Mats Lewan Responds to Swedish National Radio Reporting on Rossi, CF

Mats Lewan, reporter for Swedish technology magazine Ny Teknik, and author of the recently published book An Impossible Invention, has written a response to the three part Sveriges Radio program that was aired this week Andrea Rossi and cold fusion.

Lewan does not spend a lot of time trying to defend himself, or Andrea Rossi in this review — but he does point out that the reason he has followed this story from the early days of Rossi is because of the quality of scientific evidence in favor of the technology. Lewan reserves most of his criticism for the position taken Ulrika Björkstén, head science editor at Sveriges Radio, who hired freelance journalist Marcus Hansson to do this piece.

But the main focus I have chosen is another, reflecting the title of the book, discussing what is considered to be impossible and asking why more resources aren’t dedicated to investigating this strange phenomenon that could possibly change the world, providing clean water and clean air, saving millions of lives and solve the climate crisis.

Not because I wish this to be true, but because there are abundant scientific results indicating that the phenomenon might be real.

It’s insane that curious researchers are hesitating to enter this field for fear of ruining their careers (yes Björkstén, this is why most of them are old), and it’s insane that poorly researched media reports like this help scientific critics to continue attacking those researchers.

It seems that Lewan’s main concern is that one of the main reasons that people avoid getting involved in researching in the LENR field, or even mentioning it in a serious light is that it has the label of being pseudoscience, and those who are involved in it are considered to be gullible and easily manipulated by those considered arch-deceivers like Andrea Rossi. He says that it’s this non-scientific attitude that serves to retard developments in science and technology, and this affects the whole world, as important inventions are not brought to light that could benefit us all.

  • Curbina

    I think Mats was very balanced in his asessment of the hit piece of Sveriges radio programs. They mocked him, I would be suing.

  • I can’t understand why Sveriges Radio would throw out opinion science about CF right before a major report is about to come out. It’s like trashing the theory of relativity three weeks before the total eclipse that will prove or disprove it. And to trash CF based on someones muddy reputation when a third party is or has already written a report is foolish. I read Mats book and find him much more objective.

    • There is more than a hint of desperation about such rearguard actions. I suppose the hope on the part of the perpetrators is that if you chuck enough – er – mud around then some of it will stick.

      As others have pointed out though, continuing attempts to head off cold fusion are having the effect of delaying its introduction and stifling academic research in the field, and this is very far from being a cost-free exercise. I hope that the people responsible will be held to account for the damage they do, but its more likely that TPTB will look after those who have rendered service.

      • GreenWin

        Unless of course there are OPTB, as in Other…

      • Blazespin

        The adage rings true: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    • Mike

      I think that the work on the show began half a year ago or so. I have relatives working with the same kind of journalism, but in a different field so I have had some close insight in the preparation of radio shows. I believe that when they started the work the date for the report was not known. It is probably a pure coincidence.

      By the way, a lot of programs in Sveriges Radio is produced by external production companies so any negative comment on freelance journalists is simply rubbish in this case.

  • Stefan Israelsson Tampe

    Read Mats text, it’s good. But the most interesting is


    But in a concluding comment Björkstén discards the whole area of cold fusion/LENR as pseudo-science, stating that it is based on belief and group thinking, and that university researchers should discern such research from real science and stay away from it.

    It is now not a conspiracy theory that the Power is hindering cold fusion research. We now know
    that the we have a new fundamental law in science:

    You shall not do cold fusion research.

    Poff, Science is gone, and the mad politics has taken over.

    I will fight this stupidity like hell.

  • Any area of investigation in which there is some positive scientific evidence and the potential to have positive impact on humanity should be pursued.

    In the case of LENR where the potential positive impacts are unbelievably huge (and many scientific results exist) there should be (should have been) a surge in resources to determine if there’s anything there or not. That’s what a rational society or species would do. But the incentives in our society are currently all messed up.

    As a LENR supporter at this stage, if there were millions or billions spent on LENR research right now and it came up empty I would not be upset. That’s a simple Return on Investment analysis that any decent manager could do and approve in seconds. At least we tried.

