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Wikiversity/Cold fusion/Nickel-hydrogen system/Energy Catalyzer/Wikipedia article
The Energy catalyzer article is full of information sourced on blogs, and especially negative comment. There is, in fact, a shortage of reliable source on Rossi's work, but it exists. Mats Lewan is, for example, in his reports for NY Teknik, reliable source. Not every report from Mats Lewan is reliable source. It is the publisher that matters, not the reporter.
Discussion of Cook and Rossi arXiv paper
- wikipedia:en:Talk:Energy_Catalyzer#On the Nuclear Mechanisms Underlying the Heat Production by the “E-Cat"
Completely premature discussion of this paper, suggested by an IP editor. The paper is at arXiv PDF.
There is an idea that the paper might be submitted to a journal. I don't consider this paper at all ready, as-is, to publish in a regular refereed journal. It is an attempt to explain, with a previously-published cold fusion theory, another report that was actually rejected by arXiv, the Lugano report on the Rossi "Hot Cat."
Cook is known, previously published, he is the author of
- Cook, N.D. (2010) Models of the Atomic Nucleus, 2nd ed., Springer, Berlin., which would be exactly on point.
It's said on the Talk page, "neither author appears to have any relevant academic credentials regarding the subject matter." That could be true about Rossi, but his qualifications to write about his own invention would be obvious. However, I don't see anything in the paper that appears to have come from Rossi. I have no idea why his name is on it. The information in the article is somewhat contradictory to some of what Rossi has written on his blog. For example, Rossi has denied that his reactor fuel is nickel and LiAlH4 (Lithal), but this article has "The Nickel-LiAlH4 system known as the E-Cat...."
(Rossi has built a series of "reactors," and only the "Hot Cat" would possibly use Lithal. The claimed megawatt reactor under extended test is not a "Hot Cat," it would operate at much lower temperatures, heating water, perhaps getting as hot as 600 - 700 degrees in the fuel section, but not the 1400 degrees C claimed for the Hot Cat in the Lugano test. That high temperature has been found to be based on a defective analysis. If the Hot Cat had excess heat -- which is still claimed by the author who, based on independent calibration attempted -- it was no where near as high as claimed by the Lugano testers.)
But Cook is an expert on nuclear structure. lenr-canr.org has very poor coverage of him in the bibliography, it only has two ICCMNS conference presentations and one JCMNS article from 2014. However, Cook published on cold fusion in 1990 or so, I will need to look for the reference, as an expert on the solid state. As I recall, his comment was similar to that of other experts, that we did not know enough about the solid state to predict fusion rates (and therefore to show that cold fusion was impossible. I heard as much from Feynman in 1962 or so, i.e. that the solid state was too complicated to predict.)
And, of course, there is his book, published by Springer-Verlag, the second largest scientific publisher in the world, this is an academic work. He has a chapter on "Low Energy Nuclear Reactions." (p. 264 et seq).
This paper has not been covered in reliable source. Except as an explanation of the views of a notable author, such a publication is useless for Wikipedia. If it is covered in reliable source, then it might be linked as the source for something reliably reported elsewhere, it would have become notable.
Until then, discussing this on the Talk page is utterly useless.
The E-cat article mentions Kim.
- Theoretical nuclear physicist Yeong E. Kim of Purdue University has proposed a potential theoretical explanation of the reported results of the device, but has stated that, for confirmation of this theory, "it is very important to carry out Rossi-type experiments independently." Kim had previously put forward this theory to explain the results of the discredited Fleischman [sic] and Pons cold fusion experiment in 1989.
Kim did not put forth this theory in 1989, it was quite recent, in a major peer-reviewed journal. That, however, is simply bad writing. The "experiment" wasn't in 1989, it was a long series of experiments in 1984-1988 and continuing for years after that, it was simply announced in 1989.
