Over a dozen co-workers signed on to the paper on cold fusion. Way before any media. In fact, media is the goal of every researcher. It pay the bills.
I certainly won't dispute that. But my point is the researchers involved leapfrogged independent investigation (presumably because they were confident in it backing up their initial results) directly into the media spotlight, and paid with their credibility.
My point is that any theories about the past that can't be re-tested are currently in the "Cold-Fusion" state. 100's of researchers (or one) need to duplicate the process to get the same results. This is impossible with any theory about history. You never know if you have duplicated the original conditions. "Scientific History" only goes as far back as the date on a notebook. That's why there is no such phrase as "scientific history".
Science can only look forward. Not back.
Cold fusion has been quite thoroughly dis-
proven to most specialists' satisfaction, AFAIK. I'm sorry, but I need another example, because it's still unclear what you mean by "scientific history".
You apparently don't dispute that geology is a field that can be used to investigate the past in terms of finding mineral resources, for instance. Do you dispute the use of spectrographic analysis in determining the composition of stars and nebula? Those are certainly past events that science has been investigating successfully for decades. So science can most definitely look back and investigate the past.
You've made a very general statement; I'd appreciate some more specifics. Do you dispute the Battle of Gettysburg? The Permian-Triassic extinction? The Big Bang? Under what circumstances does the past become opaque to the scientific method?