary of the technical program committee, and Jed Rothwell, responsible for
the compilation of abstracts for the 14th International Conference on Condensed
Matter Nuclear Science and Cold Fusion (ICCF-14).
"I just received the ICCF-14 agenda and I note that my abstract is missing
from both the oral and poster sessions," Forsley wrote. "Has it been rejected?"
Rothwell wrote back to Forsley with an evasive reply and said he had just
spoken with Dave Nagel, chair of ICCF-14 conference and that Forsley's paper,
"Quantitative Spatial Analysis of Pd/D Co-Deposition Induced Nuclear Particle
Tracks," had not been rejected, it just had not been included in the schedule.
On Aug. 1, New Energy Times
reported that Forsley had not been
scheduled for a chance to speak at ICCF-14.
On Aug. 2, David Nagel, conference chairman, apologized to Forsley for the
"confusion" about the omission of a speaking opportunity for Forsley and advised
that he had now been provided an opportunity to speak on Friday, Aug. 15 from
9:45 a.m. to 10 a.m.
This brings to light some additional peculiarities of this conference. Some
speakers have been afforded 30-minute time slots, others 20-minute time slots,
and others only 15-minute time slots. Ordinarily, plenary talks at a science
conference are clearly designated as such, and the respective speakers are given
more time than other speakers. From the looks of the most recent draft
, the provision of speaking time afforded to speakers seems to
follow no consistent pattern. What is the explanation for this?
Such an uneven allotment of time suggests political favoritism and
runs counter to the principles of fair play, good will and open science. It also
runs counter to precedent, for example in the last
and the recent "Anomalies"
organized by Bill Collis, executive secretary of the
International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science.
How can such favoritism breed anything but contempt and
divisiveness within this research community, pitting the favored researchers
against the nonfavored ones? How can the provision of incentives to some
researchers, and disincentives to others be viewed in any other way than a
political control mechanism?
They Come to Praise Yoshiaki Arata and Stan Szpak
It gets even stranger. Conference organizers have planned two sessions
supposedly honoring two current members of this research community.
The concept of the "Arata
Fest" and the "Szpak Fest,"
as they were called by conference organizers on
July 6, is unprecedented in recent, and perhaps all of, ICCF history. On July
were relabeled "Honoring Yoshiaki Arata" and "Honoring Stanislaus
Isn't singling out Szpak and Arata like this fundamentally wrong?
As the conference organizers know, Szpak won't even be there, he is not
able to travel.
Not that Arata and Szpak don't deserve praise and honor, but this is
a conference for and about the community. Isn't it divisive for conference
organizers to be showing such bias toward particular researchers who are active
in the field? Dozens of researchers in this community deserve special
recognition. How can the consequences of this "honoring" be anything but
At the Catania
in October, George Miley - a participant, not an organizer - took
it on himself to honor Giuliano
, an Italian pioneer in cold fusion theory who died in 2000.
The Szpak Fest / Arata Fest is an entirely different matter that can only
breed animosity among peers. This unintended consequence was almost
certainly not considered by the conference organizers. They may wish to
Country History and Commissioned Topical Review Projects
In Catania, Melich
that, as part of the plan for ICCF-14, he has started two
"Our current plans envision the preparation and
publication of a series of Cold Fusion Country Histories that will document,
country by country, the progress of the research over the past twenty years,"
Melich wrote. "These histories will be in the language of each country and
should be completed prior to ICCF-14. These will form the basis of sessions at
ICCF-14 showing the scientific foundation of the field.
"The sessions at ICCF-14 on the scientific work in the various countries,
when added to the translated histories, will be edited into a series of books in
English to be published in 2009. These books will provide the scientific
community the organized material to let the field grow."
Melich also explained that the Country Histories would be guided by
an "editorial board" in each country and would include the names and biographies
of everyone in each country's research community. He said the ICCF-14 series of
books would be directed by a "project editorial board." The identities of the
members of the editorial boards and the project editorial board have not been
The histories will not be written by impartial historians or journalists
trained for such tasks but rather by a few arbitrarily selected scientists in
Not all members of the community are enthusiastic about this idea, as one
longtime Russian participant in the field - who feared retribution from Melich
- wrote to New Energy Times
"Melich said that all Russian
scientists engaged in Cold Fusion WERE TO submit a detailed report of their work
to some fishy Editorial Board, which he chose to consist of Andrei Lipson and
Ivan Chernov and some other unknown Americans," the Russian source wrote. "[We
were] just baffled because it was unthinkable TO FORCE people to disclose their
professional secrets." [Emphasis original]
The other project is called Commissioned Topical Reviews, a collection of
reviews of specific topics within the CMNS/LENR research field that he said
would be available before ICCF-14. No information about the results of this
project has been released although the conference starts in six days.
