Paul Kenyon from BBC Panorama Responds on Wi-Fi Scare

May 25th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, bbc, electrosensitivity, powerwatch - alasdair philips, scare stories | 31 Comments »

I’ve just been sent this by the BBC publicity office, it is a response from Paul Kenyon, the presenter of the show, and very nice chap too.

He is talking about the posts here and here.

And remember – by the miracle of the interweb – this is the show he is talking about.


Hi Ben. If you could post Paul’s piece below online today that would be great.

I have read the comments expressed about the Panorama WiFi programme and, though often entertaining, I do think much of it is unfair criticism of a programme with a very straight forward thesis. The head of the HPA, who is a well-respected and influential scientist calls for a review of WiFi technology in schools because he feels it is being rolled out too rapidly….isnt that worth reporting?

As many of your readers will know, in 2000 Sir William Stewart carried out a review of the studies carried out into the possible health effects of mobile phones and masts. His key recommendation was that we should take a “precautionary approach”. It is his view that the government has not taken a sufficiently “precautionary approach” in relation to WiFi. I think you will agree this too is worth reporting.

He also recommended against the beam of greatest intensity from a mobile phone mast falling on any part of a schools grounds. Now, you may disagree with his thoughts, but do bear in mind that this view was reached by Sir William’s expert group, and not by him alone. The expert group included Dr Mike Repacholi. If Sir William is concerned about pulsing radio frequency radiation from phone masts, it would follow that he might well have concerns about the similar pulsing radiation from WiFi. He says he does. We went to a school and measured it. We then compared it with a mobile phone mast, which he had expressed his concerns about. Since the outrage expressed on this website, I checked again to ensure this was comparing like with like (even though we did of course check on numerous occasions during the making of the programme). I checked this time with a scientist at University of Bristol, who said that for the purpose of this programme these two sources are comparable. So, put simply, Sir William Stewart is uncomfortable about the main beam of a mast falling on a school…the WiFi had a higher reading. He is concerned about that too. However, it must be pointed out that we interviewed Sir William before we carried out the tests at the school, and so his concern was not as a result of the tests.

Ben compares it, amusingly enough, with the radiation from a light bulb, therefore qualifying himself for his very own Bad Science Award. The bulb doesn’t produce pulsing radiation for a start.

On the subject of Alasdair Phillips, whatever you think about his views, they didn’t impinge in any way on the programme. All he did was take the readings, not express a view.

In terms of interviewees, Professor Henry Lai is well-respected by both sides in the argument. Dr Repacholi agreed with that when I put it to him. Just because he is in a minority of scientists who have found an effect at these low levels of radiation doesn’t mean he can be brushed to one side. Dr Olle Johansson specialises in the field of electrosensitives, and is from the Karolinska Institute and so absolutely worth having in the programme.

Panorama was not trying to suggest there is any new science around, we were merely reporting on the views of the government’s chief advisor in this field. It is the mainstream view, which your readers appear to unanimously support, that there is no evidence of any adverse health effects from this form of radiation. But when we put that quote, from the WHO website, to Sir William he said this:

PK: Is that an accurate reflection of the science do you think?

BS: I think they’re wrong

PK: How are they wrong?

BS: Because there is evidence and the Stewart report pointed out some of that evidence

The fact that the head of the HPA believes the WHO is incorrect in the message it’s putting out to the world seems to me to be a legitimate piece of journalism.

Yours Paul Kenyon

I ought to mention in passing that obviously I didn’t compare electromagnetic signals with lightbulbs, I quoted a funny skit from somebody called Tristan Mills on another blog. He was mocking the use of the word “radiation” in the program (30 times in 28 minutes) to describe electromagnetic signals. It’s quite a funny skit from him, you should read it.

Paul Kenyon Podcast

We also had a long chat on the phone, “stilted” while the tape was on, cheery when it wasn’t. Nice chap. Unfortunately it’s recorded off the phone and onto, er, audio cassette – not posh podcast recorder – because you stingy bastards don’t ever spend anything here or here, and god bless you for it, ideas were meant to be free. I’ll try and transfer it over if I can buy this weird audio cable and grab an hour or two, I think it should be just about audible.

You’ve, er, heard the quality of the previous recordings of course.

www.badscience.net/?p=369

Anyway [holds pistol aloft]: “Discuss”. Except it’s a balmy bank holiday weekend, so maybe discuss in the park instead. I’m going to an Indian wedding. Hurrah!

