After so many years, it is clear that whatever the image formation mechanism is, it is very complex and not easily reproducible. In this sense, from a scientific point of view, it is doubtlessly a major challenge. I think this cannot be denied.
Additionally, it is highly controversial due to to all its implications. Addressing such an explosive combination (true scientific challenge+Controversial) is a very, very difficult matter.
In this sense, I find strong similarities with a recent subject: climate change. Perhaps, we could learn a few lessons from it. Only after a centralized body like United Nations thru IPCC started a systematic scientific approach providing free access to all available data and making its way only thru peer-reviewed journals, a clear and solid picture has appeared on the fact that Mankind is affecting climate and Earth is getting warmer. In this process, all agenda driven researches have been put in their place. Of course, they still have some small influence but their arguments are not scientific (now they have moved to conspiration theories) and the true solid fact cannot be denied any longer.
I am afraid that in the case of the Shroud, we are still in the 80′s of climate research history when anyone could start a research and reach a conclusion by himself with his own piece of evidence. At that time, a great deal of researchers were also “climate stars” on the media -just like current “Shroud stars”-and used to attend talk shows on TV too often, while writing few JCR papers.
Unless in the Shroud issue a similar step towards a centralized&coordinated research and open proof custody system is not given, researchers will attend TV shows and feed newspapers with more and more incredible headlines. At that time, acting like that was also helpful to raise some funds to go on with that particular piece of research. Just like with the Shroud nowadays. I think we have already had enough of that. This way is the best to keep the research on the Shroud in an endless “murkier than ever” status.
That said, in the absence of such a system, I hope that Dr. DiLAzzaro could get forward with his research and address the challenges he has got ahead like trying to reproduce the 3D effect with his laser.
Merry Christmas to all from Spain.