Below is the next in a series of Guest Blogs on BRHP. The opinions expressed in this Guest Blog are of George L. Carlo himself. Publication of these opinions in BRHP does not imply that BRHP automatically agrees with or endorses these opinions. Publication of this, and other guest blogs, facilitates an open debate and free exchange of opinions on wireless technology and health.
The published below opinion from George L. Carlo was triggered by the publication of the blog Professor Martin L. Pall does not know the basics about millimeter waves. Following publication of my blog, George L Carlo, has sent me a very supportive message. This message was then added to the blog post and is available there. Please, read it before continuing, in order to better understand what’s up.
George L. Carlo has expressed a hope that my blog will be the wake-up call. The wake up call is needed in two levels: science itself and informing about science.
Comments about science itself are presented by George L. Carlo in his Guest Blog, whereas my comments pertain to communicating science.
Commentary from Dariusz Leszczynski
Apart of doing science, informing about science is another important issue and here are my “two cents“. When scientific evidence is unequivocal then we do not have problem and it is easy to agree on what science shows. However, when scientific evidence is ambiguous then came to play different interpretations of it, leading to discrepancies in interpretation and finally to polarization of the opinions on what the science says. This polarization of opinions, an extreme polarization in fact, can be observed in science on EMF and health. This is bad for science and this is bad for the general public that is unable to evaluate science and wonders which of the extreme polarized opinions is the correct one. The extremes in interpretation of the EMF science are that there is either no problem whatsoever and never will be or that the problem is so severe that doom of human kind is on the horizon (within a couple of years). However, looking calmly at the, never perfect, scientific evidence suggests that neither of these extremely polarized opinions is correct. Saying so, in response to an extreme case of scaremongering, was not easy but it was a necessary wake-up call. Over-interpretation of the science in a single direction, pointing towards no less but apocalypse, is a very bad science. When this kind of apocalyptic over-interpretation of science is, then, presented to decision-makers it will be met with skepticism because, the other side of the debate will easily “poke holes” in the “science” of apocalyptic argumentation. In public relations terms, the opposite side of the EMF debate, ICNIRP and telecoms to name just few, will easily make the “apocalypse” a laughing matter. Scaremongering is a very, very, very bad PR. But there is more, a single scaremonger overshadows work of others and in the end the scaremonger and those being more moderate, accurate and ethical in interpretation of the science, are bundled with scaremonger together, as if they all would be scaremongers. This is another very, very very bad PR outcome. In consequence, decision-makers might stop listening to the words of reason expressed by moderate ethical interpreters of science because they will be considered by decision-makers as scaremongers by association. That is why, after years of listening, I felt compelled to write the above mentioned blog Professor Martin L. Pall does not know the basics about millimeter waves.
It is a wake-up call. Following publication, I got assailed by many, for daring to speak up and be critical. But there are also those who think that the wake-up call was necessary and for the greater good. One of them is George L. Carlo, with whom I am connected for many, many good years. Thank you George.
Guest Blog from George L. Carlo
After some further thought, I believe that the discussion around Martin Pall’s work that you have initiated gives scientists in this arena both a wake-up call and an opportunity for reflection in the interest of increasing the precision of our collective science. We can put this discussion to good use. For those of us who have been working in this area of science for decades, it’s fair to say that we will have humbly come to understand that none of us is equipped alone to know all the nuances of the multiple disciplines necessarily involved in sorting out how waveforms impact biology and health. The physics of waveforms, the dynamics of those waveforms being impacted while moving through the environment, the biophysics of interactions, the quantification of dosimetry, and the triggering of both direct and indirect bio-effects are only the beginning. We then have to contend with genetics, biological effect triggering, stressor compensation, adaptation, epigenetic mechanisms, and then scale-up of structural and functional changes from cells to tissues to organs to organ systems and to the organism itself. To say it’s a heavy lift is a gross understatement as each of these elements is a scientific discipline unto itself. What this tells me is that we need to pay close attention to the expert helpers we need as we formulate new hypotheses, new study designs, new interpretations, and new conclusions. We need to bring into our realms those who are able to dig deep into these unique disciplines as only those who make a living in those disciplines can do. In short, we all need helpers, peer-reviewers and co-authors to be our best. With these types of collaborations, we not only will be more precise in our approaches but synergies will emerge that can catapult us to new understandings and solutions. It is true that peer-review can sometimes become strident. For me, I am most grateful that in my papers, peer-review has mostly been done in private. But whether private or public, the purpose of peer-review, counter comment, and challenging discussion is to get closer to the truth of the matter. As scientists we need to strive for facts that can hold their own. And we’re most likely to get there when we work together, as teams, and with the understanding that the more we iterate and interact, the better we will be and better we’ll be able reach our public health protection goals.
G_________________Dr. George L. Carlo, Washington, D.C