Latest Braga-Goodenough Paper Raises Controversy In World Of Science

It claims to have developed self-charging batteries. How so?

Receiving a Nobel prize definitely does not free you from criticism. And we do not even mention Literature prizes, but rather very technical categories, such as Chemistry. Check John B. Goodenough’s case. His work with Maria Helena Braga has been presenting very bold claims related to solid-state batteries, and other scientists are no longer taking their word for them. They want proof, not without reason.

In 2017, Braga and Goodenough claimed they had developed a solid-state battery that had low cost, long life cycle, and a series of other advantages. In 2018, they announced a discovery that made energy capacity increase with time. Their latest paper says this battery is self-charging. How is that even possible?

Many scientists must be asking this, but the more vocal is Matt Lacey. He wrote a series of articles about the Braga-Goodenough papers that question most of these bold claims. According to Lacey, the conclusions cannot be taken into consideration because of “ad hoc theory, violations of the laws of thermodynamics, basic mistakes, disregard for established knowledge, absent or invalid chemical characterisation and, when all is said and done, devices that don’t work the way they’re said to.”

Gallery: Matt Lacey Disputes Braga-Goodenough Paper Claims On Self-Charging Battery

3 Photos

His texts describe each of these situations in a lot of detail, and you should probably read Part I, Part II, and Part III to get a better understanding of what he says. Part III questions basic errors of calculation that should not have happened in the research in the first place. To make matters even worse, Lacey says the study should not have been approved for publication after peer review – not only once, but several times.

This is not the first time peer review is under scrutiny. Vox has put the process in question back in 2015. In 2016, The New Republic was even more specific about the problems of peer-reviewing. Although these articles point to the fact that these reviews may be too rigorous, Lacey claims they were not that much when dealing with the Braga-Goodenough papers.