The following is a neat update from the author of the excellent book:
"Voodoo Science - the road from foolishness to fraud":
From: What's New whatsnew@...
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2004 15:07:06 -0500
Subject: WHAT'S NEW Friday, December 03, 2004
WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 3 Dec 04 Washington, DC
1. COLD, COLD FUSION: SO AFTER 15 YEARS, WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED?
We've learned that DOE should stop playing games with the Federal
Advisory Committee Act while shrouding its review in secrecy
Beyond that, we haven't
learned much. The report released this week is an attempt to
summarize individual comments from 18 unidentified reviewers.
The conclusions at the end of the report were: 1) "significant
progress has been made in sophistication of calorimeters," and
2)"conclusions reached by reviewers today are similar to those
found in the 1989 review." That's it? After 15 years we've got
better calorimeters? The 1989 review called for no more cold
fusion research. Good advice. Proponents now prefer "low energy
nuclear reactions," but "no more" is still good advice.
2. PROLIFERATION: IRAN IS STILL MAKING NUCLEAR-WEAPONS HEADLINES.
The question is: is Iran making nuclear weapons? Nobody seems to
know. Last week, WN reported that Iran said it would continue to
operate 20 uranium enrichment centrifuges for peaceful research,
violating a deal it had just made with European nations. The
next day Iran flip-flopped again agreeing to give up the civilian
centrifuges. Citing new intelligence, the International Atomic
Energy Agency is now seeking access to two military locations to
look for evidence of nuclear weapons development, leading to
speculation that the civilian flip-flops had been a diversion.
3. PRAYER STUDY: COLUMBIA PROFESSOR REMOVES HIS NAME FROM PAPER.
We have been tracking the sordid story of the Columbia prayer
study for three years http://www.aps.org/WN/WN01/wn100501.cfm
It claimed that women for whom total strangers prayed were twice
as likely to become pregnant from in-vitro fertilization as
others; it was published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine.
At the time we were unaware of the background of the study, but
knew it had to be wrong; the first assumption of science is that
events result from natural causes. The lead author, Rugerio
Lobo, who at the time was Chair of Obstetrics, now says he had no
role in the study. The author who set up the study is doing five
years for fraud in a separate case, and his partner hanged
himself in jail. Another author left Columbia and isn't talking.
The Journal has never acknowledged any responsibility, and after
withdrawing the paper for "scrutiny," has put it back on the web.
Nor has the Journal published letters critical of the study.
Columbia has never acknowledged any responsibility. All of this
has come out due to the persistence of Bruce Flamm, MD. The
science community should flatly refuse all proposals or papers
that invoke any supernatural explanation for physical phenomena.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND.
Opinions are the author's and not necessarily shared by the
University of Maryland, but they should be.
Archives of What's New can be found at http://www.aps.org/WN
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