Original post published by: Instytut Spraw Obywatelskich – Institute of Civil Affairs
Title: Nauka oparta na dowodach czy na prostytucji?
About scientific prostitution, the impact of corporations on scientific research and how the dismantling of the environmental and human protection system in Poland has been dismantled, says prof. Janusz Mikuła from the Cracow University of Technology.
Author: Rafał Górski – Poland
Published: 25 February, 2020
Attention: Translation of the Polish language into English by Antoinette Janssen via Google. The text is edited on some spots, to create sentences without the often by Google created abracadabra. Please check my interpretations, by using Google Translate yourself, and comparing the original Google Translation with mine. Let me know if you find mistakes in my interpretations. Sometimes it is impossible to understand the original text behind a Google translation, because Google translates the exact words, not the typical expression for something, as it is used in the original language, in this case: Polish. I have changed the translation of some specific terms into the original terms and linked it to a page that is related with it.
01. Rafał Górski: Are we dealing with scientific prostitution in Poland?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: I am a very specific person and I answer: yes, in the case of a part of the scientific community yes.
02. Rafał Górski: What does it mean?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: This means that strictly defined research services are carried out under the thesis assumed in advance, required by the client. This can be said in a simple, general way, but there are many specific moments where such prostitution occurs. It looks a little different in the world of exact sciences and certainly completely different in sciences such as economics and political science. Still different in sociology. It is more difficult in exact sciences, although it does happen.
03. Rafał Górski: And why are we dealing with this practice?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: This is a complex mechanism, some of the researchers do not want to enter into conflicts, disputes with people who instruct them to do so, do not want to have problems. They want to have peace of mind, even at the expense of signing on certain theses that are not accepted in part of the scientific community, but for this peace of mind they are able to sign something like that. Some do it even to maintain or gain the right position, not necessarily in the scientific community, but for example in the local environment of a large city or in the political environment. I think that there are many such cases, because many ministries, for example, commission the preparation of various opinions and these opinions may not be objective. Sometimes there is a conversation with the person taking such an order, or even reaching people who write what they want them to write. It is basically quite simple, as I know, e.g. as a commissioner, what views a given scientist has on certain topics. As I say, the decision is to either keeping up to the facts or keeping up to the lies for the sake of peace and not to expose it to anyone, to gain the right position, be it in a political or social environment.
04. Rafał Górski: When you talk about orders from ministries |Kiedy mówi Pan o zleceniach od ministerstw|, it happens regardless of who rules?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Of course, ministries need rootstocks for some activities, and various opinions are being prepared. The most shocking are legal opinions made by the so-called legal advisers in ministries. This is not the rule, but it happens that it is established in advance, which is the result of such an opinion, and the rules are manipulated to show it, and it does not necessarily have to be in line with the idea of law.
05. Rafał Górski: With the idea of law or research results?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: I think too, because some studies cannot be easily and cheaply verified. If we talk about research in the area of exact sciences, if you need unique research equipment, and it is known that only one laboratory has it and nobody in the country will verify it, and in other countries they do not deal with such issues very much, then you can wonder. There were cases at various colleges and universities, where exact data was taken from the upper right corner of the ceiling and later scandals broke out. Including application for withdrawal of the academic title.
06. Rafał Górski: Please give an example.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: I will refrain from examples, some cases are still pending, and some are in the stages of various appeals.
07. Rafał Górski: You mentioned that these can be orders from ministries, but I also understand that big business can also do, and do it.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Yes of course. I know of a case that went to our “Instytutu Inżynierii Materiałowej“. It was about verifying the opinion on one of the installations, it was related to environmental protection, but it was strictly related to material engineering. We undertook this task and our research clearly showed that the results were manipulated in such a way that they were included in the previous opinion, that the permissible standards were not exceeded, everything came out elegantly. This concerned hazardous waste, and our analysis showed that the situation was dramatic because toxic waste was allowed to enter the environment.
08. Rafał Górski: The admission concerned a large company?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Yes, such things happen, but so do emissions to air: results are not always well developed, reliable values are not always given, results are selected selectively. Those that match are left out, which do not match, as, for example, are subject to a large error.
09. Rafał Górski: In what areas that are related to the daily lives of the Polish people, scientific prostitution appears most often?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: In my opinion, this is mainly an area of environmental protection, very broadly understood. However, this rather does not happen when it comes to issues of buildings and transport facilities, because these are too serious things. Here the failure usually ends with a great tragedy and when later the prosecutor enters the office, there are allegations. You can easily find the error and the guilty person who led to such an error.