Update from comments:

Program gets a right slap on BBC News 24, thanks in particular to the comments sent in to the BBC. Shame with all my license fee money they’re not together enough to sort out embedded video, but here’s the clunky link to their video of it. If anyone grabs it with wmrecorder and uploads to video.google.com then let me know and I’ll embed, it’s really very very good.

news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ukfs/hi/default.stm


Update BBC24 Newswatch transcript:

Here is the text from the BBC News 24 “Newswatch” show. Thanks to Briantist for transcription:

RS: Welcome to Newswatch. This week: was Panorama’s report on Wifi sound science or scaremongering?

RS: On Monday Panorama reported on wireless computer technology suggesting it could be more dangerous that mobile phone masts. It was a particular concern the programme said because is in use in more than half of schools.

(Clip from programme in school)

PK: This is where they sit and they are already all logged on?

Alistair Phillips:. They are logged onto the network yes.

PK: Take the measurement if you can.

Alistair Phillips: Make sure this is set on the right scale and we will download a (dunno). OK. That’s quite spectacular.

PK: Is it?

Alistair Phillips: Yes, that’s about three times what we were getting by that phone mast.

(Studio)

RS: Panorama featured a number of scientists who were concerned that Wifi could be harmful and also spoke to a number of people who claim they are electro sensitive – physically affected by electromagnetic fields. But it was the science used in the report that concerned many viewers. Chris Gallagher said:

“This programme was a disgrace and was the worst example of journalism I have ever seen on the BBC. It had no scientific or journalistic merit and seemed intent on fabricating sensationalistic panic.”

RS: And Frasier Macintosh told us:

“It seems to have been entirety constructed to prove that Wifi was potentially harmful, rather than to genuinely investigate where or not if it is. The programme continually used emotive terms such as radiation which whilst correct are poorly understood by many people and often associated with radioactivity. This was not helped by computer graphics showing radiation leaking into people’s everyday lives without their knowledge or consent”

RS: Paul Kenyon you were the Panorama reporter involved here. Viewers have pointed out that it is not right and ignores the basic laws of physics to compare radiation from a 100 meters away from a mast and 1 meter away from a computer. Have they got a point?

PK: I think that the main point of the programme really was that we had the government’s chief scientist Sir William Stuart who has in a previous report said that he is concerned about mobile phone mast radiation falling on any part of a school’s playing grounds. Now that point that was about four five years ago when he made those comments we decided what we would do is try and investigate if Wifi had a similar level of radiation (sic). We find it has slightly more.

RS: But what viewers have said is it is completely wrong to go 100 meters away from a mast and compare the reading 1 meter away – they are not the same things.

PK: I’m told they ARE the same thing. I mean we have to rely on the scientists who we use as consultants for programmes like this. But a number of scientists who I spoke to this morning again just to check and 100 meters from the mast is seen as the main beam of radiation rather like a lighthouse coming down where the light hits the floor we took it at the highest point of radiation and compare it with where a child’s head would be coming out of Wifi.

RS: These readings were taken by a lobbyist, why didn’t you get somebody completely independent to do them for you?

PK: What we did is use this man you call a lobbyist purely to take the readings, we didn’t get him to comment on anything at all. He wasn’t interpreting…

RS: Why not stay completely out of the battle as it were and get someone totally independent? Why didn’t you do that?

PK: With hindsight maybe this is something we could have done differently. Maybe it would have been an idea to get Alistair Phillips to do some readings and another scientist to do the others. I accept that as a fair criticism.

RS: Another criticism from viewers and there really are quite a large number of these criticism: you went to Norwich and took readings there but good science has a control you didn’t go to a city without Wifi hotspots and do a comparison. Why was that?

PK: Norwich wasn’t used as a comparison with anything else. We went to Norwich purely for the school, but whilst we were there because it was a hotspot we decided to look at the radiation on the street. We didn’t make a big point of that it’s so far beneath the limits it’s not all that relevant. This is a place where people hadn’t had a lot of say in it but they are living in an area where there are higher levels of radiation than perhaps other cities. It’s beneath the limits so…

RS: Another thing the viewers noticed that they were 23 minutes into this programme before an alternative point of view was given. That scientist, Mike Rapocholi, was then in a sense rubbished it was made clear he had been employed by the industry. Why no independent source to put another point of view? And we have looked into your main Swedish scientist and 1600 Swedish scientists voted him ‘MISLEADER OF THE YEAR in 2004′

PK: Did they? That’s not good.

