Monday June 24 at 14:00-15:30
Auditorium XII (university main building)
There are 6 billion cell phones currently active on the planet, 75% of which in the developing countries. Wireless Internet networks are now pervasive in urban areas worldwide. Millions of so-called “smart meters” using radiofrequencies (RF) to monitor electric power consumption in homes are currently being installed in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. In some countries public discussions about adverse health effects from RF have become common and sometimes intense. In others they have died away. Is the scientific evidence about RF being well communicated?
Media coverage of the issues, different national and international policy decisions, activist groups concerned about adverse health effects from RF, and scientific reports, offer a variety of points of views on what we know about RF and health. They are sometimes contradictory. Journalists seeking to cover this important issue accurately can find it difficult to sort through all this information. A more global look at the debate reveals that the degree of opposition to wireless technologies varies between countries and regions. While Scandinavians seem rather indifferent to the matter, Americans, Italians and many others find themselves amidst highly emotional and controversial debates on these issues.
The panel will bring together a mix of scientific experts and media representatives experienced in studying and covering the effects of RF radiation on health. They will discuss the current methodologies employed by international authorities to sort through the complex scientific literature. The panel will also discuss with the audience best practices in media coverage of these issues and, the social impact of the oft-advocated precautionary principle in policy making, and answer general questions.
This session was organized by Polytechnique Montréal (Canada), and Sense About Science (UK), a non-profit organisation, helping people make sense of science and evidence on issues in public discussion.
Thomas Gervais, Ph.D.
Independent TV journalist & Assistant professor
Department of engineering physics
École Polytechnique de Montréal
Sense About Science contact:
Emily Jesper, Assistant director
Adam Burgess (UK) is a reader in social risk research at the University of Kent, UK. He is the author of the book “Cellular Phones, Public Fears, and a Culture of Precaution” (Cambridge University Press).
Ken Foster (U.S.A.) is professor of bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania specializing on the effect of radiofrequencies on human health.
Clemence Lamarche, is project manager at the Magazine Protégez-Vous, a large Canadian consumer protection magazine based in Montreal, and publishing in depth news articles and conducting tests on various technologies.
Gunde Ziegelberger, is Senior Scientist, German Federal Office for Radiation Protection Scientific Secretary, International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
The panel will be moderated by Thomas Gervais, Independent TV journalist & Assistant professor Department of engineering physics, École Polytechnique de Montréal. All panelists have been selected for their impartiality (no affiliation to either activist or industrial advocacy groups) and their strong professional credentials. They will provide a disclosure of personal interests that will be made available prior to the conference.