Distinguishing polemic from commentary in science: Some guidelines illustrated with the case of Sage and Burgio, 2017
- Subject Areas
- Biophysics, Environmental Sciences, Cognitive Disorders, Oncology, Science and Medical Education
- pseudoscience, electromagnetic radiation, Wifi, neurodevelopmental disorders, cancer, Conflict of interest
- © 2017 Grimes et al.
- This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ Preprints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
- Cite this article
- 2017. Distinguishing polemic from commentary in science: Some guidelines illustrated with the case of Sage and Burgio, 2017. PeerJ Preprints 5:e3355v1 https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.3355v1
Exposure to non-ionizing radiation used in wireless communication remains a contentious topic in the public mind - while the overwhelming scientific evidence to date suggests that microwave and radio frequencies used in modern communications are safe, public apprehension remains considerable. A recent paper in Child Development has caused concern by alleging a causative connection between non-ionizing radiation and a host of conditions, including autism and cancer. In this work, we outline why these claims are devoid of merit, and why they should not have been given a scientific veneer of legitimacy. We also outline some hallmarks of potentially dubious science, with the hope that authors, reviews and editors might be better able to avoid suspect scientific claims.
A shorter version of this Commentary, excluding points 8 and 9, has been accepted for publication in Child Development, to appear in 2018.