Alan Smith Admin-Experimenter
  • Member since Nov 10th 2015
  • Last Activity:
  • User profile of LDM

Posts by Alan Smith

    Some in the field seem to be grounding their opinions on the idea that there is a global conspiracy, or something effectively the same, to prevent humanity from accessing an available form of energy that would be a response to the climate crisis, and that this has been successful for thirty years. Anyone who makes that sort of assertion loses me immediately. I realize I might be wrong, as I realize we might all might be living in The Matrix, but I don't really care -- I comfortably put such assertions in the category of too unlikely to gain the slightest bit of my attention.

    It was not a global conspiracy at all, it was initially a purely US-centered one that later spread around the world. It began not as a way of depriving the world of cheap and clean energy, but of ensuring that the available money for fusion research went to the hot fusion crowd. This involved serious scientists perjuring themselves in front of at least one congressional committee, the alteration of positive results to negative ones and more.

    So it was just a case of a group of people protecting their source of There have been many examples of this, but few so destructive. As shown below.

    Academics ‘regularly lie to get research grants’
    Scholars in the UK and Australia contemptuous of impact statements and often exaggerate them, study suggests

    Academics ‘regularly lie to get research grants’

    Scholars in the UK and Australia contemptuous of impact statements and often exaggerate them, study suggests

    Academics routinely lie and exaggerate when telling funding agencies what impact their research will have, a series of candid interviews with scholars in the UK and Australia has suggested. Their dismissive comments about the “charade” of impact statements brings to light what appears to be an open secret in academia – that academics simply do not take such projections seriously.

    A new study anonymously interviewed 50 senior academics from two research-intensive universities – one in the UK and one in Australia – who had experience writing "pathways to impact" (PIS) statements, as they are called in the UK, and in some cases had also reviewed such statements.

    It was normal to sensationalise and embellish impact claims, the study published in Studies in Higher Education found.

    In the UK and Australia, academics are asked for evidence of what impact their research might have when applying for grants. Research Councils UK introduced the need to write a PIS in 2009. Respondents said that future projections of impact were “charades” or “made-up stories”. As one UK professor put it: “would I believe it? No, would it help me get the money – yes.” Academics felt pushed into lying on their impact statements by the logic of ferocious academic competition, the paper found.

    “If you can find me a single academic who hasn’t had to bullshit or bluff or lie or embellish in order to get grants, then I will find you an academic who is in trouble with [their] head of department,” said one professor in Australia. Another Australia-based academic said that embellishment was about “survival” in the research grant game.

    Academics did not take the statements seriously because they felt predicting future impact was simply impossible. They “appeared to lampoon PIS by intimating that authors would require skills of clairvoyance in order to accurately convey the future”, the paper found. “I don’t know what you’re supposed to say, something like ‘I’m Columbus, I’m going to discover the West Indies?!'” said one professor in Australia.

    Another respondent, a UK professor, described the whole process as “dishonest” because the idea of confidently predicting impact “flies in the face of scientific practice”.


    This is a little bit off topic, because it looks back rather than looking forward, but it's a great piece of history.

    I think few people realise that the UK's Financial Times newspaper was actually FIRST to break the cold fusion story back in '89 because MartinF gave Clive Cookson (the author and an acquaintance) an exclusive in advance of the Utah press conference. This meant the FT was thus able to break the story 'on same the day'.

    Why was that? Fleischmann and Clive's Professor father were friends and colleagues in the Chemistry department at Southampton. This is the tale..pasted in here as it might be paywalled.

    Subscribe to read | Financial Times

    Clive Cookson AUGUST 17 2012

    OBITUARY. -The death early this month of the electrochemist Martin Fleischmann at the age of 85 stirred memories of the “cold fusion” affair 23 years ago – and my role in reporting it.

    The claim by Fleischmann and his scientific partner Stanley Pons to have achieved nuclear fusion in a simple electrochemical cell on their lab bench caused a sensation. If confirmed, the discovery could have led to unlimited clean power. Until then, fusion – the reaction that powers the sun and the H-bomb – had been the province of multi-million-pound research reactors unlikely to produce commercial power for another 50 years.

    Unfortunately, cold fusion turned out to be an unpredictable and uncontrollable phenomenon at best, and at worst an illusion. It is no longer mentioned in polite scientific society – although, rebadged as “low energy nuclear reaction” or LENR, it remains under investigation at several labs around the world, from Italy and Japan to the US. Usually, a pair of inventors making such an extraordinary claim would be dismissed as deluded crackpots – but the world paid attention to Fleischmann and Pons because they were respected professors with excellent records in chemistry research.

    I knew Fleischmann, then aged 62, as a colleague of my father, Richard Cookson. Both had been chemistry professors at Southampton University. On Palm Sunday 1989, soon after I had joined the FT, Fleischmann phoned from the US and breathlessly asked to speak to me in confidence. He wanted advice about how to reveal to the world what he believed would be one of the biggest research breakthroughs of the century. He was both excited and upset, because the University of Utah, where he was working on cold fusion with Pons, wanted to hold a press conference in five days’ time to announce their breakthrough. Fleischmann, on the other hand, felt the press conference would be premature, because they hadn’t yet submitted their work to a peer-reviewed journal, the conventional means of disseminating research.

