There has been a debate going on this month on the Journal of Nuclear Physics, concerning the reliability of peer reviewed journals. Jan.Gustavsson posted a comment about an article in “Realclearscience”, and outlines some of the problems with biased reporting. He tells Rossi:
“Recently the blog “Realclearscience” has published a not true information regarding your work. In particular, in an article where has not been put the name of the author and without possibility to answer, the anonimous author wrote that:
“i- your work has never been published by a peer reviewed magazine
“ii- your patent has not been approved
“About these statements, I want to answer here, because there they do not publish comments, what follows, not to defend you, but to defend the truth:
“1- it is not true that the Rossi Effect tech has not been published in a peer reviewed magazine: just Google ‘ Arxive Physics Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder’
“2- the peer reviewing is intrinsic when an article is written by 7 Prof., since they automatically review each other, but also the article has been further peer reviewed and the list of peer reviewers is in the acknowledgements : Prof. Pierre Clauzon of CEA (Commissariat pour l’Energie Atomique of Paris) , Prof. Ennio Bonetti ( University of Bologna), Prof. Loris Ferrari ( University of Bologna), Prof. Laura Patrizii ( INFN), Prof. Bjorn Galnander ( University of Uppsala); the report has been written after an indipendent test financed by Alba Langenskiold Foundation and by Elforsk AB, which are entities totally indipendent from Andrea Rossi, with whom they never had any kind of relationship. The magazine where the report has been published is Arxive Physics, of the Cornell University: it is the magazine where most of the important publications in Physics are made from Professors of all the world and where is impossible to publish a paper unless a peer reccommends its publication.
“3- the examiner of the first European patent application of Andrea Rossi ( that has been granted in Italy, anyway, in 2010) was an engineer that works for ITER, ( dubbed EATER), the concern that has received tens of billions of dollars of the taxpayer to make research in the nuclear fusion… every comment is useless. Andrea Rossi made a commercial breakthrough, installing plants that are working in some industries, without getting a single cent from the taxpayer, while the ITER ( EATER) has produced nothing ( but some article here and there, for example, maybe, on Realclearscience).”
It appears that Gustavsson has certainly called the bluff, so to speak, of the anonymous writer of the Realclearscience article. Arxive does, indeed, require vetting of articles before they are accepted for publication. The author of the poorly supported article either has not done his research, or is deliberately lying.
Gustavsson also has it right when he states that Rossi has not accepted tax dollars for funding his research, using mostly his own money. The addition of the famous, still anonymous U.S. partner boosted the work, with evidently deep pockets to aid the R&D.
Andrea Rossi was appreciative of the support from Gustavsson:
“Thank you for your defense of the truth, very appreciated. You are absolutely right regarding the peer reviewing considerations.”
That, however, was not the end of the discussion. Wladimir Guglinski has a more cynical view of peer reviewed publications, as well as the scientific community’s attitude toward the E-Cat in general:
“a publication on a peer review journal is a guarantee of nothing.
Just because the referees of the peer review journal have not a laboratory into their head, so that to repeat an experiment, and decide if its results are correct or not.
“What decides if a theory is correct or wrong are the results of experiments.
“There is a conspiracy supported by the scientific community, as follows:
“1- When an experiment defies the current theories, the peer review journals reject to publish any paper concerning that experiment.
“2- Because the experiment had not been published by any peer review journal, such missing of publication allow the physicists to claim that the experiment cannot be considered seriously.
“3- By this way the scientific community convince the layman that the experiment does not merit credibility.
“As I said, what decides if an experiment is correct or not are the results obtained. This is what prescribes the scientific method.
“The scientific community is not considering the Rossi’s experiments via the scientific criterion.
“They are considering Rossi’s work via the strategy of the conspiracy which considers the peer review publication as the final veredict which decides if an experiment is correct or not.
“It’s a conspiracy against the development of the science.”
This is also a very valid view, and reflects the opinions of many in the E-Cat community. Rossi, however, stays with his determination that there is not a conspiracy to keep his work suppressed. He replied to Guglinski:
“I understand you, but I do not share your absolute pessimism: I know peer reviewed magazines that work with correctness and sincerity, without bias.
“Besides, the Professors that made the tests on our reactors, as well as the Professors that are continuing to make tests, as well as the hundreds of scientists with whom I have contacts are integral and high level part of the Scientific Community, as well as many of the unbiased and honest skeptic Scientist, while many of the imbeciles who talk of this effect without knowing what they say are not. It is normal that a system resists against radical innovation, but in time and with the diffusion of products that work the problem is always resolved. You are right to say that the sole valid way to give evidence that a process works are positive experiments, but let me say that the sole real validation of a product is its breakthrough in the market. Besides, the Scientific Community is giving to us an enormous help, since all the Scientists (most of them University Professors) I am in contact with are giving to us important information by the day.”
Andrea Rossi clearly is able to realize that there are skeptics of his work, without believing that they are conspiring with each other. It is reassuring that he is working with respected professors who contribute positively to his work. It is also encouraging that he believes that many members of the scientific community are open to the science he has refined.