This is typical of Wikipedia coverage of cold fusion. First of all, we don't know the physics behind the Rossi device, if it is not fraud. Few who have been involved think that this is pure fraud, but many think that Rossi may have exaggerated this or that. But the Fleischmann and Pons experiment, while often considered discredited, never actually was. The report they included of neutron radiation was discredited, we now know that this reaction produces very few neutrons, if any. However, see the recently published (February 25, 2015) Special Section on Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, 34 articles, in Current Science, a mainstream multidisciplinary journal, and see Storms' 2010 review of cold fusion in Naturwissenschaften page 1. While you are at it, dear reader, notice that there is a prominent link to lenr-canr.org in that preview of the paper. I'll come back to that. This Storms review, by the way, was approved on Wikipedia, on the Reliable source noticeboard as reliable source. convenience copy The abstract:
- The phenomenon called cold-fusion has been studied for the last 21 years since its discovery by Profs. Fleischmann and Pons in 1989. The discovery was met with considerable skepticism, but supporting evidence has accumulated, plausible theories have been suggested, and research is continuing in at least 8 countries.This paper provides a brief overview of the major discoveries and some of the attempts at an explanation. The evidence supports the claim that a nuclear reaction between deuterons to produce helium can occur in special materials without application of high energy. This reaction is found to produce clean energy at potentially useful levels without the harmful byproducts normally associated with a nuclear process. Various requirements of a model are examined.
Wikipedia is at least ten years out of date, but, in fact, a careful reading of the early sources shows that cold fusion was never scientifically discredited, as was polywater, for example. It was popularly discredited, while at the same time considered impossible by many. ... And yet it moves.
So, we have in Cold fusion/Recent sources a plethora of articles, recently published, that treat cold fusion as a reality, including many reviews in mainstream peer-reviewed journals. The editors who own the Wikipedia article think there is a conflict of sources, but that is a result of not understanding that science moves on. There are no recent negative reviews of cold fusion of any depth, i.e., peer-reviewed and on the topic. It's actually over.
I was never this bold when I was editing Wikipedia on the topic. I was a Wikipedia editor first, and only came across cold fusion when I saw an abusive blacklisting. That was eventually taken to the Arbitration Committee and my assessment was confirmed, but it turns out that such a ruling can have very little effect. The cold fusion article is full of references to papers hosted on lenr-canr.org, which was the blacklisted site. I eventually got many links whitelisted for local use (the original blacklisting was on Wikipedia, but when that was challenged, it was merely moved to the meta wiki and lenr-canr.org was globally blacklisted, it took something like two years to get that lifted. But were the whitelisted pages used? No. The same arguments were given that had been discredited, the links were simply removed, and by this time, there was nobody left who knew how to challenged this. One link was left, and it had taken a complex process to get clear consensus on what should have been a no-brainer. The claim that lenr-canr hosted "copyright violations" was prominent, and the administrator claiming that believed that major publishers would not allow preprints to be hosted. It took reference to publisher policies, it took a great deal of work to overcome what was obviously one obstacle after another being erected. Yet Springer-Verlag (and many other publishers) listed lenr-canr.org as a place to find copies of cited papers. Major publisher linking to copyvio? I don't think so.
(There has been movement. lenr-canr.org is now listed as an external link. I was astonished to see this. It was put there March 14. That is a very long time for it to last, such used to be reverted within a day. The account putting it there is very old, but has few edits. I will watch this and report on
The Wikipedia faction that attacked my work has still been active, though I'm seeing signs of disappearance. Whenever what they do has been brought to wide attention with any skill, they lose. But these people have many years of experience on Wikipedia, and people who care about cold fusion are rare, and when they show up, they have no clue how to proceed. Even if they are Nobel Prize winners. Wikipedia has no respect for experts, it's famous for that.
Discussions of Rossi patent and Mats Lewan as reliable source
6 September 2015 This discussion exemplifies for me the face-palm obtuseness of some Wikipedia discussions. For example:
- Mats Lewan is a person, a journalist and author. Persons are never reliable source. Rather, a particular publication may be, and this depends, not on the person, but on the independence and character if the publisher. This is what I saw over and over, on fringe topics. An author would be tagged as a "believer," then this was used to claim that all publications by that author were "unreliable." While the character and position of an author may be relevant to how material is included, it is not relevant to w:WP:RS.