    People who say we shouldn’t even try (due to some outsized fear of being scammed) are shortsighted and have closed minds. In some cases the closed minds are just weak minds. In other cases the minds are closed on purpose due to greed, lust for power or fear of change.

  • Any area of investigation in which there is some positive scientific evidence and the potential to have positive impact on humanity should be pursued.

    In the case of LENR where the potential positive impacts are unbelievably huge (and many scientific results exist) there should be (should have been) a surge in resources to determine if there’s anything there or not. That’s what a rational society or species would do. But the incentives in our society are currently all messed up.

    As a LENR supporter at this stage, if there were millions or billions spent on LENR research right now and it came up empty I would not be upset. That’s a simple Return on Investment analysis that any decent manager could do and approve in seconds. At least we tried.

    People who say we shouldn’t even try (due to some outsized fear of being scammed) are shortsighted and have closed minds. In some cases the closed minds are just weak minds. In other cases the minds are closed on purpose due to greed, lust for power or fear of change.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Well, it’s beginning to look like China will be taking the LENR lead and Tsinghua University will soon be moving to the top of this list.
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2013-14/world-ranking

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Well, it’s beginning to look like China will be taking the LENR lead and Tsinghua University will soon be moving to the top of this list.
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2013-14/world-ranking

  • Ophelia Rump

    Mats Lewan
    “Not because I wish this to be true, but because there are abundant scientific results indicating that the phenomenon might be real.”

    might be real.

    I really think it time stop using hedge words with the intent of sounding unbiased.

    • Buck

      IMO, it actually suggests that Mats does not believe his own research which we all know is not true.

    • Bernie777

      A true scientist rarely becomes 100% sure of anything,

      • sadly it is a myth.
        Kuhn explains it well and why.
        Scientists during their education are educated that their paradigm is good at 100%. it is important otherwise they would not try to apply it efficiently, to defend it like a fanatic, and finally most of the time to win.

        even when it is not a paradigm, but a new idea, you find that scientists are very often stubbornly dedicated to their theory.
        The solution is that there is always a scientist to oppose, inside the paradigm, but to oppose all that another scientist can be sure of.

        it is important, since those stubborn scientist are like good attorneys who, provided a judge prevent them to fraud, try anything to defend their thesis until it is really not possible.

        the problem is when the opposition is forbidden to existe… the scientist 100% sure of their theory, without opposition, start to be dictators, to ignore evidences, to neglect their job of attorney.

        • Pekka Janhunen

          When I entered university (1985), a first introductory lecture was “presentation of physical sciences” where a geologist, meteorologicst, astronome… and theoretical physicist presented his domain (and tried to get students interested in it). The theoretical physics lecturer had taken cosmology as his subject. When talking about the big bang, he titled it “One model about how the universe came about” (freely translated) and made it clear that a physicist’s job is to build and test various models, not to believe in them and not to interfere with religious views.

          PhDs or not, science journalists are not a random, unbiased sample of working scientists, in the same way that politicians are not a random, unbiased sample of citizens.

          • On a discussion about current scientific debate (could not find the link), an old geologist explained that his professor told him verbatim :
            “If I read anything about continental drift, you have 0/20”

            today you can find the new “continental drift”.
            when scientific editors have to resign if the erroneously publish what they should not.
            Publishing companies who close a journal that published one article that should not be.
            Scientist (French) who call their minister to create a law that forbid their estimated “bad science”, even in books.

            openmindedness of scientists is legend, and this is a good things. They are fighters, and they should be convinced they are right. It is up to the environment not to assume they are right.

            another example, see the Nobel Disease that Wikipravda have described? either those Nobel are right, or wrong, but sure it raise a problem about either they or the others scientist while being plain wrong, yet either genius or mainstream.

          • Pekka Janhunen

            One thing which must be remembed is that in science, there are interesting things and interesting things. Anything that moves is interesting and even more those that stay still. But to be interesting, there must be effective ways of studying the subject: one must have a research plan. Of course, the quality of being interesting is a function of available tools and technology.

            Thus far all is fine, but some (distorted-minded) scientists seem to think that if something is not currently interesting in the above sense, it’s also not interesting, or worse, that it cannot even exist. How can this colossal failure of logic occur? One possible answer: the world is a prisoner of words. Maybe we are lacking some vocabulary: how to explain the above without using italics?