RS: …for his views on electromagnetism – the very subject of your programme, and there seems to be an imbalance between your right to prove something rather than an objective study.

PK: I take your point and I didn’t know that about professor Yohanson at all. But out position was that there is a mainstream accepted view on this and I think it’s a role that Panorama can play to challenge that mainstream sort-of culturally accepted norm.

RS: Can you carry this out without putting the alternative point of view?

PK: I think we did put the alternative point of view it was there in the script. We kept saying this is a minority of people who feel this etc etc. But I understand what you are saying it a fair point but we were there to as I say to question the mainstream opinion of the moment which I feel we did fairly well. I just keep coming back to. Just one final point. When Sir William Stuart the government’s chief advisor tells us that he is concerned I think he’s an eminent enough erm er er scientist for us to take that as something Panorama should be reporting, which is all we did in effect.

RS: Viewers have also pointed out that there are a large number of products in our home that give out low level radiation including some said broadcast radio and television. So those actually watching your programme may have been getting a small dose of radiation? Isn’t this a bit of a problem that you singled out Wifi?

PK: These are low levels of radiation, a lot lower than comes out of Wifi. The point about Wifi and the reasons there hasn’t been any studies on the health effects of Wifi is that it’s new but it is also pulsing radiation and the only other form of radiation that we come into contact with frequently is from mobile phone masts. So it’s a very different concept and that I must say Sir William Stuart is of the view that should be a review purely because it is pulsing.


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31 Responses



  1. Ben Goldacre said,

    May 25, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    my feeling, incidentally, as i skip off into the night, is that it doesn’t really address the issues raised by wellingtongrey here:

    www.wellingtongrey.net/miscellanea/archive/2007-05-27–the-truth-about-wireless-devices.html

  2. briantist said,

    May 25, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    Yeah, this has just been on Newswatch on BBC News 24. It is usally online soon afterwards.

  3. Ben Goldacre said,

    May 25, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    yeah, it does kind of feel as if they’ve changed their mind about what “the point” of the program was. lucky the program is online. you’ve got to love the modern world.

  4. jackpt said,

    May 25, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    It’s a pretty poor rebuttal of all the points raised in the previous comments/forum topics. To his credit he’s not being a dick about it, like most of the people you’ve shown up, so it’s good you’ve noted he’s personable at the start. He’s still wrong though, and the lightbulb, if it could be so, is made of straw and man-shaped. I wonder if radio has been transmitted before, and whether any of it was pulsed. Ho-hum, I’d probably need a researcher work that out, and maybe need to call someone at a university. They’re always right.

  5. Nanobot said,

    May 25, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Like I said on the other thread. I totally disagree with Mr Kenyon that Mr Phillips didn’t express an opinion in the programme. Mr Phillips clearly exclaim when reading the levels of radiation in the classroom, “Wow! That’s spectacular”, clearly indicating that it was his opinion that the levels were very high (why else would he have said that?). The fact that one cannot see the scale of the measurement display and no mention of actual numbers and units is made, is deeply, deeply concerning. He was discussing several technical issues and so his background should have been fully discussed, no excuses Mr Kenyon.

    However, my major problem with Mr Kenyon is that he thinks it is acceptable to get someone who is clearly and publicly inside one camp, who also has a vested financial interest in the outcome of the ‘tests’ to actually conduct them. How about getting a truly independent electrical engineer to do the testing? Would Mr Kenyon or his team have seriously considered getting someone from Orange to conduct the tests? Of course not, so why get someone else who can also be so easily accused of bias? Why didn’t they get someone from the BBC to do the tests, I’m sure they are briming with electrical engineers with loads of telecommunications experience. Does he really expect the scientific and technical community to sit by and allow this nonsense to happen?

  6. briantist said,

    May 25, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    but it is also pulsing radiation and the only other form of PULSING radiation that we come into contact with frequently is from mobile phone masts.

