“Panorama found that radiation levels from wi-fi in one school was up to three times the level of mobile phone mast radiation.”

A quote from BBC online’s own story on tonight’s Panorama which is headed “Wi-fi health fears are ‘unproven’ “. Marvellous use of scare quotes there. Are the fears proven or not? No they categorically are not. In fact the fears are rubbish.

The basic wrongness of tonight’s show has been picked up by most other news sources covering the story (OK, so I haven’t checked the Daily Mail’s “Blair’s legacy – wifi causes house price plummet” story) with the Guardian finding a physicist who explains about “the so-called inverse square law” which kind of explains why the above quote is missing some important facts. Let’s try that quote again:

“Panorama found that radiation levels from wi-fi ONE METRE AWAY FROM A LAPTOP in one school was up to three times the level of mobile phone mast radiation FROM A MAST ONE HUNDRED METRES AWAY.”

Hang on why “so-called” inverse square law? There’s no need to be so mealy mouthed. The same goes for ‘unproven’ of course, but then the regular cross-promotion that the BBC is doing with Panorama becomes pointless. What do you mean they shouldn’t be doing it anyway?

Of course this total lack of story is exactly why people get their science on this and related stories so wrong. It’s one layer of rubbishness extra on top of publication bias. It’s not even only noticing the positive reports, there are not even positives here. You never hear of a proof that there is no link – only dumb scare stories like this that pop up, get publicity, then are forgotten about except for the nutters with clippings files and selective memories.