10. Rafał Górski: And here are people guarding?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: They are rather guarding here, risking a long prison for some funny money, I don’t think anyone is counting on that.
11. Rafał Górski: And in the case of electrosmog? Here, the negative impact on humans is very difficult to prove, it is spread over many years.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: It’s very bad here. I know this from experience, because I was the head of a team that developed a program for the city of Krakow to protect residents from electromagnetic radiation. As part of this work, very thorough analyses were made of both literature in the field of techniques and technologies as well as literature on the impact on living organisms, including humans. We have determined that there are certain biological effects that the literature explicitly indicates that they can be the effect and are most likely the effect of electromagnetic fields. Not enough available of this is that there is a very strong synergy of interaction between chemical pollution, including air pollution, water pollution, food pollution and electromagnetic radiation and what happens with cell membranes and their permeability, and then respectively with chemical reactions in the cells themselves. American government institutions drew attention to this synergy quite strongly in the 1990s. However, the White Paper was created in our country. The conclusions of this study commissioned by the government are that there is no negative impact of electromagnetic radiation on living organisms. The question arises: “What is this about?” The “White Paper” was made, among others, by people from the “Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego“, in the medical faculty, where at the same time the Collegium Medicum treats cases of children with electromagnetic hypersensitivity. People who work with the treatment of these children were not admitted to the team that was preparing the White Paper. In my opinion, this is a classic example of where we are talking about: active governmental oppression. This is scientific corruption.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Yes, the Institute of Telecommunications was responsible for the technical part, and the Jagiellonian University for the medical part and biological interactions. And the result became as it was meant to be, i.e. the material was given to the government so that it could close all mouths of 5G opponents. In addition, there have been slogans on the internet that people who disagree with the White Paper are most likely cooperating with Putin. There was a campaign against these people.
There are cases in Poland that people go abroad to France and obtain medical certificates for electromagnetic hypersensitivity, because in Poland it is difficult to get anything. And this is the main problem.
13. Rafał Górski: Why do science centers not want to deal with this topic?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Because this is a sensitive topic, to put it mildly, you can sprain your scientific career by dealing with such a subject in depth and matter-of-fact; well, unless you don’t want to dislocate a scientific career, then you write that there are no negative impacts.
14. Rafał Górski: I understand that a scientist must bend his neck?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: It all depends on what character you have, whether you are set as a scientist to search for the truth, gain knowledge, recognize problems and publish what you have obtained, or if you want to earn money at all costs and possibly make a career, it’s very easy to get all kinds of titles.
15. Rafał Górski: A shiver went down my spine, as you spoke about the fact that scientists at one university have such a different approach of seeking the truth. After all, they later meet, talk, look each other in the face. And not including children with electromagnetic hypersensitivity in the study is simply a scam.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: They don’t call it a scam, these are named differences in scientific views.
16. Rafał Górski: The topic of synergy of various negative factors is also very interesting, which you raised. At the Institute of Citizens’ Affairs, we encourage critical reflection on the impact of toxic car exhaust fumes, pesticides, GMOs, electrosmog, vaccines, antibiotics, and stress at work on our body. When we connect all these dots, it starts to push us through, that something is wrong here. It cannot be so that no one explores the relationships between these dots. For example, no one examines how our immune system overlaps all these factors. Why?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: It is difficult to study and it requires very advanced research equipment that is just in few laboratories in the country. However, there is also another way and not everything needs to be studied, sometimes it is enough to analyze foreign literature well. In the West, they have great opportunities, big money, very interesting research programs lasting many years are launched and conclusions can be drawn.
|Until recently, environmental impact assessments were such a way for high-frequency electromagnetic radiation| [check of the translation needed for: “Takim mechanizmem do niedawna w przypadku promieniowania elektromagnetycznego wysokiej częstotliwości były oceny oddziaływania na środowisko”. A.J.].
