60 Minutes Makes a Believer out of Mizzou Scientist

Rob Duncan - research.missouri.edu
Rob Duncan
If you squandered a perfectly good evening last night watching the Blues lose (again), chances are you missed an interesting report on 60 Minutes concerning so-called "cold fusion" technology.

First unveiled in 1989, cold fusion suggests that nuclear energy can be produced cheaply and safely with just a bit metal, some hydrogen and a small current of electricity. The technology was almost immediately debunked as junk science, though, when researchers were unable to replicate the experiments.

Now -- 20 years later -- the technology still has its detractors despite a growing number of scientists (and even the U.S. military) claiming that cold fusion works and could be a solution to U.S. energy dependence. In its segment last night, 60 Minutes asked University of Missouri scientist Rob Duncan to weigh in on the debate as a third-party observer.

The CBS news show flew Duncan to an Isreali lab where scientists are working on the technology. After a few days of observing experiments there and crunching his own numbers on the science, Duncan is now a believer -- even though many questions remain.

Says Duncan: "We don't fundamentally understand the process yet, but to say we don't fundamentally understand the process so we're not going to study it, is like saying 'I'm too sick to go to the doctor.'"

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