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Media have Influence on the Perception of Electromagnetic Waves

When reviewing the IARU archives I came across the following written by my predecessor Thilo DL9KCE which I have edited somewhat. Although written some ten years ago the issue of perception by media is still as relevant today as it was then and it applies in the social, political and scientific areas. 

By inference it applies to our hobby. This is why we must be seen to be professional in our approach by the public at large to ensure that our contribution to scientific and social life gets properly recognised

Media have Influence on the Perception of Electromagnetic Waves

A paper published by the World Health Organization WHO (document, in Italian), has finally summed up what experts have known for a long time. While scientists struggle hard with the concept of a negative proof of injurious effects of electromagnetic fields, the mass media have clear answers. On the basis of undifferentiated examined isolated cases the noxious effects of electromagnetic waves are being demonstrated. Readers should value their reports with care and take into consideration that the main interest of the media does is not objective clarification. WHO states that the main focus of journalists is not their neutral report, but the production of a useful story. Journalists are in competition between themselves, both on time and on the areas to be covered, and the various newspapers struggle to sell a greater number of copies. The mere fact that WHO addresses such effects speaks for the fact, that also social aspects, such as the influence of the masses must be considered, when talking about injurious effects. In the same publication the WHO describes the difficulties of the negative proof itself. Basically the absence of an effect implies a non-effect automatically. Nevertheless, the general public demands a proof of the non-effect. The only scientific means this proof can be produced is by epidemiological study. An observation of the health under influence of electromagnetic waves over decades. Today it is already clear because of the long existence of electromagnetic waves (more than 100 years), that the effects can be only low. However, the epidemiology can make a distinction between small and no effect only after a considerable observation period. 

Séamus McCague EI8BP

Chairman PRC 4 September 2019

Print This Page Updated on September 4, 2019

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