  7. pv said,

    May 25, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Sorry, it still sounds like the new MMR to me. Substitute MMR for wi-fi and Wakefield for Swedish evidence and we could be talking about another recently topical bit of media scaremongering.
    If you substitute Trevor Kavanagh for Paul Kenyon and The Sun for the BBC – many moons ago on lunchtime BBC radio The Sun’s political editor Kavanagh had the temerity to say that his newspaper was merely the conduit through which the news flows. It’s not dissimilar to what Mr Kenyon is claiming and there you have the conceit of what Panorama would like to call unbiased reporting. In spite of what Mr Kenyon says, it reeks of an agenda.

  8. zeno said,

    May 25, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    They could so easily have got an independent report from an independent laboratory (eg York EMC Services). These people know what they are doing and can make appropriate measurements and at least give some guidance on what such measurements really mean. I wouldn’t necessarily expect them to give any firm conclusions, but at least they have some authority and independence behind them.

    I wonder if it was just that the BBC didn’t want to pay anyone the going rate for a real professional?

  9. j l smith said,

    May 25, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Can someone explain the significance of the pulsing nature of the EMR? I do a web search and I find one academic paper on the effects of pulsed microwaves on the exposed sciatic nerves of frogs (i’m guessing that the frog wasn’t especially well after this experiment, so this may prove something.)

    The only other place I can find a description on pulsed microwave radiation is on alistair phillips’ powerwatch, which doesn’t exactly explain much either. What is it about the pulsing that’s supposed to be bad?

    And would a fluorescent light therefore be a better example than a lightbulb?

  10. James said,

    May 26, 2007 at 12:38 am


    RS: But what viewers have said is it is completely wrong to go 100 meters away from a mast and compare the reading 1 meter away – they are not the same things.

    PK: I’m told they ARE the same thing. (snip)

    Someone needs to explain the inverse square law to him…

  11. Stuu said,

    May 26, 2007 at 2:20 am

    Re the inverse square law, etc.:

    There’s obviously no doubt that the programme is wrong in this case. The point that they may have been trying to make, however, is that typically, a user is 1m away from a WiFi transmitter, and on average, I’d suspect, at least 100m away from a telephone mast.

  12. Geeb said,

    May 26, 2007 at 8:29 am

    “…but it is also pulsing radiation and the only other form of radiation that we come into contact with frequently is from mobile phone masts.”

    This is odd, though. What on earth is “pulsing radiation” and why is it so much worse than regular radiation?

    Is it some special term I’m not familiar with? I think it means exactly what it says – electromagnetic radiation that is emitted in regular bursts, rather than a constant stream.

    Like a lightbulb running off a 50Hz mains supply, then…

  13. j l smith said,

    May 26, 2007 at 11:49 am

    After some further research: it looks like the pulsing radition thing is a Tetrawatch notion. The “problem” is that the microwaves don’t hold a constant power: they vary the amount of power in order to transmit signals etc (TDMA seems to be a particular bugbear of Tetrawatch/Powerwatch. (I can tell you’re jumping ahead of me here, but bear with me. Powerwatch has this to say on the topic

    “Leading bioelectromagnetics research investigating possible adverse health effects of microwaves strongly indicates that low levels of pulsing microwave signals affect and stress our essential life processes. Our bodies are remarkably good at coping with occasional ‘attacks’, but often fail when under the stress of constant low level ‘irritation’.

    The often cited arguments about ionising (= can break a covalent chemical bond) and non-ionising (= too weak to break a covalent bond) are fundamentally flawed. Firstly, during the ‘dance’ of cellular DNA replication most critical bonds are formed by hydrogen or Van-der-Waal forces that are hundreds of times weaker than covalent bonds. Secondly, there are a number of cell trans-membrane protein signalling mechanisms that are affected by pulsing microwaves, at signal powers vastly below ionising levels, that lead to gene expression relating to cell stress responses and cell growth regulation that are likely to affect cancer incidence and treatment outcomes.”

    And indeed there is some evidence that pulsed microwaves can have some odd effects:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_auditory_effect

    However, the rather novel idea of a radio wave that transmits signals by varying its strength reminded me of something…

    …hmm, there’s a carrier wave and it’s modulated…

    Put simply, what Powerwatch is worried about is the oldest radio technology of them all: amplitude modulation.

    Which in turn led to a head slapping moment about the devices Powerwatch flog on emfields.org, such as the MW1 Electrosmog Detector. Might that be, by any chance, a radio? Whip the choke off your £9.99 Dixons portable and it’ll have the same effect

  14. SomeBeans said,

    May 26, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    This is interesting:

    uanr.com/wifiscans/

    Some chap managed to get himself a Wifi spectral analyser for the princely sum of $11. It does appear to give power results in arbitrary units. As well as wifi devices he analyses his microwave and cordless phone.

