Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion, by Gary Taubes
Reviewed by Dieter Britz

This book, by physicist and aeronautical and astronautical engineer Gary Taubes, turned science journalist, focusses on what might be called the prehistory and history of cold fusion. It is based not only on newspaper reports, but mostly on a large number of interviews (over 260). It deals mainly with the major US players in the area, i.e. the groups of/around Pons & Fleischmann, Jones and Bockris; some others, such as Huggins, Martin, McKubre etc are mentioned, as well as a very few foreign teams such as that of Scaramuzzi. This enables GT to go into great detail, and brings out the story very sharply. It ends (except for an Epilogue) in the middle of 1991, as the National Cold Fusion Institute closes its doors. The conclusion of the book is that
"cold fusion" as used in this context is wholly imaginary. The noticable features of the book are the consistent (and often unfair) denigration of practically all cold fusion researchers (as well as some others); and the detailed history, not as well done in other books.