- Antifringe editors confuse the Wikipedia term of art, "reliable source," with the ordinary meaning, i.e., that what the source says would be "reliably true." Reliable sources can be dead wrong. Yet they remain reliable sources, to be balanced with other reliable sources. The argument here has been used to exclude material from Wikipedia published by the academic and mainstream peer-reviewed publications, and the same editors I see in this discussion have been involved in that.
- There is, as well, a claim in discussion that "If Rossi is a scammer, as many sources agree he is (and we have evidence of past criminal convictions to support this), then giving credence to his claims is actually doing harm, because the article may (read: will) be used to support further scamming.
- This is using what would be a BLP violation. "Scammer" as applied to present activity is obviously synthesis. I know much of the history of Rossi, and the claim about "past criminal convictions" may be misleading, as relates to "scammer." Looking at w:Andrea Rossi, oooowww! The lede summarizes the man as a "fraudster." Any convictions for fraud that stood up to appeal? No, this is something asserted in many places. Are some of them "reliable source?" Maybe, in which case, unless the fact is directly established by reliable secondary source, to be neutral, it would be explicitly attributed, and, in fact, the character of the author and the nature of the publication would be stated. Otherwise, this can simply be cherry-picked.
- If "giving credence to his claims" is found in reliable source, it's reportable on Wikipedia, because it is verifiable. Again and again, though, the effort has been to exclude what certain editors think false or misleading. Reliable sources can be misleading, and especially primary sources. They are including information from patents, citing the patents. Primary source. Very shaky. It can be done with consensus.
- There is a problem with patent law as currently interpreted by the USPTO. If a patent mentions cold fusion or "low energy nuclear reactions," it has typically been rejected out-of-hand, because that is allegedly impossible. Never mind what is in more recent peer-reviewed and academic publications! They got stuck in an analysis that was popular over twenty years ago.
- So to get a patent, an inventor may describe the device and how it is made and what it does (generate heat) and will avoid any discussion of the underlying physics. I've seen an analysis of the patents by a patent attorney, and the recent patents (not the older ones) are well-drafted. He cannot patent "low energy nuclear reactions," anyway, only a specific technique for setting them up. So how should the patents be covered in the article?
- Very carefully! Stating that the patents do not claim nuclear reactions is synthesis, obviously supplied by the editor -- unless it is found in reliable source. It is designed to create an impression, which is what factional editors do. And they will exclude anything that might create an opposite impression. They do not aim for inclusion of all found in reliable source. This is how Wikipedia articles can become biased, long-term.
- Thanks for asking. --Abd (discuss • contribs) 02:52, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
This was brilliant:
- Given your propensity for using Wikipedia to promote fringe bollocks, I suggest it would be preferable for you to remain silent. Meanwhile, we do not cite websites created to promote books on fringe bollocks as reliable sources on fringe bollocks. I suggest you create your own fringe bollocks website where you can promote fringe bollocks to your hearts content. [username redacted] 27 August 2015 (UTC)
- This is a long term anti-fringe editor not at all shy of promoting his own point of view, telling a Nobel Prize winner to remain silent. Beautiful, eh?
- He might be right, the Lewan web site might not be usable. Not independently published. But this is a point that will often be missed by non-Wikipedians. I've had extensive discussions with Josephson. He can listen and hear criticism. He can adapt to Wikipedia standards. He is, in fact, a scientist. And Randy from Boise is what?
