Letters to Science
12 March 2002
I certainly agree with Robert Park and others that Science has acted irresponsibly here. Science knew that the result was controversial in the sense that it was unlikely to be correct, and that in fact an internal review by ORNL had cast serious doubt on the submitted paper. This has to be taken seriously.
The general press and the public at large are very gullible and are easily influenced by sensationalist articles that offer "amazing" results that are too good to be true. I am disappointed by the way that Science has handled this matter and has pushed this extremely dubious result.
Robert H. Austin,
19 March 2002
My first feeling when I read the Science article about "sonic fusion" was doubt: as the past has taught us, we cannot trust in every result at first sight - even when published in a magazine as Science. However, I was glad to be holding that magazine with my hands: cold fusion is a human dream that was, perhaps, coming true. If not, at least, another spark had just been add to this never extinguished flame.
If I were editor of Science Magazine, I believe I would have made the same choice and published the article: someone was claiming to have developed a way to induce cold fusion and it is almost an obligation of a respected magazine, such as Science, to let the scientific community know about it. Now, scientists all around the world are trying to reproduce these results; without the publication, they wouldn't even have known of these methods. Of course, it is very easy to throw stones now, but only because we had the chance to be introduced to the targets.
Finally, I have only thanks to the Science editor for keeping us aware and awake.
QMC, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, BRAZIL
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