I interviewed “Dr. Bob”, nickname of a young Russian nuclear engineer creator of the popular website Dr.BoBlog, which addresses the Cold Fusion themes in a very original way:
1) Dr. Bob, can you tell us how did you get interested in science?
“My father was a chemist and since I was a child he approached me to the science. When I played with little cars or build something with Lego, I always dreamed to build flying cars because my father had introduced me to the “Fusion” concept. I imagined that within 100 years everyone would have flying cars. But I took it a step further, dreaming that I could have some fusion-based device installed in my bed. With this technology, whenever I was sad, I could go to my bed and escape from my problems: I could go anywhere! Sometimes, I went with my father to the University where he carried out his research. Often I answered correctly to his scientific questions and a candy was the sweet reward. On those occasions, sometimes he allowed me to ‘play’ with the computer”.
2) When did you get the idea of a website on Cold Fusion?
“The idea for a my website was born much later, influenced by the paranoia of a manager I worked for: a capable character who saw me much promising. He treated all his workers very bad, especially me because in his mind the most important aspect of business was the ability to handle rejection and obey authority. One day, as he took me into his office to offence me, I turned on an audio recorder: you would not believe the things that came out of his mouth! He was so paranoid that he thought I might put the audio recording on a webpage for revenge. At that time, I had just been able to confirm Cold Fusion, so my reasoning was that creating a t-shirt on this theme – and if this technology had gone on the market – I would have had the chance to earn millions”.
3) Once had this “inspiration”, did you try to implement it?
“Yes. The idea grow on me, but I decided that instead of creating just a t-shirt I would create a brand that could compete with Andrea Rossi and his E-Cats. So, I started to plan an elaborate marketing puzzle, which starting from my website might have been spread thanks to web marketing and social media, possibly reaching a global dimension. After recognizing that my goal was almost unachievable, I decided to try it anyway because I could achieve some results pointing to a higher goal than to limit myself to something more modest. Even if I had failed to prove that anything is possible, and that every idea can open up a world of possibilities, I might just inspire others capable to go farther than me”.
4) Which kind of difficulties have you encountered, if any, in communicating to the public a sensitive subject as the Cold Fusion?
“The problem is that there is no group thinking! Humans think to be so smart, but they’re not. Our collective behavior, our dependence on fossil fuels, our denial of the impact that our way of life has on the world we live in, are all very similar to that of an addict slowly killing himself by injecting heroin. Most people do not question authority. Actually, most people never question themselves either; and when we do, we tend to do so within a very small frame of reference. We all believe whatever we want to believe, no matter if it’s true or not. On a larger scale, positive thinking tends to take us farther compared to the negative thinking, so if people started to apply this attitude to themselves, we would all together make faster progress”.
5) How much time do you dedicate to your website? And do you make all the graphic work by yourself or someone helps you?
“The website is only the ‘top of the iceberg’ of what we do. Indeed, most of the time is spent on efforts ‘under the table’, that you don’t see directly. I’m not the only one working on this project: it’s a team effort. If you think that we’re just building a blog, wait and see!”.
6) Surely, you have a continuous feedback from the visitors of your blog. What kind of people is made up your audience?
“The readers of our blog are people who follow very closely the development of the technology. Among our greatest fans there are people from the space industry, a few billionaires, Nobel Prize winners, etc. About 200 visitors a day enter in our website just to see if we have posted any information about Miss Hannah Minx. As it happens on other technology blogs that deal with the Cold Fusion, many of the visitors do not leave many traces”.
7) The involvement of the female figure in popularizing science – as you do in an excellent way – surely works. But do you have a your quantitative estimate of how much?
“In Russia there is a famous saying that says: ‘If women ruled the world there would be no war, just many countries not speaking to each other!’. Women are clearly underrepresented in science and this leads to a lot of aggression. I tend to think that an open dialogue would much smoother if there were more women holding influential positions in our society.
Personally, I work very well together with females, so I try to surround myself with as many as possible. Therefore, I would not give here specific numbers: let’s just say that one of the few benefits of being in the field of Cold Fusion is that women appreciates to see men who fights for a noble cause”.
Thank you Dr. Bob, I wish you great success!
In the picture: Dr. Bob reading with great attention the instructions for a Tokamak fusion reactor.