          • from by rambling in skeptic minds, in believers mind, in LENr and in other groupthink domains I have seens few common points :

            First there is theory…
            With a theory, you can deny the facts. You can claim you are righ with a single paper, badly made, challenging dozen of experumental or observation paper.
            without theory no evidence can convince. you can have hundred of peer reviewed papers, that pass censorship amond a thousand of good experumental papers… none can convince.

            the worst is that in dissidenrt side, there is the same love of theory tha push supporters to challenge the mainstream theory, to propose a crazy theory, to deny evidence that challenge their pet theory. About theory, most dissenters are not better than mainstreams.

            the second is groupthink linked to massive group losses.
            the theory of Groupthink by Roland Benabou is that groupthink develope when one individual cannot get better if he see the reality, and suffer massively from the other’s errors… if the situation is so, he will support the deliria of his colleagues, desperately… violently.

            this works well on all the scientific and policy deliria today.

    • blanco69

      Yes, for someone who has seen, touched and investigated the ecat, then gone on to write a book on the subject, I kinda hoped that Mats would have actually said that he believes the ecat to be real and Rossi to be genuine. I’ m not particularly bothered that negative press is based on poor investigation. What bothers me is that is that someone who has been very thorough in their research still sits on the fence.

      • It is probably to keep his credibility (same for Elforsk).
        the uninformed masses would not trust someone sure of himself.

        what is funny is that masses accept huge errors of judgement when it is mainstream, but don’t tolerate that given good evidence, that are finally refuted, you make an error.

        It remind me an IT idiom, of the 80s : You cannot make an error if you choose IBM.

  • Ophelia Rump

    Mats Lewan
    “Not because I wish this to be true, but because there are abundant scientific results indicating that the phenomenon might be real.”

    might be real.

    I really think it time stop using hedge words with the intent of sounding unbiased.

    • Buck

      Regrettably, it may be interpreted that Mats does not believe his own research, which we know is not true.

    • Bernie Koppenhofer

      A true scientist rarely becomes 100% sure of anything,

      • sadly it is a myth.
        Kuhn explains it well and why.
        Scientists during their education are educated that their paradigm is good at 100%. it is important otherwise they would not try to apply it efficiently, to defend it like a fanatic, and finally most of the time to win.

        even when it is not a paradigm, but a new idea, you find that scientists are very often stubbornly dedicated to their theory.
        The solution is that there is always a scientist to oppose, inside the paradigm, but to oppose all that another scientist can be sure of.

        it is important, since those stubborn scientist are like good attorneys who, provided a judge prevent them to fraud, try anything to defend their thesis until it is really not possible.

        the problem is when the opposition is forbidden to existe… the scientist 100% sure of their theory, without opposition, start to be dictators, to ignore evidences, to neglect their job of attorney.

        • Pekka Janhunen

          When I entered university (1985), a first introductory lecture was “presentation of physical sciences” where a geologist, meteorologicst, astronome… and theoretical physicist presented his domain (and tried to get students interested in it). The theoretical physics lecturer had taken cosmology as his subject. When talking about the big bang, he titled it “One model about how the universe came about” (freely translated) and made it clear that a physicist’s job is to build and test various models, not to believe in them and not to interfere with religious views.

          PhDs or not, science journalists are not a random, unbiased sample of working scientists, in the same way that politicians are not a random, unbiased sample of citizens.

          • On a discussion about current scientific debate (could not find the link), an old geologist explained that his professor told him verbatim :
            “If I read anything about continental drift, you have 0/20”

            today you can find the new “continental drift”.
            when scientific editors have to resign if the erroneously publish what they should not.
            Publishing companies who close a journal that published one article that should not be.
            Scientist (French) who call their minister to create a law that forbid their estimated “bad science”, even in books.

            openmindedness of scientists is legend, and this is a good things. They are fighters, and they should be convinced they are right. It is up to the environment not to assume they are right.

            another example, see the Nobel Disease that Wikipravda have described? either those Nobel are right, or wrong, but sure it raise a problem about either they or the others scientist while being plain wrong, yet either genius or mainstream.