- By the way, User:Brian Josephson (Special:Contributions/Brian Josephson) is certainly welcome here, and if he wanted to do it, he could "promote fringe bullocks" or anything else, and so could that user. But the antifringe editors almost never come here, and discuss their particular brand of bullocks in an environment where they might hear some actual criticism, from people who are experts or know a great deal about topics. Rather, they stay on Wikipedia, where they can whack anyone seriously uppity over the head with the banhammer by asking their admin friends to do it. They have tried with Mr. Josephson, but for some reason, there has been a reluctance to block a Nobelist. It was done once. The unblock discussion. If I were inclined, I'd investigate more deeply. I'm not. --Abd (discuss • contribs) 22:21, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
- In regard to your suggestion that the Lewan web site might not be usable, it looks as if that should be covered by this extract from WP:Verifiability
Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications.The hostile editors dealt with this by stating that Lewan cannot be considered an expert, on rather suspect grounds: (i) only having a Master's degree(!), and (ii) the e-cat not being a 'recognised field of expertise', but it seems to me that by any normal standards having done extensive research on Rossi and the e-cat, as detailed in his book, would be considered as providing a prima facie case for him being considered an expert on the subject. Instead, as far as the hostile editors are concerned, having published this book merely implies that he is 'pushing a particular PoV'. But I'm not aware of any RS finding significant fault with any analysis in the book. --Brian Josephson (discuss • contribs) 20:44, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
- In regard to your suggestion that the Lewan web site might not be usable, it looks as if that should be covered by this extract from WP:Verifiability
- The way I read policy, the Lewan site is not usable, absent consensus on "expert." I've seen what happens with this. A faction has an opinion, so they find an expert with the opinion. They then cite the site. Now, if they attribute it in the text, explaining why this opinion is notable, maybe. However, it leads to endless conflict in many cases. Rather, look at w:WP:V and first understand what is reliable source.
- The antifringe editors use circular reasoning to exclude material, that by the standards of WP:V would be included as verifiable. They will claim that the author is a "fringe believer." There might even be some truth to this. I.e., usually the author of a work has some belief that it's worth writing about! However, notice: this would not allow any field to change. And "fringe believer" is original research. They aren't putting that in the article, not usually, but they are using it to make content choices. In fact, WP:V was originally designed to avoid this. Author did not matter, the publisher mattered. That is how Wikipedia finessed the problem of notability. Publishers have reputations to maintain, and if they are independent, they are making a decision that the topic is of interest, with the success of their publication at stake. "Reliable source" doesn't mean "right." It indicates a kind of verifiability.
- I just looked at the history of WP:V. The language about author was not there in November 2012. The material about self-published material from "experts" wasn't there. If I had more interest, I'd look at the history of that change and take a look at who was advocating that. When I edited the Energy Catalyzer article in 2011, as I recall, (that was my one sock (w:User:EnergyNeutral) editing, I've documented that here on wikiversity), I dinged reliance on blogs of supposed "experts." I.e., some physicist has a blog and claims that the E-cat is "impossible." But is he an expert on the E-cat? And what, exactly, is "impossible"?
- We now know, because this is now the mainstream position in the journals, that LENR is not "impossible." There are obviously lots of physicists that still think so, hence they will write blogs. But they can't get those views printed under peer review. What is "cold fusion" and how can we know a thing is impossible if we don't know what it is"? The journals shifted before about ten years ago. However, at that point, publication rate was very low. Essentially, most physicists are unaware of the shift, unless someone happens to ask them to review the work (i.e., Robert Duncan), or a paper (like my Current Science paper, I had to convince a physicist to get through review), or the paper is in a journal that they regularly read. (So, then, the pseudoskeptics will demand publication in certain journals, which is not at all a requirement of WP:RS, and even discussing this can be Synthesis.)
- Is the E-cat based on LENR? We don't know. There is very little reproducible scientific evidence, only claims and a few results of demonstrations that always had Rossi being heavily involved.
- I'll emphasize this: we don't know. And by "we," Brian, I mean experts in LENR and people who have been following Rossi closely for years and who are not hysterical "debunkers," who go after things they don't understand.
- Be practical. There is no way to use the blog on Wikipedia if you can't find consensus on much more solid things.
- You could use it here, developing our educational resource on the Energy Catalyzer. And this resource could be linked from the Wikipedia article. JzG or others will remove the link, but that's a conflict that can be resolved by going through proper dispute resolution. Given who they are and what they do, that's work. I did it with some similar situations. Ultimately, the most significant long-term conflict is on the Cold fusion article, which has been heavily damaged by refusal to follow verifiability, with the same bankrupt arguments being advanced (even when clearly rejected by consensus), and where there are many reliable sources showing quite a different picture than the article conveys.
