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283) A set of issues worth discussing?

Ludwik Kowalski; 2/28/2006
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043

What follows was extracted from a short power-point document. That document was used to discuss a set of selected topics. The discussion was limited because time was limited. But it did take place on November 28, 2005, during a meeting of ISCMNS members who attended the 12th International Conference on Cold Fusion in Japan.

Slide 1 Reproducibility is the soul of science!

Scientists take nothing on faith, they are skeptical. They like to check new claims in laboratories. Then they say “do as I did and you will see the same.” That is the essence of the scientific method. But in the CMNS fields things still do not work that way. Why is this so?

Slide 2 Four steps of the ideal scientific method:
1) Discovering facts (reproducible observations).
2) Hypothesizing (tentative explanation).
3) Testing the hypothesis (verifying predictions).
4) Universal acceptance of the proposed model. Where are we in this process?

Slide 3 Why do we have problems with reproducibility?
It often takes time to learn how to control new phenomena:
1) Think about electrostatic experiments, before the role of humidity was recognized.
2) Think about first transistors.
3) Think about first light bulbs.
4) Think about first flying machines.
5) Think about cloning.
Please mention other cases. We need such cases to discuss CMNS issues with honest skeptics.

Slide 4 On the other hand we know that:
CMNS will not be recognized as science, unless at least one claim becomes 100% verifiable (by any qualified scientist, anywhere in the world). Is it not strange that 16 years and not a single 100% reproducible phenomenon has been identified?

Slide 5 My answer is: “because we work in isolation.”
Meeting once a year, even if everyone is able to attend, is not a replacement for what is available to scientists working as teams, for example, in national labs and at universities. Coordination of efforts would help us to be more efficient.

Slide 6 Fortunately, we now have a discussion list.
A team of ~130 brains? Not really. Why not? Why is the number of active participants limited to about 10% of subscribers?

Slide 7 I see two possible reasons:
a) linguistic barriers
b) technologically-oriented researchers prefer secrecy.

But at least 75% of subscribers know English very well.
Would electronic translators help?
What is the main reason of limited participation?

Slide 8 Peer reviews?
a) Yes, for obvious reasons we are deprived of benefits of peer review.
b) Can the CMNS list be considered a substitute for the formal peer review process?
c) What should happen to make this possible?

Slide 9 Why not?
Some are not aware of the list.
Some might think that only positive results are worth sharing; sharing negative results can hurt the CMNS reputation.
It is not polite to criticize others in public.
Fear of retaliation? What else ? ? ?

Slide 10 Mini-conference using the CMNS list
For example, every 6 months. Would this help?

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