Sunday, 5 June 2011

Cellular Issues

Five Mobile SystemsOne of science’s biggest problems is the way it is communicated to the masses. The main culprit is popular media, which never lets the facts get in the way of an attractive headline.
This week we got some fine examples for poor journalism when WHO declared that mobile phones need to be further examined in order to assess their potential to cause cancer. That is pretty much all WHO said, but what we got instead are headlines telling us something significantly different, virtually telling the public that mobile phone cause cancer (check here and here for examples).
In contrast, check what people well versed with science are saying. The professional skeptics are not misled by the headlines:
  1. PZ Myers (here) points out how silly the claim mobile phones “cook” your brain is, and asks for evidence – something totally missing from a debate too rich with claims thus far.
  2. Phil Plait (here) points out mobile phones are now in the same category as coffee and pickled vegetables. Did anyone hear the warning cries against coffee drinking?
  3. Michael Shermer (here) goes further and points out how the radiation emitted from mobile phones is incapable of causing cancer in the direct manner proposed by most claims. He goes on to defend his claims here.
Sadly, no one listens to scientists these days. Why wait till further research is conducted when we can make our minds now? It’s all about sensationalism and the sale of another copy of a newspaper. No wonder the general public is largely clueless about huge matters such as climate change.

Image by, Creative Commons license

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