Why question Wifi? A rundown of literature
Last night's Panorama was yet another example, on top of last week's Scientology outbursts, of how the Beeb is heading into increasingly tabloidese investigations, as calls were made to halt wifi installations in schools and "think twice about what we're doing to our children" (that was a paraphrase, but I'm sure someone suitably haughty and patronising would have said that last night).
I've been running through my 700 odd feeds from experts, geeks and educationalists to see what's being said out there on the matter. Resoundingly the word on the street is: "Don't be silly".
- Keith points to a JANET factsheet that, sensibly, recommends staying more than 20 cm away from your wireless router to keep safe. The guy in the programme was literally on top of it last night to get a reading.
- Rachel Clarke wonders why we are not challenging the device that emits 100,000 times more electromagnetic radiation: the lightbulb.
- James Randerson in Comment is Free completely takes apart the Panorama evidence with some sound figures of his own.
- Jack in the Technology pages of the Guardian also provides some coverage of what the papers say, and covers some of the evidence his paper has been pulling together for years on the subject.
- The BBC seems to be backing out of the Panorama story with some facts.
What the Panorama programme last night (you can watch it again on the web) will have managed to do is spread worry and concern that parents, teachers and those who take or have taken responsibility for installing wifi networks are taking on board. It means that projects such as MiWiFi in East Lothian may end up with sticks thrown into the spokes. It means that we have to take some of the more balanced evidence I've put together here and present it to people who don't read blogs or who don't do their own research into the matter.