Each installation, especially the cellular base stations, was subject of an environmental impact assessment. At the same time, this involved public participation in administrative proceedings. During the assessment, an environmental impact assessment report was prepared, and in this report, one of the points required by the Act was health impact analysis. In this analysis, if it was properly done by the performers of these assessments, a review of world literature should be done. What is being said about this and what new research has emerged. If this were done with this number of cell phone masts, then we would have such a rich overview of literature that it would be enough to put it together and we would know everything that is happening in the world. It would not take special orders for various institutions to do these reviews. All you have to do is to sit with two or three people and tell them to put everything together. The society would be educated, because people would read about it in reports that would be lectured for 21 days to the public. One could read, analyze such a report and learn something new. Today, citizens do not have such an opportunity, because today virtually here in the city of Krakow, for several years no environmental impact assessment report has been made for base stations.
17. Rafał Górski: Why?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Well, that’s because how the law was changed, it was specially done. The law was changed for the first time at the end of 2007. Of course the lobby worked. They had their lobbyists who created changes in regulations, but they changed them imprecisely.
In the ordinance of the Council of Ministers of August 21, 2007 amending the ordinance on determining the types of projects that may significantly affect the environment and the detailed conditions related to the qualification of the project to draw up an environmental impact report (Journal of Laws No. 108, item 1105 as amended) instead of one eligibility criterion for installations generating radio frequency electromagnetic fields – equivalent isotropic radiated power – a double criterion was introduced, consisting in making the qualification of the installation dependent on the level of equivalent isotropic radiated power determined for a single antenna and the distance of places accessible to the public from the electrical center, along the main axis of the radiation beam of this antenna. The one who invented it mocked physics. Electromagnetic radiation was supposed to spread in a straight line in the antenna axis, which was enough to draw an arrow.
This, however, was not enough. A new ordinance of November 9, 2010 was issued (Journal of Laws No. 213, item 1397) on projects that may have a significant impact on the environment. Pursuant to this regulation, the effect of the antenna is considered only in a straight line running from the antenna in the main axis of the radiation beam.
Therefore, the actual space of the antenna impact is not currently taken into account when deciding whether it is necessary to assess the environmental impact of this project. The criterion adopted in the ordinance of October 9, 2010 does not guarantee that all installations and equipment potentially hazardous to the human environment will be verified in the proceeding regarding environmental conditions.
The adopted criterion omits situations when places accessible to people are in a beam (understood as a certain space, field) that the designed antenna is supposed to emit, however, next to the axis of this beam (understood as a straight line drawn in the direction of the beam). Situations of this kind, due to the distribution of mobile telephony installations in dense urban buildings, may in practice often occur.
In practice, the above-mentioned regulation does not take into account the accumulation of radiation beams from many different radiation sources.
It is worth noting here that all companies do analyzes, field distributions, etc. for their own safety.
18. Rafał Górski: And what does that mean for your own safety?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Some manufacturers of devices associated with electromagnetic radiation, base station manufacturers, and mobile phone manufacturers have special financial reserves for damages. They realize that sooner or later such processes will exist in larger quantities. They must have reserves for it, because they know exactly that electrosmog is not completely harmless. There are sensitive people on whom it affects and in organisms which it causes strictly defined, negative changes. Unfortunately, the industry and political lobby were preventing that the society would be educated. Everyone can be told that his head hurts because there is not enough oxygen in the air in Krakow. He has palpitations, because there is something else. Something is going on in the lungs because of ozone. So one can imagine all this. Nobody spoke or talked about this synergy of many different harmful factors affecting our bodies every day, for years. It is not mentioned that there are probably certain groups of diseases, especially chronic ones, which would not have occurred if this synergy was not present.
19. Rafał Górski: You mentioned the lobby in 2007. Is it about the lobby of telecommunications corporations?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Of course, they found the Member of Parliament who introduced them to the committee, they got the opportunity to talk to Members of Parliament, talk to experts, proposed changes and submitted.
20. Rafał Górski: As we analyze the whole process in Poland at the Instytucie Spraw Obywatelskich, which led to the situation we have at the moment, we can see that, unfortunately, civic control was very small. I am blaming myself here for years that I have not paid attention to this field, which is of colossal importance for the quality of everyday life of tens of millions of Polish women.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: I am shocked that virtually no large environmental organization has protested against all these changes. Only organizations that only dealt with electromagnetic radiation protested, and the rest remained silent. I tried to awaken the Polski Klub Ekologiczny and the president of the Polski Klub Ekologiczny said that “he doesn’t see anything wrong in it”. I was all the more shocked because I knew these people very well, because I was their president.