- The Storms review (2010) is still in the bibliography, but a fully legal and obviously legal convenience link was removed. w:WP:RSN found it was reliable source. Hah! At the time, the only major mainstream review of the field, published by a highly reliable publisher, with an abstract that is downright weird if one believes the factional line about cold fusion, supposedly such a source is golden, and it's not even mentioned. Peer-reviewed review of the field.
- Multiple papers on the heat/helium ratio, the correlation, exist. The article fails to mention what is the only direct evidence that the Fleishmann-Pons effect is not only real, but that it is nuclear in nature. And that's found, amply, in peer reviewed mainstream reviews. So what are they up to?
- Lenr-canr.org was vetted by multiple administrators as usable for convenience links, and the Current Science papers this February are of obvious relevance and interest, but links were removed, by the same administrator who was sanctioned for his actions relating to Cold fusion by the Arbitration Committee, and Cold fusion was placed on article probation as a result of the next case, where the admin who banned me lost his tools. So how is it that the disruption continued? Well, he succeeded in getting both the knowledgeable editors, who knew how to use dispute resolution process, "community banned," and policies and principles do not enforce themselves. Many users have tried to confront that faction, but have not understood the process -- and haven't asked, for the most part.
- I am banned from Wikipedia, a ban that I have not appealed, and that I have no plan to appeal. I did my work there, and my work here is, to me, far more important, it's building the future, not just for one topic, but for all. However, I am not banned from advising Wikipedians. I will provide some level of advice on-line, but anything specific should be off-wiki. Whomever I advise will be fully responsible for what they do, and will interact with other editors to find consensus. That's how it works, and that, in fact, would be the goal of my advice, to support finding consensus.
- There are many discussions on Wikipedia where certain users have betrayed, blatantly, that they have an agenda incompatible with Wikipedia policies, but the system only sanctions non-admins, unless an admin comes into conflict with another admin. In spite of the claim that adminiship "is no big deal," it is. I saw admins get away, often, with behavior that would get any other user immediately warned and, if it continued blocked. In fact, sometimes it would lead to block without warning.
- Rather than pushing for what is difficult, based on a shaky policy that is not actually followed, usually, go for what can be done. Now, the book. Self-published. Quite simply, usable only unusual or rare situations. Let me look again at the discussion and the article. I suggest taking a very different tack, almost opposite. Strip the article of claims that are not rooted in reliable source. I look at the lede and immediately see "purported cold fusion device." Really, according to whom? One of the signs of a battleground article is references in the lede. The lede should be a full-consensus summary of what is found in the article, and the sources should be there. The sources cited are a patent -- which is a primary source, only usable to establish an uncontroversial fact -- and a blog. Basically opinion, not journalism reliably published. Out. Gibbs is reliable source. The issue of whether or not the E-cat is a "cold fusion device" is based on radical unclarity as to what cold fusion is. Rossi has denied it's "cold fusion," as I recall. However, this might be found in reliable source, perhaps. Watch out for synthesis, the faction will use it and claim that a source supports something that is not in the source. It's an inference from the source, put together with what the editor believes. Notice on the talk page, the obvious and strong belief in "scam." This touches on Biographies of Living Persons policies (w:WP:BLP. The faction routinely violates that policy when it comes to what they consider "fringe" or "pseudoscience."
- As to the "cold fusion" claim, it looks like a source asserts that, so one would need to review the source carefully. On what statements was it based? These will be media sources, generally, which often are fuzzy about science. The issue should be considered whether or not the E-cat article is a science article or an article about commerce and invention, different standards can apply. The faction will apply science standards to exclude media reports that they don't like, but then use general standards that allow media sources when that serves their purposes.
- Instead of arguing for weaker sources, insist on stronger ones. Pare the article down to what is solidly sourced. Mats Lewan's work at NyTeknik is very usable. Anything not in "reliable secondary source," pull out. Start with stuff that you might like, if there is any. That's not what some will expect. Then, simply continue that. (Or see what I do here, see what I offer below.)
