Dismissive Literature Reviews

  • If you though that this kind of thing only afflicted LENR research literature, then think again. It is a common way to dismiss existing research.

    What a database of more than a thousand dismissive literature reviews can tell us
    Richard Phelps I was once required to testify in a court case. My lawyer gave me a few pieces of advice, but he repeated one  several times, which may be why I…


    In academia, declarations of a void in the research literature are rarely challenged. As long as a few unknowing, uncaring, or otherwise cooperative reviewers and editors let the statement slide, it passes unimpeded into the world of scholarship and becomes what I call a dismissive literature review. No one with a self or public interest in countering the claim is offered an opportunity to challenge.

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

    Edited 3 times, last by Frogfall ().

  • This is a depressing article. Quote:

    For the most part, the list includes statements made by “serial dismissers,” scholars who dismiss repeatedly on a variety of topics.

    Robert Park was famous for this. He wrote a news column for the APS called, "What's New." Gene Mallove called it, "What's New (That I Hate)." He did not just dismiss cold fusion. He attacked and dismissed all kinds of things about which he knew nothing.

    This kind of behavior seems to be human nature. People often reject anything new. Francis Bacon spelled out the reasons in 1620. Read "Novum Organum" and you will see. See also the quotes here:

    Ridiculed science mavericks vindicated

    Quotes for the Openminded Scientist

    Rejection of the new is one problem. The other problem is that people tend to accept the first explanation or version of events that is published, and they ignore anything that follows. Bacon says they even attack it. He says people "worship the first formed notions of their minds." This happens a lot in news reporting and in history books. Here are two examples of misinformation that you will find published in many accounts even now:

    It is widely reported that the Titanic was traveling at top speed and attempting to make a new speed record crossing the Atlantic. That is incorrect. The Titanic was not designed for speed. The engines could never have produced a speed record.

    It was widely reported that Al Gore claimed he "invented the internet." He never said anything like that. He said that he made important legislative and budgetary contributions to the Internet. That is correct. The people who did invent the Internet (inasmuch as anyone did) gave him credit:


  • Everyone has the right to swim in his bathtub..

    Kirk Shanahan March 15, 2019 at 10:34 am

    "What Steve may not have pointed out as clearly is that there does appear to have been a real discovery by F&P. They found something that gives apparent excess heat signals. I proposed what that might be. No nuclear reactions required. Cold fusion researchers to a man have ignored or denigrated that view. That is what labels them as pseudoscientists. "

    however Cold Fusion argumentation with "CFers" appears to have led to the light of revelation

    Some are born-again in the bathtub. . some by Cold Fusion.. 24 May 2024

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  • Nice to hear somone espousing a Socratic style of discourse.

    For me - there is not much difference between an atheist and a theist. Both tend to have strong and passionate beliefs - just of an opposite sort. But theists tend to be more pleasant than atheists - because their belief is directed in a more positive way and they have more social sets of co-believers.

    it also shows (what anyone who has been around a large collection of eminent physicists knows) that there is a small but significant subset of physicists whose search for meaning in the universe turns to a search for religious meaning as they get older. 45 is quite young for this process to start though - so I am not sure that this quite described Kirk.

    Of course - he is a chemist - not a physicist. Perhaps that changes things. :)

  • Science is about a process that allows us to challenge ourselves and keep open the possibility of different explanations - even when we judge over all that a given one is more likely.

    That goes against human nature for most people in the sense that we like to have definite views.

    The best advice I think for a scientist is to be skeptical of everything, and especially the things they have long accepted as proven.

    There are LENR detractors, but also LENR advocates, who do not take this advice.

  • Public science suffers from the bias of it most vocal contributors. In fact, there are very few contributors who have the skills to determine what is truly significant. There will remain flat earthers, people who refute that the moon landing occurred and some persons in authority that are in opposition to some "new" science. Think AC vs DC wars.

    It is good to start as "skeptical of everything" then check what stands on solid ground. Rely on the basics. Perhaps, you think there are no solid proofs? Then you feel justified to choose your "science" based on politics and develop your arguments based on who will pay for your lawyerly skills. So be it but be warned you will get the consequences of what you choose.

  • Then you feel justified to choose your "science" based on politics and develop your arguments based on who will pay for your lawyerly skills

    KirkShanahan worked at the DOD, Savannah for decades in research to do with tritium handling which had its goal the ITER-collision type nuclear fusion. His persistent "CFers" labelling of cold fusion scientists indicates a tribal rather than political stance. .Cold fusion has no need of tritium and would make his paid work and that of his colleagues redundant .

    Kirk dismisses or ignores detailed calorimetry work done by many scientists over decades.Despite zero actual experimental expertise in calorimetry, Kirk postulated the CCS effect, writing a skimpy theoretical paper. with no experimental data,

    To this day this 2002 'tribal ' paper, published by 1! reviewer in an obscure journal, has had zero effect on any calorimetry anywhere..

    01/22/2014 09:07 AM.. To alain.coetmeur

    "The paper went to review and there were 3 reviewers who reviewed it. One was clearly Ed Storms, which is entirely understandable, as my paper was a comment on his. One other was clearly a 'cold fusioneer' (CFers), and the other wasn't. The third reviewer basically accepted my paper as written with a few minor comments/corrections. The second reviewer completely rejected my paper with a couple of paragraphs of comments, which were very non-specific. Ed completely rejected what I had written with a multipage review. Unfortunately, Ed and reviewer 2's comments made no sense in relation to what I wrote . But since the 'vote' was 2-1 against, the editor initially rejected my paper. I however appealed and submitted extensive rebuttals of both the negative sets of comments. However, as expected Ed and reviewer 2 did not accept these, wrote more inaccurate and incorrect responses to my rebuttals, and again vote 'no'. Again the editor went with the simple 2-1 vote and denied publication.

    After some email communication with the editor, I decided attempting another appeal was unlikely to be effective, so I submitted the paper to another journal, Thermochimica Acta (TA). As it turned out, the editor responsible for my paper there was the 3'd reviewer from the prior review. Since he had seen all the communication regarding the negative comments by Ed and reviewer 2, he decided he did not need to subject his reviewers to more of the same,

    and he accepted the paper after I made some suggested minor changes.

    So, my first cold fusion (CF) was published in Thermochima Acta in 2002 (yes, the battles at the other journal had consumed roughly 2 years).

    That paper outlined what I decided to call the 'Calibration Constant Shift' (CCS) problem.


  • t is good to start as "skeptical of everything" then check what stands on solid ground. Rely on the basics. Perhaps, you think there are no solid proofs? Then you feel justified to choose your "science" based on politics and develop your arguments based on who will pay for your lawyerly skills.

    I'm not sure who that is aimed at but I think real scientists, and real skeptics, will be more interested in science than in politics.

    Science is not really a very political thing. It is about seeking truth. Politics is often the reverse.

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