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You are here: > News > April 24, 2009

APS Denies Role Ascribed in 60 Minutes' Cold Fusion Piece

CBS temporarily pulled their very popular Cold Fusion video segment after the American Physical Society published a press release denying that it had recommended any particular scientist to verify the energy output claims [of Energetics LLC].

by Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News
Copyright © 2009

"We will have the video back up as soon as we can make the change to it that we already made to the text version." -- Kevin Tedesco
Communications Director, CBSNews - 60 MINUTES (April 24, 2009 11:09 AM Mountain)

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This morning started with a slew of emails in my inbox abuzz with questions as to why CBS had pulled all of their videos pertaining to the very popular Cold Fusion story 60 Minutes ran on April 19, which even now is listed as their 4th most popular video on their site.

What was puzzling was that while the videos were pulled, the text version was still available.  The fact that the lead video also disappeared from YouTube showed that this wasn't just a technical glitch.

What forces had been brought to bear to spur this censorship?

This mystery fizzled as word came that the very prestigious American Physical Society had a problem with how they were portrayed in the piece.  CBS pulled the video and edited the transcript the day following an April 22 press release by APS that stated:

On April 19, CBS aired a "60 Minutes" segment on "cold fusion," a process that proponents claim could solve the world's energy problems. The script stated that "['60 Minutes'] asked the American Physical Society, the top physics organization in America, to recommend an independent scientist. They gave us Rob Duncan, vice chancellor of research at the University of Missouri and an expert in measuring energy." That statement is false.

None of the American Physical Society's (APS) authorized spokespersons, including the president, president-elect, executive officer, director of public affairs, head of media relations and press secretary, provided CBS with the names of any experts. APS has learned that "60 Minutes" did receive a long list of names - that included Rob Duncan's - from University of Minnesota Professor Allen Goldman, who states unequivocally that he never claimed to be acting in the name of APS.

APS does not, as an organization, endorse particular experiments or their results. That can only be done through publication in peer-reviewed journals, and by independent replication by other researchers. The APS does not endorse the cold fusion experiments featured in the April 19 "60 Minutes" news program. Any suggestion by the CBS journalists to the contrary is misleading and false.

The American Physical Society is the leading professional organization of physicists, representing over 46,000 physicists in academia and industry in the United States and internationally. APS has offices in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.

The link to the cold fusion segment stopped working a few hours before the entire show was pulled.  The segment is still available from the CNet affiliate site, at least for now.

It's too bad that APS felt they had to pour such a cold bucket of water on what had been a very warm shower of praise on a long-maligned field of research.  Being a reporter myself, I know how easy it is to inadvertently portray things in a skewed way, so I'm not upset with 60-Minutes, though I'm sure their more austere colleagues will be miffed at the bad editing job that has resulted in a healthy dose of egg in CBS' face.

I hope this incident doesn't backfire, further reinforcing the "junk science" stigma that cold fusion has been fighting for far too long.  I predict that for many skeptics, it will do just that, but that for the open minded, this episode will have exposed them to the positive ramifications and hope that the cold fusion field holds out for the planet.

Whatever the case, the politics of science suck.  If only the truth were the object, not someone's reputation.

Fortunately, the situation is only temporary.  In response to my question to CBS about the videos being pulled, CBS News - 60 Minutes, Communications Directory, Kevin Tedesco wrote: "We will have the video back up as soon as we can make the change to it that we already made to the text version."

# # #


  • The above story is also published at where you can post comments.

Previous Coverage

  • Nuclear > Cold Fusion >
    60 Minutes: Cold Fusion is Hot Again - A report by CBS News' 60 Minutes program on April 19, 2009 states: "When first presented in 1989 cold fusion was quickly dismissed as junk science. But there's renewed buzz among scientists that cold fusion could lead to monumental breakthroughs in energy production." (PESWiki; April 20, 2009) (See PES Interview)

60-Minute Video Links (Broken)

Two shorter videos that didn't make it into the televised version:

60-Minute Story Links (Edited)

PES Interview

  • Stream | Download (30 minutes; 6 Mb, mp3) - On April 20, 2009, Sterling D. Allan conducted an interview with Dr. Michael McKubre of SRI International of Stanford, and Dr. Irving Dardik Energetics Technologies LLC and its replication by SRI International of Stanford. The pre-taped segment aired as part of the Free Energy Now radio series.

See also

Page composed by Sterling D. Allan Feb. 1, 2009
Last updated December 24, 2014




"It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom." // "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right." -- Albert Einstein

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