“The press of the Soviet Union has been astounding its readers with accounts of a ‘revolution’ in science and a ‘miracle’ of technology. Nikolai A. Kozyrev, an astrophysicist, was said to have wrought the revolution, with his hypothesis that the passage of time is the source of cosmic energy. The miracle was the harnessing of a ‘concentration of energy.’ Speaking for the Presidium of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences, three distinguished physicists joined in a public rebuke to the press for ‘cheap sensationalism’ and for placing its pages ‘at the disposal of absolutely incompetent people.’ They declared: ‘We are not against bold hypotheses, provided they are given substantiation.’ However, ‘This is not a case of the concentration of energy but of the concentration of amazing ignorance.’”

Scientific American, January 1960

More gems from Scientific American’s first 175 years can be found on our anniversary archive page.