Several decades ago cold fusion grabbed our attention. The science promised to produce low-level nuclear energy without the frightening radiation produced in large power plants. But repeated attempts failed to develop the process, and most of the scientific community became skeptical.
Except for a few loners who kept trying. A team in Israel reported exciting results. The CBS show “60 Minutes” decided to do a program examining whether cold fusion has a future, and the producers needed a credible, objective scientist to ponder the question in the face of general skepticism among peers.
To the great credit of University of Missouri’s Robert Duncan, he was invited to appear on the program to give his views. Duncan is MU vice chancellor for research. He also had been skeptical about cold fusion, but “60 Minutes” became convinced of his open mind and sent him to Israel to examine what the researchers were doing. He told “60 Minutes” viewers the new research did have possibilities, and a new era of discussion was launched.
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