George Carlo's Cell Phone Radiation
$25-Million Scientific Study Project
Carlo's appointment by the CTIA to direct its $25-million
scientific study project was greeted with little enthusiasm
within two sectors that would be crucial to his efforts.
Among the scientific community's narrow circle of recognized
researchers and experts in the field, there was widespread
surprise and puzzlement at the choice of a fellow they
considered an outsider who lacked their expertise. Carlo was
a public-health scientist whose specialty was
epidemiology—the study of epidemic diseases and their
effects on the population. Carlo had never researched, let
alone published, anything about bioelectromagnetics—the core
discipline of the cell phone radiation controversy.
Scientists inspect each other's credentials in the same way
that our grandmothers once inspected chickens at the poultry
market: they sniff here and there and then shake their
heads. So the scientists frankly didn't expect Carlo could
accomplish much of significance in this area that was, after
all, their life's work and not his.
Among reporters who cover the telecommunications industry,
there was a widespread view that Carlo would be a lackey and
shill for the cell phone industry. He was, after all, a
handpicked expert who they frankly expected would merely
provide a polished scientific patina for the industry's
standard, high-gloss "no-problem" refrain.
Carlo was very aware of what the scientific community and
the news media had been saying about his appointment.
To ease the concerns of the experts who thought he was
lacking in credentials, Carlo created two panels of
prominent scientists. First, he formed the Science Advisory
Group (SAG), and recruited two top experts to work with him.
As he recalls, the key to its success was that he was able
to convince two top experts to work with him