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Cold fusion
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  Publication by press conference
Instead of waiting for the scientific community to have its say on Pons and Fleischmann's radical claims — or even for the paper to be published — the University of Utah held a press conference to announce the success of cold fusion to the world. Very little concrete information was given, but the two scientists and university officials repeatedly emphasized the amount of energy that Pons and Fleischmann thought their fusion cells could produce in the future if the cells were made bigger and better. This gave the public a highly optimistic view of cold fusion and aroused much excitement about the possibilities, all before the scientific community had even had a chance to determine if cold fusion was real.

Pons and Fleischmann at the University of Utah press conference
Pons (right) and Fleischmann at the March 23, 1989, University of Utah press conference. This clip is taken from a video of the press conference, viewable on YouTube.

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To learn more about how to get the real scientific scoop out of media reports see Untangling media messages and public policies.



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