          • Pekka Janhunen

            One thing which must be remembed is that in science, there are interesting things and interesting things. Anything that moves is interesting and even more those that stay still. But to be interesting, there must be effective ways of studying the subject: one must have a research plan. Of course, the quality of being interesting is a function of available tools and technology.

            Thus far all is fine, but some (distorted-minded) scientists seem to think that if something is not currently interesting in the above sense, it’s also not interesting, or worse, that it cannot even exist. How can this colossal failure of logic occur? One possible answer: the world is a prisoner of words. Maybe we are lacking some vocabulary: how to explain the above without using italics?

          • from by rambling in skeptic minds, in believers mind, in LENr and in other groupthink domains I have seens few common points :

            First there is theory…
            With a theory, you can deny the facts. You can claim you are righ with a single paper, badly made, challenging dozen of experumental or observation paper.
            without theory no evidence can convince. you can have hundred of peer reviewed papers, that pass censorship amond a thousand of good experumental papers… none can convince.

            the worst is that in dissidenrt side, there is the same love of theory tha push supporters to challenge the mainstream theory, to propose a crazy theory, to deny evidence that challenge their pet theory. About theory, most dissenters are not better than mainstreams.

            the second is groupthink linked to massive group losses.
            the theory of Groupthink by Roland Benabou is that groupthink develope when one individual cannot get better if he see the reality, and suffer massively from the other’s errors… if the situation is so, he will support the deliria of his colleagues, desperately… violently.

            this works well on all the scientific and policy deliria today.

    • blanco69

      Yes, for someone who has seen, touched and investigated the ecat, then gone on to write a book on the subject, I kinda hoped that Mats would have actually said that he believes the ecat to be real and Rossi to be genuine. I’ m not particularly bothered that negative press is based on poor investigation. What bothers me is that is that someone who has been very thorough in their research still sits on the fence.

      • bachcole

        Seems like it to me.

      • It is probably to keep his credibility (same for Elforsk).
        the uninformed masses would not trust someone sure of himself.

        what is funny is that masses accept huge errors of judgement when it is mainstream, but don’t tolerate that given good evidence, that are finally refuted, you make an error.

        It remind me an IT idiom, of the 80s : You cannot make an error if you choose IBM.

  • Bob

    Here is a new approach we can present to the skeptopaths and entrenched scientists. Those who brag that “the scientific method” trumps all….

    We simply start accusing them that they are afraid of being “mislead”… that the scientific method cannot discern or differentiate between fact and fiction. That this would indeed tear down their entire approach to science. You cannot conduct “the scientific method” on these fringe areas because “the scientific method” is too vulnerable and is not robust enough to determine truth and fact! That “the scientific method is frail and easily misguided”.

    They would then say this is untrue and is heresy! Then we would say, then why not conduct the scientific methods on cold fusion? If it is false, then the scientific method will conclusively prove it false. If cold fusion is true, then it will also prove it and the world will be changed!

    Thier position is much like entrenched religious leaders….. keep the “Faithful” ignorant and do not allow them to question dogma! Or else the followers will soon find the truth and the leaders will lose power over the flock.

    True, meaningful religion does and should not fear the truth, but seek after it whole heartedly.

    True and meaningful science should not fear the truth, but seek after it whole heartedly.

    In many cases, the herd mentality of science group think has become closer related to the religion of the dark ages or the current extremist Muslim. It is about keeping power and control. OR it is about one becoming so entrenched into their belief system, they cannot change and will call everyone who does not believe as they do…. heretics!

    One should not fear THE TRUTH, but many do!

    Likewise, some here on this list fear that LENR may not be real. They will defend it just as strongly as a skeptopath defends against LENR. This is no better!

    The jury is still out! There is lots of positive evidence that encourages the strong investigation into LENR! But we do not have 100% conclusive proof. I personally believe there is proof of some unknown reaction, but there is no proof if it is nuclear or not! (Therefore LENR may be incorrect) It may turn out to be nuclear, I do not know. It does not matter to me if it is or not. What matters is if the TRUTH if found so we can best utilize it to humankind’s benefit.

