A week after I posted on new positive cold fusion experiments, a controversy has re-erupted over the ‘bubble fusion‘ claims of Purdue University’s Professor Rusi R. Taleyarkhan. Last year an inquiry was launched by Purdue in the wake of allegations that Taleyarkhan had fudged results and been involved ‘anonymously’ in replication studies. Though Purdue cleared the professor of any wrongdoing, a new inquiry has begun at the urging of a congressional subcommittee seeking clarification on how the $100,000 DARPA grant given to Taleyarkhan had been used. Late yesterday Taleyarkhan responded to news of the fresh inquiry, calling it a “gross travesty of justice”, and hinting at the possibility of racism in his persecution.
The new controversy follows a confrontation between Nobel laureate Professor Brian Josephson and the journal Nature. Josephson suggested that one of the original articles published by Nature about Taleyarkhan was obviously biased against his claims, and used inflammatory language suggesting a misuse of funds. Echoes of the cold fusion controversy from 1989, or just another day in the political world of science?