    I advised him to resist the pressure, but on Tuesday he called again to tell me that he had failed. The university was apparently motivated by patent concerns and rumours that a researcher at Brigham Young University had made a similar discovery, so there would be a press conference two days later, on Thursday. I could not fly to Salt Lake City for the occasion, so Fleischmann offered to give me the information in advance, under embargo, so that the FT could publish it on Friday, like other newspapers. Then I realised that the FT, unlike its competitors, does not come out on Good Friday. So I persuaded Martin to let me publish the story in Thursday’s paper, on the grounds that cool, calm coverage in the FT would help to set the tone for the press conference later that day. He agreed and faxed over some technical information, including a diagram of the Utah apparatus, where fusion had apparently taken place between deuterium (heavy hydrogen) atoms absorbed in a palladium electrode. He also accepted that a story with such sensational implications – and no peer review – required third-party endorsement. So he put me in touch with Mick Lomer, head of the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s fusion lab, who knew of the Utah experiment and gave me a short statement that his lab was taking it seriously and would try to reproduce the experiment. The scoop duly appeared in the FT, with a front page story and more inside the paper.

    The worldwide scientific frenzy lasted a few months but died away as other labs failed to get positive results or found cold fusion too capricious to pursue. Fleischmann and Pons carried on for several years, with funding from the Japanese auto giant Toyota, but even they could not tame cold fusion.

    Today LENR – cold fusion – remains mysterious. No one knows whether hydrogen nuclei can really fuse in an electrochemical cell, whether another nuclear process is taking place or whether any excess heat is an experimental artefact. Some big US companies and government agencies are still following the field. For instance, a new report by Boeing for Nasa, includes LENR among the options for powering a future generation of “ultra green aircraft”. But no commercial LENR device has yet been demonstrated in public.

    Egely knows how to avoid transmutation as mentioned in his ICCF24 video presentation, that is, to keep power production below the transmutation input power limit. This idea contradicts the fusion meme which forces high input power to activate the fusion reaction. The LCF presenter mentions upscaling to increase power production. This upscaling will destroy the LCF reactor through transmutation increase more rapidly in stages as LCF reactor power production increases.

    You think so? So why, right now, are they upscaling the system drastically, and I am told with some remarkable success?

    From Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Newsletter...

    LG Chem said this week it will spend $3.2 billion to build a cathode production facility in Tennessee. The company is targeting 120,000 tonnes of cathode production a year by 2027. If it succeeds, this would more than double the potential cathode production of North America. The announcement is the latest direct foreign investment in Tennessee's history and further cements the state's growing position as a key battery hub in the US.

    It comes following two years of rising cathode prices. Benchmark's Cathode Price Index has risen a third this year and is over double what it was in January 2021. In part, this is due to rising lithium carbonate prices which have risen by over 120% this year in China and are still trading at record high levels. To make things worse, some cathode plants are failing to receive the lithium they ordered in long-term contracts forcing them to buy material in spot markets.

    Elsewhere, the three largest non-Chinese lithium producers are all continuing to invest in China, despite growing geopolitical risks. In a data-rich story this week, Benchmark Source looks at the quantities of lithium produced by Albermarle, Livent and SQM in China, North America, and Free Trade Agreement countries.

    Batteries are more than just lithium, however. One often overlooked mineral in NCM cathodes is manganese. Although there is ample manganese ore, the capacity to refine it into the high-purity manganese sulphate required for batteries is almost entirely in China. Only two facilities outside of China are currently operational. In an article this week, Benchmark Source looks at the options outside of China.

    On the other side of the battery is the anode, typically made from either natural or synthetic graphite. Although synthetic graphite has higher emissions, natural graphite isn't without its own set of woes. Violence in Mozambique and climate change are amongst the factors making its supply chain more fragile than that of synthetic graphite.

    Let's not forget what was said in the panel discussion at the start of ICCF-24.

    "Three Wise Men" Discuss the Future of LENR In ICCF24 Panel

    Ask the experts: Solid-state fusion energy isn’t 30 years away

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — Matt Trevithick, DCVC, moderated a panel at ICCF24, “Given what we know now, what should we do next?” featuring esteemed solid-state fusion experts Dr. David Nagel, George Washington University; Prof. Robert Duncan, Texas Tech University; and Dr. Thomas Schenkel, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    The purpose of the panel was to present evidence that solid-state fusion energy is no longer 30 years away. In fact, we may be on the brink of realizing it. Trevithick outlined progress such as Google’s Project Charleston and the fact that fusion has become fashionable, with $5 billion in private investment in fusion companies in just the last two years. He also applauded the Fusion Industry Association and ARPA-E’s growing interest in and investment in the field.

    “ARPA-E dropped some huge news: there is a teaming announcement, but equally important, for the first time, they announced there’s going to be a funding opportunity announcement as early as August—this is tectonic,” Trevithick said.

    Trevithick outlined the spectrum of fusion, from tokamaks, the most scientifically proven but most difficult to engineer and scale, to solid-state fusion, the least scientifically proven but fastest and least expensive to scale. There’s a race going on to make solid-state fusion viable. “My personal reason for being here is that I believe we could be on the cusp of discovering the transistor of energy,” he said.

    Trevithick then introduced the “Three Wise Men” panel, noting that Nagel, Duncan, and Schenkel are “some of my intellectual heroes in this field.”

    Each of the panelists answered four questions:

    1. Describe one or two experimental results that cause you to remain interested in LENR.

    2. If you had $10 million over 2 years to invest in LENR, what would you do?

    3. Which experiment would you most like to see compete for the Solid-State Fusion Prize?

    4. What advice do you have for an early career scientist or engineer interested in LENR?

    External Content
    Content embedded from external sources will not be displayed without your consent.
    Through the activation of external content, you agree that personal data may be transferred to third party platforms. We have provided more information on this in our privacy policy.