Why mobile phones are NOT a health hazard

An article we published last week about links between mobiles and cancer proved highly controversial. Here a cancer expert and physicist argues that it misrepresented the research and that fears are ill-founded

• Last week’s article: The inconvenient truth about cancer and mobile phones

Last week the Observer published an article by Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie on a disturbing topic – the idea that telecoms giants might collude to suppress evidence that wireless technology causes cancer. The feature was well written, ostensibly well researched, and deeply concerning. Its powerful narrative tapped into rich themes; our deep-seated fears about cancer, corporate greed, and technology’s potentially noxious influence on our health. It spread rapidly across social media – facilitated by the very object on which it cast doubt.

Yet as enthralling as Hertsgaard and Dowie’s narrative might be, it is strewn with rudimentary errors and dubious inferences. As a physicist working in cancer research, I found the authors’ penchant for amplifying claims far beyond that which the evidence allows troubling. And as a scientist deeply invested in public understanding of science, I’ve seen first-hand the damage that scaremongering can do to societal health. While it is tempting to rage into the void, perhaps this episode can serve as a case study in how public understanding of science can be mangled, and what warning signs we might look out for.

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And the best new apps of the week are…” 🥁

Ladies and gentleman, it’s time to present the best new and updated apps of the week! This week’s winners are Shop Store, Moment Pro Camera, MyPack, Notes by Firefox and MagiCats Builder! Check them out and give us your feedback in the comments!

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The Oppo Find X is almost perfect, except for…

The Oppo Find X is turning many heads and finding critical acclaim, yes. But that doesn’t mean that it’s synonymous with perfection. For many, however, it’s almost there. We would like to know what you would like to change on the device.

(This is a preview – click here to read the entire entry.)

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Farting unicorn row: artist reaches settlement with Elon Musk

Tom Edwards from Colorado, who challenged Musk’s use of motif without attribution, reaches agreement with Tesla tycoon

A Colorado artist says he has reached a settlement with Elon Musk after challenging the Tesla tycoon’s use of a farting unicorn motif that he had drawn as an ironic tribute to electric cars.

Musk used the cartoon image on Twitter, without attribution, to promote his Tesla electric car range, and ignored Tom Edwards’ attempts to come to a licensing arrangement, telling the artist’s daughter it would be “kinda lame” to sue.

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