    (By the way… I am not railing on religion in itself, just on the false and misguided. I am “religious myself” and make no bones about it!)

  • Octagon

    I’d like to know if anyone – Frank Acland, Mats Lewan or anyone else – has tried to get in contact with Magnus Jändel or Birger Emmoth. These two swedish physicists once claimed to have replicated the Fleischmann-Pons experiment, and they also published several papers on cold fusion in the 90s. Jandel is now with the Swedish Defence Research Agency. The question is: what would they say when confronted with their old statements about replication of the F-P effect? As far as I’m informed, they never withdrew any of their old statements. Will they contend that the effect is real, or will they admit to having made errors, mistakes and false conclusions? People like Jandel would be the ones best suited to judge the plausibility of Rossi’s claims, and should have been interviewed by the swedish radio journalist.

  • Job001

    3,500 research publications( http://lenr-canr.org) provide an exceptionally strong proof that the basic observation science of LENR+ is valid, that is, excess heat and atomic ash have been found! This level of discovery was all it took for the Manhattan project.

    This will not dissuade folks who will claim it’s not science until they have a working cold fusion garage heater that toasts toes and heats a cup of tea.

    This in spite of the fact that much research, control, stability study, engineering, certification, product design, risk analysis, funding, and marketing remain to be done. Poor babies want toys NOW!

    Such is the nature of human bias. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

    • Alan DeAngelis

      With all this evidence, is this just another example of what happens when pearls are thrown before swine or is there more to it than that? This reminds me of the vicious attacks upon the cold fusion researchers in the early 1990s who found tritium in their cells.

      • Job001

        The evidence best supports normal human bias best understood based upon modern neurological studies. We all like to believe we logically seek the truth rather than illogically and emotionally blunder through life as we often do when uninformed.

        Here are some common biases from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases which I’ve observed or best seemed to explain cold fusion pathoskeptics positions;

        Naïve realism

        Self-serving (Funding bias)

        System justification

        Hindsight bias

        Suggestibility

        Logical fallacy

        Availability heuristic

        Positivity effect

        Illusion of truth(and logic) effect

        Survivorship bias

        Curse of knowledge

        PS;Our biases are good things we need but often deny which help us survive for instance.

  • Job001

    3,500 research publications( http://lenr-canr.org) provide an exceptionally strong proof that the basic observation science of LENR+ is valid, that is, excess heat and atomic ash have been found! This level of discovery was all it took for the Manhattan project.

    This will not dissuade folks who will claim it’s not science until they have a working cold fusion garage heater that toasts toes and heats a cup of tea.

    This in spite of the fact that much research, control, stability study, engineering, certification, product design, risk analysis, funding, and marketing remain to be done. Poor babies want toys NOW!

    Such is the nature of human bias. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

    • Alan DeAngelis

      With all this evidence, is this just another example of what happens when pearls are thrown before swine or is there more to it than that? This reminds me of the vicious attacks upon the cold fusion researchers in the early 1990s who found tritium in their cells.

      • Job001

        The evidence best supports normal human bias best understood based upon modern neurological studies. We all like to believe we logically seek the truth rather than illogically and emotionally blunder through life as we often do when uninformed.

        Here are some common biases from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases which I’ve observed or best seemed to explain cold fusion pathoskeptics positions;

        Naïve realism

        Self-serving (Funding bias)

        System justification

        Hindsight bias

        Suggestibility

        Logical fallacy

        Availability heuristic

        Positivity effect

        Illusion of truth(and logic) effect

        Survivorship bias

        Curse of knowledge

        PS;Our biases are good things we need but often deny which help us survive for instance.

  • bachcole

    It is good for all of the skeptopaths to state their position and all be standing in the same place. When this becomes undeniable, they will be easier to find.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Yeah, they haven’t realized yet that they’ve painted themselves into a corner.

  • georgehants

    Wonderful day

  • oarmas

    I agree with Lewan, there is scientific support for this theory going back almost one hundred years. If you want to know why there is no public (IE. government sponsorship) support, look no further than our illustrious central banks. Their sole purpose is to print money and drive prices higher to support asset bubbles before they pop. Really, is there really so much demand for fossil fuels NOW to support prices of 110 USD per barrel. No, it’s the result of the need to drive prices higher. So, if you have a new technology that reduces (unlike solar) the price of energy, good luck getting any funding.