- So what about patents? Primary source. Not reliable source. Whether a patent is useful or not, notable, is not established by the patent. However, that the patent exists is obviously verifiable, so ... with consensus, you can use primary sources. But it is much better if the Wikipedia article is a stub than that it be full of cherry-picked weakly-sourced material. Then point here, and anyone may expand our resources. Neutrality is required, which refers to overall presentation, because we may include original research, synthesis, opinion, all that, but we know how to frame it so that it is, overall, neutral. So, then, a sister wiki link to here can be highly useful, educationally. People want to discuss topics, and you have probably noticed that, on Wikipedia, they are then threatened with sanctions (whereas discussion, even libel, by the faction is obviously allowed).
- I've seen review of Rossi patents by a patent expert, but this is not, unfortunately, usable. The situation is far more complex than the naive might think. Rossi may have finally obtained a possibly useful patent ... and it doesn't mention "cold fusion" or "nuclear reactions." But if what he describes generates what is now being called, by university-level researchers, the "Anomalous Heat Effect," he might have something. My personal opinion has been that Rossi has filed patents as red herrings, he's playing a complex game, and part of that game is never making it completely clear what he actually has. A scammer might do that, but given the difficulties of obtaining patents in the field, a smart businessman might also do it. Basically, so many of us want to know, but we don't have enough information.
- Topics may be discussed here. These discussions lead to better understanding, deeper knowledge, etc. We may refactor them, in such a way that nobody is offended (or at least offense is rare). We actually realize some of the Wiki ideals, that probably conflicted with the goal of an "encyclopedia."
- arXiv papers. Not reliable source. However, if they are referenced in reliable source, then courtesy to the reader suggests providing a link. (same with patents.) The E-cat is mentioned in at least one of the Current Science papers. That should be usable. Infinite Energy, not. It's specialist, not fully independent, the same with JCMNS, or Ego Out from Peter Gluck, even though he is a retired scientist.
- I look at the references. The vast majority look unreliable to me. Basically, blogs are being used to report defamatory material. And then when there is a blog on the other side, that thinks there may be something to what Rossi is doing, it's excluded because it's a blog. Isn't this obvious? The solution is to completely strip this away, clean up the article. Watch, they will fight you, but, if, then, there is an RfC or broader attention, they will not be sustained, and all the discussion on Talk will make them look, ah, heavily biased.
- If you like, I'll bring that article here and hack it up. I'm curious as to what it would look like, reduced to what is found in reliable source. Once upon a time, a banned editor created an article on another wiki, and it was then presented for RfC as an alternate, replacing the existing article all at once. That was w:Optics. He wrote a better article, and it was obvious! This (formerly) banned editor just commented in the Energy Catalyzer talk discussion. That's w:User:I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc, who makes his account name look like "jps." Why? It's entirely obvious, if you check out the history. User:I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc/Previous Account Names has a list of former user names. The history has been made ... difficult to find. I saw him do things, where I've seen far less done that immediately resulted in total ban, but it was a user without those kinds of friends. It's obvious why he survived, you can look at the unban discussion. Faction. Last I knew, he was working on a doctorate in astrophysics. The Faction loves people like that, he's very smart, and highly knowledgeable. (I worked with him on w:Oppenheimer-Phillips process. And he has a very strong point of view, he explicitly acknowledged it, one that, pursued, violates policy, and that's why he was banned before. He never disavowed that. He's continued on the same track. Very common on Wikipedia. Not my problem. I am far more concerned about community structure than about individuals. Why is someone like that not guided, as he might be if he does this in an academic environment? --Abd (discuss • contribs) 02:52, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
Study of article
This subpage will take the wikitext of the current Wikipedia article, and, first, study the sources, eliminating weak sources. This was motivated by seeing the discussion on Talk, about removing a blog source, based on original research about the author of the blog, when blogs in general are not reliable source. The allowance of "expert" blogs is only with consensus, and the determination of who is an "expert" on the Rossi device is heavily subjective. It was expressed that someone should be an expert on "nuclear physics," but a nuclear physicist as such, would have no relevant training and would not necessarily be expected to be able to assess anything but a proposed mechanism, and, if the Rossi device works, nobody knows how. Rossi is not a physicist and would not know, and all that highly knowledgeable physicists have done with his device is to speculate on how it might work. Which, of course, doesn't establish that it works, and then highly skeptical physicists simply opinion that it is "impossible," but physicists only have expertise on what is impossible if it is within their experience. On that Talk page, I saw Randy from Boise advising a Nobel Prize winner on physics. Only on Wikipedia!