21. Rafał Górski: On the other hand, I am impressed by the attitude of civic activists, who talk a lot about smog, but do not say anything about electrosmog. It reminds me of the situation from the second half of the 90s. At that time, in our „Tiry na tory” |”Trucks on tracks” campaign, we talked about car smog. Nobody wanted to listen to us. It took 25 years for the subject “smog” to be present in the public debate. Today, my heart beats faster when I observe activists ‘silence’ the subject of 5G. Activists who work at smog everywhere and have the need for social dialogue on their lips 24 hours a day.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Exactly. I think it is related to the financing of organizations, in particular ecological organizations. With the whole financial model. In the 1990s, these organizations had virtually no money from the state budget, from municipalities. There were American, German and Swedish funds, and some of the activists who won grants arranged very nicely. In connection with the above, they had great salaries, two or three times higher than the average person in Poland, and this demoralized them. Later, when Polish money appeared from the “wojewódzkich funduszy ochrony środowiska”, from the national environmental protection fund and from municipalities, not the pursuit of ecological problems, but the pursuit of grants and raising money began, and that was the main mission of some organizations. That’s why I also parted from environmental organizations, because it irritated me enormously that the topic was not important, it was important to get a grant and get a good job, that’s all.
22. Rafał Górski: 13 years have passed since 2007. You looked at the process of changing the law on electrosmog. I understand that you see this process as a “long march of telecommunications corporations”?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: This is a systemic operation, carried out very precisely, aiming to finally lead to a 100-fold increase in standards for electromagnetic radiation. And finally, make it practically possible to build mobile base stations in any place. Almost without any permission, notification. Today they led to such a situation, but it was a slow, long-term, gradual march. They started it by liquidating very restrictive regulations in this field, because these were really very good, they protected citizens. They were gradually dismantled, as the entire investment process had been dealt with, how it was simplified to the maximum, then the last step was to change the permissible levels of electromagnetic radiation in the environment.
23. Rafał Górski: It is worth appreciating the fact that the guidelines we had were based on our Polish scientific achievements. Could you tell me a little bit about that? It was not “seen”.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: It was not “seen”. That is exactly the problem, as we are talking about scientific work in the field of electromagnetic radiation, this was very strongly developed in the 1960s and 1970s in Poland. There were very good teams of scientists, including those at the Wojskowej Akademii Technicznej, who were involved in research in this field. There were many publications, including books. There was such a book, I just don’t remember the author, “Non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation”, a very good popular science book, it was great to read because it was written in simple language. She described various aspects of the interaction of electromagnetic fields.
24. Rafał Górski: We had outstanding professionals, using today’s news talk, we had world-renowned innovators, such as Professor Włodzimierz Sedlak.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Yes exactly.
25. Rafał Górski: Then science sought the truth.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Yes, it is not enough, science sought the truth and was also oriented in a way by the system to maximize the possibilities of these electromagnetic fields and on objects and people. At that time, concepts were emerging that electromagnetic radiation could change the behavior of the crowd. In addition, electromagnetic radiation was very important, because space flights, airplanes, etc. were developed then, and here good, precise contact, use of appropriate field frequencies, interfering with other fields, protecting one’s own, it was developing very strongly. So you had to have a lot of knowledge about fields to do such things. Well, as I say, a lot of publications arose, now one says: “Ah, it was a commune, a dark commune, they knew nothing, etc.”. And one makes fun out of it, for example, the Institute of Communications. They underestimate that acquired knowledge.
In turn, in the 1990s, environmental impact assessments developed very strongly in Poland. Established at the Ministry of the Environment, the Commission for Environmental Impact Assessment. It included scientists and officials. These were large public meetings, a lot of scientists took part in them and analyzed the impact of various investments on the environment, but also on society. It was analyzed what will happen in relevant social groups. As a result, it led to the fact that the “ustawy oochronie ikształtowaniu środowiska”, the act on environmental protection and shaping has just introduced environmental impact assessments. The whole system of environmental impact assessment was created.
26. Rafał Górski: What year was that?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: It was the beginning of the 90s. I was a member of this commission throughout the 90s and practically the whole of the first years of 2000, I participated in its work, I saw how it developed.
