Taboo or Unpopular Science
The Golem (Collins 1993), Fire from Ice (Mallove 1991), The Coming Energy Revolution (Manning 1996) and Alternative Science (Milton 1996) all had chapters which described the genesis of cold fusion and gave important evidence for it's validity. These books told of the findings of two chemists, Professor Martin Fleischmann of Southampton University and his former student, Professor Stanley Pons of the University of Utah. Fleischmann and Pons held a 1989 press conference at which they announced the discovery of cold fusion. Milton (1996) defined cold fusion as "the production of usable amounts of excess energy by a nuclear process occurring in a water at room temperature"(p. 25).
By making the announcement about their success at a press conference, Manning(1996) and Milton(1996), and Collins (1993) all stated that these two distinguished scientists were breaking with the tradition of first submitting an article to peer review for publication. Manning (1996) contended that it was mainly this departure from the expected way of introducing the phenomenon, not the failing of the results, which led to the trivializing and derogating of cold fusion, and of Fleischmann and Pons as well, by the majority of mainstream scientists.
Manning (1996) suggested that a secondary cause for disapproval was the fact that science did not have a framework yet for how these cold fusion experiments produced the energy. This lack of a previously existing framework seems to cause most mainstream scientists to invalidate anomalous data through experimental regress and the confirmation biases
Evidently Pons and Fleischmann intended to keep the means of producing cold fusion to themselves in hopes of becoming wealthy, so they were not forthcoming about the details of the methodology used. Although they were able to repeatedly get the same verifiable results, other scientists of the time were not able to independently duplicate what Pons and Fleischmann had done (Manning, 1996).
A third cause for disapproval, explained Manning (1996), is that the massively funded hot fusion research organizations had also been trying over decades to get some of the same findings as those from the cold fusion experiments and may have had professional jealousy (Manning 1996).
This writer believes that the suppression of cold fusion could have been due to some of the same cognitive distortions which led to the suppression of other maverick science ideas and inventions throughout history. These cognitions include the in-group out-group, confirmation, and that expectancy biases, as well as cognitive dissonance reactions to anomalies.
Manning (1996) wrote of how in America, Fleischmann and Pon's reputations as cold fusion researchers were tarnished. Cold fusion articles were suddenly banished from science journals and U.S. patents for cold fusion were dismissed.
Manning (1997) continued that only Japan was still putting major funding into cold fusion research. As a heavily populated island with few natural energy resources, Japan had everything to gain from clean safe energy production. Also, because many Easterners have a "spiritual belief in an all pervading energy which comes in many forms,"(p. 102) the idea of fusion reactions taking place without extreme high temperatures was not quite such a dissonant idea as it had been for Westerners.
Other methods to derive usable energy that are considered to be in opposition to the beliefs of mainstream science were discussed by Manning (1996). These included solid state energy devices, vibrational devices developed by nineteenth century musician and inventor John Ernst Worrell Keeley, vortex and magnetic energy mechanisms, new technologies for using waste and hydropower, and the use of hydrogen for power.