Martin Fleischmann Dead at 85: End of an Era
Date: Sunday, August 05, 2012 @ 11:29:35 EDT
Topic: Science

by Steven B. Krivit/ New Energy Times: Martin Fleischmann, co-discoverer with B. Stanley Pons of a phenomenon they initially attributed to nuclear fusion, is dead at 85.

Fleischmann died Aug. 3 at his home in Tisbury, U.K., in the presence of his family. He suffered from numerous health problems for many years, including Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and heart disease. He was bedridden for the last few months. He is survived by his wife, Sheila, son, Nicholas, daughter, Vanessa, and eight grandchildren. A third child, Charlotte, died several years ago.

Today, Nicholas told me, “Until the very end, my father remained stoic, as ever, not a word of any complaint.”

“He might shout and carry on about topics of science but not about himself,” Nicholas said. “It’s the end of an era.”

Fleischmann was regarded as one of the world’s top electrochemists. He was known for his driving passion for discovery and for breaking new ground, which other scientists then followed to great commercial success.

He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and by the age of 40 was named chair of the Electrochemistry Department at the University of Southampton. Fleischmann won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s medal for Electrochemistry and Thermodynamics in 1979. He was president of the International Society of Electrochemistry (1970-1972). In 1985, he was awarded the Palladium Medal by the U.S. Electrochemical Society.

When he and Pons claimed to discover a new, cheaper way to create controlled nuclear fusion energy in a test-tube on March 23, 1989, everything changed for him. The personal and scientific fallout from the announcement was a burden he bore for the rest of his life...

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