Dean’s Seminar Series Presents Documentary Screening of 'The Believers'

The McCormick School of Engineering 2011-12 Dean’s Seminar Series continues with a work-in-progress screening of “The Believers,” a documentary chronicling the controversial events surrounding two University of Utah chemists’ attempts at cold fusion.

The film will screen at 4 p.m. ThurThe Believers, 137 Filmssday, October 27, in the ITW classroom at the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center at Northwestern University. A panel discussion with the film’s directors, Monica Long Ross and Clayton Brown, and researchers and ethicists from the University, will follow from approximately 5:15 to 6 p.m.

The panel will include Ann Adams, associate vice president for research; Mark Ratner, chair, Department of Chemistry; Heidi Schellman, chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy; and Laurie Zoloth, professor of religious studies, medical humanities, and bioethics. Joseph Schofer, associate dean for faculty affairs, McCormick School of Engineering, will moderate.

“The Believers” begins in March 1989, when two respected chemists from the University of Utah stand in front reporters and make a startling claim: that they have solved the world’s energy problems using seawater, batteries, and a mysterious glass contraption. Within days, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann are on the cover of Time Magazine touting their advances in cold fusion. But before long, they are ridiculed, disgraced, and are forced to leave the country. Through interviews, archival media, and interviews with scientists, journalists, politicians, and officials, “The Believers” examines the strange events surrounding the story of cold fusion.

The film was produced by the 137 Films, a nonprofit, Chicago-based documentary production company that promotes science literacy through storytelling.

To view the trailer for “The Believers,” click here.