@ Shane D.,
OG has made a good point. Judging by the attendance at ICCF's and other CF venues (which he of all would know first hand), LENR interest has remained steady through the Rossi era.
The interest of those attending the LENR meetings doesn't coincide with the general one.
IMO however, there could be an argument made that Rossi brought high public attention to the field, that quiet conferences never did. He surely caught my eye in Jan 2011. That attention he attracted, may have spawned SKINR, definitely MFMP/LFH, and helped rekindle research efforts in Japan, and India. Maybe spurred on the Russians, and helped maintain ENEA funding for Celani/Violante until they retired. Or possibly even helped those like BEC/BLP to attract more investments. In particular, I remember Piantelli/Nichenergy being resurrected with a big infusion from an "angel investor" due the heightened awareness Rossi brought.
Right, that's exactly what happened since January 2011.
If I am right, the question then is whether Rossi on the whole was a positive, or negative for LENR? That may be too early to know yet.
IMO the answer is very simple: without Rossi, the word LERN would have already been forgotten. The Ecat initiative has revived the field and allowed its refinancing.
No doubt he will hurt LENR's public image as any conman would, especially so with the scientific mainstream.
Why conman? What right do we have to call him this way for his involvement in the LENR field? For what we know, he could have been contacted as a PR-man, and acted as such.
But in the long run, if any of those that got a funding boost, or an inspiration leading to their own Ni-H research, hit pay dirt, then who knows, maybe the conman will have his place in science history?
Intriguing question. Does it imply a Machiavellian plan inspired to "the ends justify the means"? Maybe this was the true reason for having resorted to a PR-man who was also a ex-long-runner! Anyway, even if the run will last for centuries the only beneficiary will continue to be the LENR field, not true science, nor people. My opinion, of course.