We can do this kind of drafting here on Wikiversity, it is not necessary that a draft satisfy policies or look like an article, it can be a collection of notes. But it will become a draft article. We can also make direct quotations here, provided that we stay within the boundaries of fair use. So I will be directly quoting sources at first, just as any student might copy what is in sources on note cards to write a paper.
This is an open study, it may be freely edited. I will sign it when it is completed, in my opinion, and then I or others may refer to my personal version as a permanent link. --Abd (discuss • contribs) 02:49, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Misrepresentation of source
The article has, concluding the lede -- which should enjoy very high consensus
- The device has been the subject of demonstrations and tests several times, and commented on by various academics and others, but no independent tests have been made, and no peer-reviewed tests have been published. Steve Featherstone wrote in Popular Science that by the summer of 2012 Rossi's "outlandish claims" for the E-Cat seemed "thoroughly debunked" and that Rossi "looked like a con man clinging to his story to the bitter end."
Then note 10 is
- Featherstone, Steve (2012). "Andrea Rossi's Black box infinite energy: a lone Italian inventor says he has built a machine that can power the world. Could the answer to humanity's energy troubles be so simple?". Popular Science 281 (5): 62.
The source does not support that text. yes, there is a paragraph:
- As late as this summer, when Rossi's story seemed thoroughly debunked, he continued to make outlandish claims about his E-Cat. He looked like a con man clinging to his story to the bitter end. Maybe he'd even conned himself.
The Rossi story is full of appearances, things that can "seem" a certain way, but to whom? Featherstone actually does not say. Featherstone goes on to write a great deal more, and does not leave the reader with a resolved view. That was not his conclusion, but it was presented as if it were. This is classic cherry-picking, highly misleading.
What is the source for "no independent tests have been made" and "no peer-reviewed texts have been published." One might think it was Featherstone. No. Not mentioned. As a possibility it is likely there has been independent testing, that major investors have required that, but that the results are not published. The statement about there being none is speculation. There have also been independent tests, though none, so far, have been fully independent. Such testing would be rare under the kind of intellectual property situation Rossi is dealing with. What this all means is "we don't know." But certain Wikipedia editors think they know, and they want the article to say what they think. So they find text that seems to support that, like Featherstone.
I know the field of cold fusion quite well now, well enough to face and pass peer review, yes, from a physicist. (But I did not mention Rossi's work, nor would I. I only wrote about what is solidly established, known beyond a reasonable doubt.)
I know the conversations in private among experts. Featherstone is mostly accurate about it, though some are very, very skeptical of Rossi's claims. My own opinion is that he is sometimes deceptive, but "deception" can be a lawful business practice. I find it fairly unlikely that he's committing legal fraud, he dealing with some very big players and the jig will be up in fairly short order (for years, it was his own money and he was answerable to nobody, that appears to have shifted). If he's jigged a demonstration, that is legal, unless he accepts investment based on it. He can fool the public all he wants. So can a street magician. But calling him a fraudster is libel. That implies illegal activity.
The Rossi device has been mentioned in at least one major peer-reviewed journal, Current Science, this February. Attempts to add references to Current Science have been reverted. So, yes, a reference to a blog was removed, by editors who have been completely happy to leave in blog references when it supports their point of view. I am so grateful that I don't have to work with that crew. If they come here, they are welcome. Very unlikely that they will. They prefer a place where they know the ropes, how to move the levers of power, where they can get away with gross violations of policy, etc.