    The PULSING point does appear to be another red herring, as geeb points out. I seem to remember wifi works by pulsing the carrier frequency of around 2.4GHZ and doing something very cunning with frequency hopping, but if you do a Fourier analysis on a pulsed 2.4GHz signal then you just find that your pulsed signal is the sum of a bunch of continuous signals of different frequencies. I think I’m right in saying that these frequencies will all be lower than the carrier frequency.

    [sarcasm]I suppose the big danger is that instead of one nasty radiation electrosmog wavy death beam, we have to cope with a whole pile of them[/sarcasm]

    I have to say the BBC has suffered a “brand contamination event” in my view. Should I really be believing anything they broadcast?

  15. CDavis said,

    May 26, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    How sad it is that the sweetly reasonable-sounding term ‘precautionary principle’ has become such common currency to describe anti-rational luddism.

    The underlying recommendation of the PP seems to be, as usually expressed, ‘do absolutely buggerall, lest it harm the chill-drenn’

    This whole thing reminds me of an anecdote from the days when London homes were first wired up with electricity to replace gas lighting. The neonate Tech Support department received a call from a lady who’d had a lightbulb installed above her bed, complaining that she could feel ‘electrik fluid’ dripping onto her feet at night.

    CD

  16. h2g2bob said,

    May 26, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    If it’s about pulsing radiation, why wasn’t it mentioned before?

  17. CDavis said,

    May 26, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    What the hell IS ‘pulsing radiation’, anyway? The signal data is sent in bursts, but the carrier is presumably constant. And the difference between a quiet carrier and one with data in it is extremely fine – unless you’re an FM tuner.

    If you could *see* WiFi, it would be a rather dim light at a specific colour – a few Gigs – which occasionally, rapidly, changed colour minutely by an imperceptible few megahertz.

    I don’t know if there’s something I’m missing completely, but this all sounds such utter bollocks it’s hard to believe it’s happening. Even if WiFi’s puny radio signal were somehow at some undiscovered deadly flesh-eating frequency, the power involved is so fucking minute it wouldn’t harm a fly. I don’t know how many milliwatts the average WiFi card emits, but in lightbulb or LED terms it’s probably imperceptible.

    CD

  18. dolfinack said,

    May 26, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    hehe that fluffy reporter really gets nailed on Newswatch, Learned. Schooled. Owned. Etc. He even expels a giggle when told the Swedish dude was voted the biggest pillock of the year by his peers. “Thats not good is it?”

    Na mate, it ain’t. Nice to see the BBC still (kind of) self-regulates its own bullshit. Just a pity they didn’t show this quite nicely done rebuttal at the same high-exposure time slot as Panorama went out….

  19. bazvic said,

    May 26, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    WiFi encodes data using Frequency Modulation and FSK (it does not just send 1’s and 0′ is sends numbers between 0 an 63).

    The transmitter only needs to be on when it has something to send. So it is either on or off. Most of the time off. Which is better than being on all the time.

    So the signal is pulsed but so what, it means there is less energy emitted.

    As the other posters have indicated the radiation is so weak there is no scope for meaningful heating.

    Now the UV from the LEDs on the detector thingy that is another question!

    It all comes down to people like to have a boegyman. If they do not they will look around until they find one.

  20. Robert Carnegie said,

    May 26, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    Does Dixons sell radios? And CDavis: your recollection resembles a famous quote from James Thurber: “Her own mother lived the latter years of her life in the horrible suspicion that electricity was dripping invisibly all over the house.” I think the supposed anxious lady was Thurber’s grandmother but I’m not sure. I’ve seen gas lighting – my sister and her husband once borrowed a rather well appointed beach hut for a party that had it. But I wonder how many of the early adopters were on the telephone.

  21. thaumaturge said,

    May 26, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    The most dangerous pulsing radiation source of all: the strobe light!

  22. GrahamBM said,

    May 27, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Doesn’t the opening paragraph of Paul Kenyon’s letter draw attention to one of the neglected issues in this “debate”

    He states:

    “I have read the comments expressed about the Panorama WiFi programme and, though often entertaining, I do think much of it is unfair criticism of a programme with a very straight forward thesis. The head of the HPA, who is a well-respected and influential scientist calls for a review of WiFi technology in schools because he feels it is being rolled out too rapidly….isnt that worth reporting?”

