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Mobile phone masts: protesting the scientific evidence

[journal article]

Drake, Frances

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Abstract In the UK mobile phone ownership is high, however, there are conspicuous local protests against mobile phone masts. Protesters’ concerns often focus on the claimed ill health effects of mobile phone technology, which are frequently dismissed by industry and scientific experts. This paper provides an in-depth study into the attitudes and beliefs of one local protest. It considers to what extent health issues dominate the group’s concerns and how the campaigners have engaged with scientific knowledge to form their opinion. Surprisingly, mobile phone ownership was high within the protest group. This apparent paradox could be rationalized, however, by considering the location of the group and the ways in which the protesters used their mobile phone. Few believed that the precautionary approach had been fully applied to mobile phones. The campaign can be interpreted as one that questions the presumption that science and technology lead to increased economic performance and quality of life.
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 387-410
Journal Public Understanding of Science, 15 (2006) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)