Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The WTC Dust: Science and Replication

 Bilbo's Blog

A few years ago a team of scientists studied the red/gray chips in dust samples of the World Trade Center buildings and came to the conclusion that they were the remains of an active thermitic material, which could have been used as explosives. Since then their claim has been disputed. But no one has tried to replicate their results. Science isn't just about trying to get peer-reviewed papers published. That's only part of the story. Once results have been published, it is then the job of other scientists to try to replicate the results, by doing the same experiments, though perhaps under more controlled conditions. NIST, for example, has dust samples of their own. They could conduct the same experiments and see what they get.

Meanwhile, Mark Basile, a chemical engineer and signer of the petition that requests a new, independent investigation into the events of 9/11, along with over 1,750 architects and engineers, is trying to raise funds to conduct a blind study of the dust samples. The fundraising is going slow. It hasn't been advertised in the two major 9/11 truther websites, which makes one wonder why. Is it distrust of Basile? Of the lab that he would eventually select? A fear that authorities would discover which lab it was and infiltrate, bribe, or threaten it to get negative results? That would be my fear. But whatever the reason, so far no one is trying to replicate the results of the original study. And so science (at least regarding the dust samples) remains at a stand still.