    Yet the HPA’s own website states:

    “On the basis of current scientific information WiFi equipment satisfies international guidelines. There is no consistent evidence of health effects from RF exposures below guideline levels and therefore no reason why schools and others should not use WiFi equipment.”

    news.becta.org.uk/display.cfm?resID=33517

    Perhaps the story, if there is one, is why there is such a difference of opinion between Sir William Stewart and the organisation which he is currently head of?

    The BBC press department were clearly in full swing prior to the airing of this programme as was seen from the amount of press and online activity since. However the PR campaign was as misleading and one-sided as the programme itself, presenting no new information and delivered in a classic tabloid style designed to increase viewing figures by generating fear in the general public.

    Perhaps a better programme might have been an investigation into the digital divide where nearly 1.5 million school age learners in the UK have no access to the Internet at home?

  23. terry hamblin said,

    May 27, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Saw the trailer. Recognised it as bullshit, Didn’t waste time watching it. Shan’t bother with Panorama in future. Good result BBC.

  24. briantist said,

    May 27, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-6653179357149807252&hl=en-GB

    Newswatch Video

  25. briantist@work said,

    May 28, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Delster: There is the really obvious point that the signal will be the strongest adjacent to the transmitter!

  26. Robert Carnegie said,

    May 29, 2007 at 12:26 am

    So what is it that you’re supposed not to do to primary schools, if it isn’t aiming the microwave beam at them? (I think it may be putting the mast -in- the playground for kids to climb that is the no-no.)

    I gather that technology exists to determine a phone’s location quite well, and I propose that in any location where people object to phone radiation, there should be no cellphone service allowed – not necessarily no signal, but no calls to be made or received. Too bad if you’re just driving through, but that’s the tragedy of the commons for you. Probably you can get it down to individual houses. And see how they like that.

  27. Kells said,

    May 29, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Panorama has been shit for a very long time.

    ‘Misleader of the Year’ is a brilliantly understated title – A full 12 points to Sweden

  28. Hornet said,

    May 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    It doesn’t matter how well they defend the programme now with talk of their main aims and how it’s difficult to define ‘independent’ etc. The point is that they produced a programme in which more time was devoted to vague and shocked sounding comments like “That’s quite spectacular.” and “that’s about three times what we were getting by that phone mast.” than was given to sensible explanations of exactly what they meant.
    TV documentaries are not scientific papers. They are watched by tired lay-people, who tune in half way through then get interrupted by kids, cats and cold-callers. You can’t insert 2 minutes of “balance” and claim that’s enough. You need to explain and qualify and de-sensationalise all the way through.
    Everyone working in the media knows this. They then choose to ignore it and explain later, away from the majority of viewers.

  29. topazg said,

    May 31, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    I’m truly stunned at the level of ignorance that is on here. Firstly, independence is entirely a superficial point. On areas of contention such as these, purely believing one side strongly enough removes your independence. If you believe the whole thing is scaremongering, you will no doubt see the evidence that supports your view and post it accordingly.

    Regardless of qualifications, I can’t help noticing that Alasdair Philips has been involved in EMF research, including chairing a number of international scientific conferences and being on more recent UK stakeholder government groups. Ben Goldacre however appears to have had no input into EMF science ever, as far as I can see.

    Powerwatch (presumably Alasdair) has now put a full response to this commentary: www.powerwatch.org.uk/news/20070529_panorama_extra.asp,
    and it seems rather better reasoned than the rant by Ben on here.

    I am interested as to why so many people, with such little apparent understanding of EMF science, seem to claim to be such experts in the field that they can criticise both Sir William Stewart and Alasdair Philips, both of whom I suspect have more experience in knowledge in these fields than everyone on here (including myself obviously) put together.

    Get a grip people and let those that know what they are talking about sort things out without ignorant layperson interference.

  30. Nanobot said,

    June 5, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    topazg:

    Appeals to authority are not a substitute for argument. Please don’t dismiss people’s ideas because you believe they have less ‘scientific pedigree’ than those who you defend. After all, you know nothing of many of the people on here’s experience with EMF radiation and research.

    I’ll remind you of the Royal Society’s motto:

    ‘Nullius in verba’

    ‘On the word of no-one’

    If you have a scientific argument to make then please make it.

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