According to several New Energy Times
sources, Melich has
commissioned the talents of selected CMNS/LENR researchers to collect and write
the country histories and the topical reviews in exchange for their travel costs
to ICCF-14 and their conference fees. Those costs and fees, as well as the
publication costs of the books, would effectively come out of the pockets of
other researchers and the conference sponsors. Is this fair?
Cold Fusion Conference Organizers Avoid Public Spotlight
The public outreach for ICCF-14 is somewhat secretive; this is rather odd for a community that has been hungry for media and government attention.
With the exception of one announcement to a list server for the National
Association of Science Writers, Nagel and Melich have not issued a single press
release for the conference since October
Conference organizers have yet to distribute a press release to the
major related online publications in the field - New
- or post a press release to their own conference
The conference starts in six days, and a schedule and book of abstracts
have yet to be published officially. (The July 29 draft agenda obtained by
New Energy Times was not provided to us by conference organizers.)
Edmund Storms, a member of the ICCF International Advisory Committee,
speculated in an e-mail that "visa problems as well as other issues might be a
factor in not having a final agenda."
We reported in our CMNS/LENR Update July 30, 2008, that some of the Russian
researchers were having visa difficulties with the U.S. State Department.
One observer of the field, Horace Heffner, wrote a most interesting
comment in the Vortex e-mail list.
"Difficulty obtaining visas for a conference on a fully discredited fringe
subject seems to me to be extremely newsworthy," Heffner wrote.
New Energy Times
agrees. However, many of the Russians had -
many months ago - reported to us frustrations and delays in getting their
invitation letters from [which are required to obtain visas in some countries]
from ICCF-14 organizers in a timely manner.
Jed Rothwell, collaborator with Storms on the LENR-CANR.org
project, is working with Nagel and Melich to edit and build the book of
abstracts. In an e-mail to the Vortex list, Rothwell blamed the participants for
the delay in the agenda.
"I am sorry to say that in many cases it is because so many
participants are old and in bad health, or broke," Rothwell wrote.
The draft schedule and the invitation
to the press
reveal further inexplicable anomalies. Conference organizers
are encouraging members of the press to attend only on Monday and/or Tuesday of
the weeklong conference.
Researchers who are speaking during the rest of the week, as well as those
researchers relegated to poster sessions, will have little hope of gaining
public recognition for the research that they have been pursuing diligently
during the past year.
There is potential for collateral damage caused by the organizers' decision
to favor Monday and Tuesday presenters to the press. Most reporters for major
scientific journals would be very suspicious of such restrictions and might not
be willing to come as a result of these restrictions.
Furthermore, in the absence of an openly published agenda and schedule on
the conference Web site, most journalists who cannot attend the entire
conference will have no way to make their own decision about which talks and
sessions they want to attend, or to plan their personal schedule. In the absence
of a published schedule and abstracts, they will be influenced to come on Monday
It would be a tragic loss for this community if all its hard work, which
clearly demonstrates a new, important and legitimate field of science, is not
recognized by mainstream media and by the U.S. government.
To their credit, Nagel and Melich have arranged for at least one
prominent government leader not only to attend but also to participate. Vice
Admiral G. Peter Nanos, second in command of the Defense Threat Reduction
Agency, will give the keynote address, on “The Fleischmann-Pons Effect: Evidence
Best of luck to the CMNS/LENR researchers for their important work, some of
which will be reported at ICCF-14 in Washington, D.C., next week.
Editor, New Energy Times
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|CMNS/LENR Update August 18, 2008 (Score: 1)
by vlad on Monday, August 18, 2008 @ 21:49:13 GMT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.zpenergy.com
|New nergy Times writes: PHILADELPHIA, PA
The 236th American Chemical Society National Meeting &
Exposition begins today in Philadelphia with
for low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) research.