Scientific Conduct, MFMP, and LENR (Thomas Clarke)

The following article was submitted by Thomas Clarke

I came across an educational web site from Berkeley that provides an interesting mainstream science perspective on the original F & P Cold Fusion experiments.

You can see, from this account of events, how important openness patience before publication is in the scientific process. If there had been some real anomalous effect F&P, through their own behaviour, would have made finding this more difficult. You can read the link above, whatever your views on the reality of LENR, and see how F&P could have behaved differently with more positive results.

Where this is relevant to the world today is that thus far MFMP is showing a very different pattern, that should be a model for anyone else wanting to collect evidence for an LENR hypothesis. Of course MFMP is not unique – but they have popularised techniques:

  • Openness
  • Care and multiple checks before announcing positive results
  • Balanced consideration of positive and null hypotheses

As an example look at their investigation of Celani wires, and how they discovered the importance of ambient temperature control:

This shows how openness and willingness to consider and test alternate hypotheses (in this case from Rick Cantwell) can help differentiate between false positive results and real positive results.

This attitude towards experimental results allows science to progress. It should be celebrated as an indication that it is possible to do LENR research in a way compatible with mainstream science.

Although thus far MFMP have no significant positive replicable results, they are in the best possible position to validate any of the Rossi/Parkhomov LENR+ effects that many here feel are now likely to exist. Or, if in fact these effects do not exist, to demonstrate the negative. Unlike F&P, open science has the ability to accept critical scrutiny and test it, thus making experimental results stronger. With such a protocol in place a positive result that survived repeated scrutiny would be strong enough to withstand the rigor of mainstream publication, as well as easy to replicate.

LENR+ today has the same glitter of commercial pressures that led F&P astray. If LENR+ exists, it is of extraordinary commercial value.

History shows that the commercial pressure holds dangers in terms of lack of scientific rigour. MFMP should be celebrated for standing up for greater rigor, and higher standards, in spite of any temptations.

My own views on the likelihood of LENR as a hypothesis would not be of interest to readers here. However I’m hoping that the views expressed here on the importance of scientific rigor and openness will be more palatable. Parkhomov, unlike Rossi, should be commended on having enough openness to allow his results to be replicated.

More importantly, the MFMP guys should be supported with patience and the understanding that though getting scientifically rigorous results takes a long time, and is not as much fun as announcing strongly anomalous results before they have been carefully checked and scrutinised, it is the only way to cut through the Gordian knot of LENR claims and counter-claims.