Dr. Marvin C. Ziskin, Professor Emeritus of Medical Physics at the Faculty of Medicine at Temple University, has acquiesced. For decades, Dr. Ziskin has examined whether these high frequencies could sow disease. Many experiences, he says, support the safety of high frequency waves.
Despite the benign assessment of the medical facility, Dr. Curry's erroneous reports were amplified by alarmist websites, prompted articles linking cell phones to brain cancer, and served as evidence in lawsuits seeking the removal of wireless classroom technology. At the hour, echoes of his reports have fueled Russian news sites known to have fueled misinformation on 5G technology. What started as a simple graph has become a case study of bad science can take root and flourish.
"I still think there are health effects," said Dr. Curry during an interview. "The federal government needs to take a closer look."
An error of authority
Mr. Curry was not the first to endorse the idea that advances in wireless technology could involve unforeseen risks. In 1978, Paul Brodeur, an investigative journalist, published "The Zapping of America", which relies on suggestive but often ambiguous evidence to assert that increasing use of high frequencies could endanger human health.
On the other hand, Mr. Curry's voice was authoritative. He became a private consultant in the 1990s after the end of his research career in the federal budget. He had a degree in physics (1959 and 1965) and electrical engineering (1990). His references and his decades of experience in federal and industrial laboratories, including the national laboratory Lawrence Livermore, seems to make it a very good candidate to lead the Broward study.
"He was a very smart man," recalls Gary Brown, an expert from the district's Technology Unit, who worked with Dr. Curry on the reports. But Dr. Curry lacked biological expertise. He could easily solve atomic and electromagnetic puzzles, but he had no formal training, if any, in the subtleties of biomedical research.
In 2000, Mr. Curry, writing on letterhead from his home office in the suburbs of Chicago, sent two reports to Broward District, the first in February 2000 and the second in September of the same year. This latest study was sent to the Superintendent, the School Board and the District Safety and Risk Management Officer.