2012 Workshop on EMF & Health Risk Research
From October 21 – 25, more than 120 participants gathered on Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland for the second “EMF Health Risk Research: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for the Future” workshop. This year's focus was on reproducible effects of low-level electromagnetic fields (EMF) on organisms, and on mechanisms of interaction between weak EMFs and human tissues. The ambitious aim of the workshop was to galvanize research efforts to close remaining knowledge gaps on interaction mechanisms and to offer a unique platform for open scientific discussion and debate on seemingly reproducible effects of low-level or weak EMF exposures. This year’s program also included the final presentation of the FP7 SEAWIND project, which focused on the health effects of wireless network devices.
This workshop provided a unique opportunity for researchers and experts to meet and interact, share ideas, and share their visions for the future of the field.
- The review of the research performed since the first meeting in 2005 led to the positive conclusion that the recommendations formulated 7 years ago were useful and have been successfully implemented: methods, and thereby also the quality of the research, have improved, results are more reliable, and considerable knowledge has been gained in the fields of EMF and health-risk research. As formulated by Dr. Bernard Veyret of the Laboratoire de l'Intégration du Matériau au Système in Bordeaux, it is: "good to know that we have learned a lot in the last 7 years! "
- The review of our current understanding of EMF effects on biological processes set the stage for the week, enabling participants from many different backgrounds to get up to speed with the latest developments in the field and allowing for the rapid identification of major knowledge gaps.
- Most importantly, we successfully met the challenge of strictly limiting the presentations and discussions to existing and lacking evidence for interaction effects, while exploring novel hypotheses and effective study designs for the validation of available results and the acquisition of additional insight into plausible mechanisms. Outstanding presentations on molecular and genetic pathways underlying EMF effects brought the discussions to unprecedented levels of detail, such that the participants unanimously recognized the necessity for considerably more research and focus. This perception, the priorities, and the numerous ideas formulated during the week were effectively formulated in a draft of recommendations for the future of bioelectromagnetics research. This document, which is currently under revision, will soon be made available online.
Our workshop on Monte Verità was made possible through the commitment and professionalism of all the contributing scientists, all the personnel involved with the organization, and all our generous sponsors. Many thanks to everybody!
|Niels Kuster||Davnah Payne|
Director of the IT'IS Foundation