In November 2012 I received an invitation to participate in the:
“…workshop “Ethics of Interpretation in Research” organized by the Science Forum EMF (WF-EMF). The workshop is highlighting critical issues regarding conflicting interpretations of the same data as a source of controversy about the potential risks of RF and ELF EMF. This 2-day workshop will be held on April 18-19, 2013 in Berlin. It would be a great if you would be able to present your view on interpreting high throughput data in genomics on this workshop….”
To the invitation was attached a preliminary program of the workshop (Workshop_EthicsofInterpretation).
I agreed to participate in this event. Its program sounded interesting and timely.
Later on I received the final program of the workshop and here started my doubts whether I should participate in the workshop with such “selected” list of speakers (Program 26.03.13).
After long deliberations with myself, knowing that it will cause some logistical problem for the organizers, I sent yesterday a message where I informed that I will not come to Berlin.
My primary reason for not coming to Berlin was “easy” in justification. Since I returned from Australia I am on sick leave (4.03.13 – 16.04.13) and what will happen after 16.04. I do not know yet.
However, I informed also the organizers of the workshop about my program-related concerns in two separate e-mail messages.
Message #1 (selected text)
“…the final composition of the speakers list is in my opinion very unbalanced and scientists with view differing from the “ICNIRP dogma” are only two (Kundi & myself) out of the long list of the speakers. To me it means that the debate will not represent the current status of the opinions about the possible effects of cell phone radiation. It will be an unbalanced, one-sided, pro-ICNIRP-dogma debate…”
Message #2 (selected text)
“…I knew the program for some time and for some time I was a bit “uneasy” about it. Round-table is needed but it does not look for me that participants of the Berlin meeting see such a need. Many of them are “ICNIRP people” and ICNIRP, as you know, does not see any need for the round-table. So, although the program of the meeting is not the primary reason for my absence, I wanted, however, to let you know what “worried” me – that the debate will be one-sided and that my opinion will be expectedly overwhelmed by the crowd of the opposite opinions. Not that the “crowd” would be always correct but someone might get wrong impression…”
Coincidently, I received a copy of the letter sent by the Diagnose-Funk to the workshop organizers. Diagnose-Funk was also invited to participate in the workshop and refused to do so.
The letter from the Diagnose-Funk I am publishing here with the explicit permission that I received today: “Published with permission of Diagnose-Funk e.V., 06. April 2013“. Otherwise, as readers of this letter will notice, in the end of the letter is a clause that does not permit publication of this letter. In this place I would like to thank Diagnose-Funk for the permission to publish their letter.
The long and very critical letter from Diagnose-Funk to the workshop organizers:
Justification provided by the Diagnose-Funk is very similar to my opinion: the list of speakers does not provide balanced platform for debate.
Although the topics of the workshop in Berlin are interesting, the debate will represent a one-sided opinion. This is not good development. Pro-ICNIRP scientists will present their pro-ICNIRP views to other pro-ICNIRP scientists. Likely they will agree, not disagree.
What good will come of such workshop? Nothing much – just a continuation of the divisions that already exist and further entrenchment of opinions.
IN ANY MEANINGFUL DEBATE THE LIST OF SPEAKERS HAS TO BE BALANCED