Dr Steven Novella is an American clinical neurologist and assistant professor at Yale University School of Medicine. He’s also a science communicator and a leading figure in the skeptical movement. He co-founded Science-Based Medicine, writes a blog called NeuroLogica, hosts the podcast The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe and recently published a book on scientific skepticism.
I had the privilege of interviewing him on the topic of ACUPUNCTURE, as part of my documentary series on scientific skepticism in healthcare called Les Aventures du Pharmachien on Radio-Canada (the show’s in French, hence the subtitles).
Here’s the interview in English (note : you can press the “CC” button to get English subtitles for my short intro) :
Obviously I can’t post the full episode, but here’s the trailer (note : you can press the “CC” button to get English subtitles) :
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Does your smart meter make your nose bleed?
Are you terrified of your microwave?
Have you installed am anti-brain cancer thingy on your cell phone?
Welcome to the world of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and their alleged harmful effects.
For the last ten years or so, people have been worrying about EMFs, along with the increase in the use of electronics. And even though scientific data obtained so far is reassuring about the effects of EMFs on human health, a lot of people are still scared.
It took almost a year to create this comic. After all, the topic is mind-blowingly complex and, as a pharmacist, I am not at all qualified to speculate about it. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to work with two awesome collaborators from the very beginning:
Jérôme Poulin (Ph. D) is a physicist and researcher in optical physics. His Ph.D thesis was about cold atom guidance in a hollow-core photonic cristal fibre using a blue detuned hollow laser beam (Olivier’s note: I have no idea what that means… I think it’s about building the next Death Star or something). He was also part of the Electro-Urban Brigade, a team of scientists who measured the daily exposure to electromagnetic fields of citizens in the province of Quebec, Canada.
Michel Trottier-McDonald (Ph.D) is a physicist and data scientist. He namely worked on the ATLAS experiment at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the CERN in order to find the Higgs Boson (Olivier’s note: yeah, that big thing).
None of us are experts on the effects of EMFs on health and we don’t pretend otherwise. Fortunately, scientific knowledge on the matter is advanced enough for us to relay conclusive evidence to you.
The 5 key messages of the comic go as follows:
- Certain types of electromagnetic radiation can break the molecules of the body, others cannot;
- Until proven otherwise, mobile/radio/Wi-Fi fields do not pose a threat to human health;
- Every day, we are exposed electromagnetic radiation that is hundreds, if not thousands of times below the international standards deemed safe;
- Symptoms experienced by people who identify as “electrosensitive” do not appear to be caused by electromagnetic fields;
- So-called experts and companies that pretend otherwise may not be trustworthy, or even qualified to discuss EMFs.
But hey, you should to read the comic before disagreeing…
So cover your head with aluminium foil, make holes for your eyes, turn off your router & 4G and read this right away!
P.S. As always, scientific references for this comic are listed in the first comment.
Translated by Patricia Rainville; edits and proofreading by Robyn Penney.
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