Photo: John O’M. Bockris from the 2013 History of Cold Fusion Calendar month of April courtesy Infinite Energy.
He was one of the first few scientists to detect tritium from cold fusion electrolytic cells while reproducing the Fleischmann-Pons Effect (FPE) of excess heat, and he paid a price for it. Accused of fraud, and then “misconduct”, Texas A&M University’s Committee of Inquiry eventually cleared of all charges after a third and final investigation turned up no wrongdoing.
Still, an early workshop on transmutations, documented in The History of the Discovery of Transmutation at Texas A&M University [.pdf] written by Bockris, was organized in an atmosphere so hostile, the second workshop was held off-campus at a Holiday Inn, with off-duty police hired for security.
However, Bockris told his own story in the documentary film Cold Fusion: Fire from Water written by Eugene Mallove and Jed Rothwell and directed by Chris Toussaint.
Released in 1999, Bockris speaks nonchalantly as a man at-ease who was nonplussed at the events.
“I think the main part was that, I had done work which was against the paradigm, and that’s what they were really upset about,” said Bockris.
“You know people said they’d been to our university, and some people had laughed at it, saying ‘What the heck are you doing trying to disprove the laws of nuclear physics?‘, and of course, that’s exactly what we were doing,” he laughs, ” – and succeeding.”
Watch the clip of John Bockris here. (The still image is that of George H. Miley, but Bockris begins the piece.)
One of the world’s top electrochemists, Bockris was first to use the phrase “Hydrogen Economy” in the year 1970. A prolific writer, he authored more than twenty books on electrochemistry, energy resources, and the topology of cultural paradigms. Aware of Peak Oil and the work of Richard Heinberg, he was realistic in his analyses of renewable energies, though still clear on the need for alternatives to carbon-emitting fuels. Read his Global Warming [.pdf] for a comprehensive outline of the problem.
First and foremost, Bockris was a teacher. After the passing of Martin Fleischmann, and the journal Nature‘s horrendous obituary, Bockris was one of many who wrote to protest the “gross distortion” of statements made by author Philip Ball. Bockris had supervised part of Martin Fleischmann‘s PhD thesis, calling him “a brilliant scientist”.
As a generation of new-energy researchers leaves our world behind for bigger, better beyonds, their teaching remains alive, with us here today, through the legacy of their work. You can honor the contributions of these scientists by buying their books, and giving them to schools, science clubs, and your local library.
Cold Fusion Now!by