In my brief post about electrosensitivity earlier this month I mentioned that one of the leading figures in research into electromagnetic sensitivity, Dr Olle Johansson who works at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Sweden, was having difficulty in finding space in which to do his work.
In fact, he had just been told that his office/laboratory space is needed for another project only weeks before he was due to start an independently-funded experiment to replicate the science of Dr Magda Havas, the Canadian professor whose work led to the cancellation of wi-fi and the labeling of cell phones in San Francisco.
This is the second time this year that Dr Johansson has been told that he would have to give up his space on the previous occasion it was to accommodate an ‘animal house for ferrets’. On that occasion he refused point blank and the suggestion was dropped. On this occasion, Professor Staffan Cullheim, chair of the Department of Neuroscience in which Professor Johansson’s office and laboratory are situated, is away on holiday until after the day set for Dr Johansson’s removal (31st July) and unable to receive emails… Before he left he commented that ‘the replacement of Johansson’s work space is standard procedure in a move to optimise the effectivity of the organisation, that Professor Johansson will be offered alternative premises although a certain degree of down-sizing the area will be necessary and that other researchers at the department had started to question the special support given to Olle Johansson by the department.’ Professor Cullheim did not comment on the fact that Professor Johansson was being asked to vacate his space literally days before he was to start an important project which would replicate research indicating that mobile telephony presented a significant human and environmental health hazard.
Coincidentally to Dr Johansson’s eviction, pressure is also being brought to bare on two other scientists who gave evidence at a Canadian Parliamentary Committee hearing on April 29th on the health effects of radio frequency radiation: Professor Dimitris Panagopoulos of the Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics at the University of Athens and Dr Annie J. Sasco, Victor Segalen in Bordeaux. The fourth scientist, Dr Andrew Goldsworthy from Imperial College, is less vulnerable as he has already retired.
While the authorities in all cases will no doubt claim that the apparent targeting of these scientist is no more than ‘internal reorganisation’ it is hard not to suspect them of deliberating blocking or interfering with research work which could damage the lucrative $153 billion wireless communications industry. (Ericsson, one of the world’s largest mobile phone companies with over 1,000 networks in 175 countries handling 40% of all mobile calls is, after all, a Swedish company.) Certainly that is how it is being seen by fellow scientists and by activists world-wide.
As the evidence of harm from electromagnetic radiation and mobile telephony mounts the stakes are getting higher and the battles can only get fiercer. Following on from the work of Dr Havas in Canada, Californian mobile phones are now to carry health warnings interference in ‘personal freedom’which the mobile telephone industry took so amiss that threatened to cancel its annual conference which attracts 68,000 visitors in San Francisco. Loss of the conference would cost the city an estimated $80 million in economic activity generated by the three-day show. With that kind of money at stake, the precautionary principle, as ever, may have a hard time getting a hearing.
For a more detailed Â account of Â the Johansson case see the article by John Weigel of WEEP News (Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic News). For many more articles and research reports on mobile phones and mobile telephony see the foodsmatter.com site.