    • Job001

      It’s a monopoly extraction process. Centralized utilities throw away about 70% of the heat as waste up the stack. They don’t care because they pass through the cost to customers at a profit.

      Likewise central banks don’t care when they create money(most is Not printed but created by making loans, fractional reserve system) because the holders of currency pay for depreciation and the bankers make a profit on the difference between deposits and loans, the more the merrier.

      Extraction is the game of cartels, monopolies, healthcare, insurance, welfare, Big Government, Military, Global Corporations, etc.
      Like addicts, none know when to stop.

  • oarmas

    I agree with Lewan, there is scientific support for this theory going back almost one hundred years. If you want to know why there is no public (IE. government sponsorship) support, look no further than our illustrious central banks. Their sole purpose is to print money and drive prices higher to support asset bubbles before they pop. Really, is there really so much demand for fossil fuels NOW to support prices of 110 USD per barrel. No, it’s the result of the need to drive prices higher. So, if you have a new technology that reduces (unlike solar) the price of energy, good luck getting any funding.

    • Job001

      It’s a monopoly extraction process. Centralized utilities throw away about 70% of the heat as waste up the stack. They don’t care because they pass through the cost to customers at a profit.

      Likewise central banks don’t care when they create money(most is Not printed but created by making loans, fractional reserve system) because the holders of currency pay for depreciation and the bankers make a profit on the difference between deposits and loans, the more the merrier.

      Extraction is the game of cartels, monopolies, healthcare, insurance, welfare, Big Government, Military, Global Corporations, etc.
      Like addicts, none know when to stop.

  • Charles

    “Ulrika Björkstén, head science editor at Sveriges Radio,” Does this Björkstén have a degree in physics or chemistry of some related field or is he like a typical American “communicator” a graduate of the liberal arts journalist school who is stumped by 9th grade Algebra.

    • Freethinker

      Here is her own words ….

      http://bit.ly/1ku6U7a

      She has a PhD in physical chemistry.

      google translate link:

      http://bit.ly/1pviFC0

    • GreenWin

      Ms Bjorksten, appears to have done grad work in photo-optics at Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland. She appears to be a typical narrow-minded scientist with little ability to communicate clearly or in this case honestly with the public. This story will become the laughing stock of “science” radio shows. But will be very instructive in how to rehabilitate the deeply dysfunctional scientific press.

    • Bernie Koppenhofer

      Talk about an ego: Ulrika Björkstén “An unknown to me professor called me up and said it was totally wrong for someone with my educational background to engage in daily writing. An astonished editor wondered why I had the world open to me would “go here and take.” She is out of place, she should be an editor of a movie magizine (fiction only).

  • friendlyprogrammer

    I’d say they are older research crowd because longevity can add wisdom. I know this because I teach it to my kids daily.

  • Sandy

    Lewan wrote, “It’s insane that curious researchers are hesitating to enter this field for fear of ruining their careers… and it’s insane that poorly researched media reports like this help scientific critics to continue attacking those researchers.”

    I disagree. It’s not “insane”; it’s fascism. Our societies are controlled by vicious sociopaths who use yellow journalists to do their dirty work. Sveriges Radio’s attack on LENR was ordered by the oligarchs (who are doing their best to keep us addicted to their oil and gas and coal and uranium).

    Yellow journalism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_journalism

  • A Swede

    Number of complaints to the Swedish Broadcasting Authority

    At least one complaint against the program has been filed with the Swedish Broadcasting Authority as of today.

    • psi2u2

      Thank you.

  • Stefan Israelsson Tampe

    Listen, we forget all the time, it is not Ross’s ECAT it’s IH’s ECAT. IH have done due diligence, there are other executives than run the show, they put certainly demand on how to perform the test. To smear the testers with Rossi did bad this and that is a technically a wrong smearing. The testers are working with a device developed by the executives at IH. They must have a very good eye on wanting a good test and that means quality, and that good productive work will be done.

  • barty
  • psi2u2

    Thank you.