SCIENCE : Cold Fusion Investigation Begins

From Times Wire Services

A panel of scientists today began reviewing Utah's National Cold Fusion Institute, with a member saying their study of the controversial research would be open and objective.

As the meeting got under way, electrochemist B. Stanley Pons--who along with British colleague Martin Fleischmann claims to have produced nuclear fusion in room-temperature experiments--ducked from television cameras after being spotted sitting in the back row.

All the meetings are closed. A sign posted outside the door of the meeting room states: "It is required that only those persons who have signed a National Cold Fusion Institute confidentiality agreement attend this review."

Last year's claim by Pons and Fleischmann that they had created energy through so-called "cold fusion" created a sensation in the scientific world. But controversy erupted when many other scientists said they could not duplicate the Utah scientists' findings.

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