27. Rafał Górski: The scientists’ motivation was to protect the environment and humans?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Yes, of course, two inseparable things, man is also an element of the environment. In general, the concept of sustainable development has been distorted in Poland, because it has been reduced to either only the environment or there is talk of sustainable development of regions, but in the sense of equalizing economic levels. The real sense of sustainable development has recently been recalled by the Australian Prime Minister, who said that Australia will develop according to this concept, that it applies to all industry groups. They are to develop evenly so that one sector does not choke the other. Social groups are to be evenly developed, of course in line with political goals, some groups are to shrink, some increase, but there is going to be a balance between these social groups so that there are no social tensions that are in turn caused by differences in these economic sectors. It’s all related. Not only that, social tensions and economic problems today are caused by changes in the environment, so you need to stabilize the environment above all. That there would be no more rapid changes, because otherwise it would be impossible to balance what is happening in social groups and what is happening in the economy. They see it today at home. We do not notice it at all, we distorted exactly the concept of sustainable development, then in the 90s these concepts were created and then the committee was saying exactly “there must be balance between”. It was not enough that there was balance in politics.
28. Rafał Górski: This system was then created by scientists, and isn’t it so, now we are going back a little to the beginning of our conversation that some of these scientists changed their minds?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: The older ones are already in retirement. They haven’t changed their minds, but they don’t ask them for their opinions.
29. Rafał Górski: It is good that “Pan” mentioned these pensions. From various fronts of civic campaigns, I have the idea that we can expect help from scientists on sensitive subjects: scientists who are already retired.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Because they are independent, they will take their pension from them? It’s not possible. They can say what they think, they can say what they know, they are not afraid of anything. As if it was enough, it resulted in the removal of older people from most universities. The professor does not always reach the seventy, sometimes he is retired at the age of 67. The grading system, which was introduced at universities and academics, also contributed to this, because older people are required to have the same powerful scientific activity as the young, i.e. impossible. The valuable thing of these older people is first of all their great experience, the acquaintances they have in the scientific community, they can provide diverse contacts, not only at home but also abroad, they can help in their trips, if they don’t have enough experience and knowledge. A senior scientist may not necessarily be active in research today, he does not necessarily have to publish a lot, but his experience and knowledge are so valuable that he can sculpt many young scientists.
30. Rafał Górski: From my point of view, the most important is that such a person is looking for the truth.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Yes, he already knows that when he used to make money, he did it, and very often those older people from good universities did it and made money from their education and did their learning very well. However, later on, scientific slyness began to develop, so badly I would say, and it began to diverge, but the older ones still have their unbreakable stiff backbone and that’s why they are valuable. And the new system meant that we practically expelled all the elders. And the young have no role models.
31. Rafał Górski: Speaking of examples, maybe you could comment on the following situation. The person I’m talking about asked for anonymity. He is a scientist from a reputable Polish university. We talk about a topic and publish the interview on our website. After a few months, we learn that the corporation association, which we stepped on in an interview, is writing a letter to the university’s rector. A letter in which he protests against the statements of this scientist. He was threatened to be dismissed.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: How can an employee be removed from the university: if he/she fails the grade, if he/she has a negative grade from scientific or didactic or organizational activity. If it has positive assessments, there is no basis for removal, this is a typical mobbing activity and the case should go to the labor court. I am aware that in the labor court cases are dragging on, sometimes a year, sometimes two, sometimes three years, but there is no other way, while it is already mean mobbing and an attempt at informal influence on people; what rights does the rector have for such activities?
32. Rafał Górski: The more that this person simply presents scientific evidence, research in support of his theses. the more I was shocked. The question arises, how many scientists undergo such “treatment”. How many bend their neck? How can an ordinary citizen trust science?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: This is very bad because scientists also form a group that should interact with other social groups. How can it interact if it is suppressed and destroyed?
33. Rafał Górski: There are very few scientists who have the courage to seek the truth and speak about it in public if it is not politically correct. What should we do as citizens with this situation?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: I believe that a part of the society, and not just now but for a long time, is intimidated. They are afraid to speak. They exchange opinions, speak very sharply, and when meetings occur even with a simple official, they don’t speak. It is a little different in the countryside.
34. Rafał Górski: And where do you think this results from?
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: From the fact that perhaps in such larger environments some people have already encountered something such that they have already been intimidated, or that it has been said somewhere in the personal circles, that it may have some consequences when a person has this and no other attitude.
35. Rafał Górski: For example, he would lose his job.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: E.g. |”A cóż rolnikowi zostaje zrobić”|And what is left to the farmer to do, at most they will not give him a loan, as long as they have such influence on some banks. In general, however, the society is afraid to speak. Until recently, the scientific community was saying something there, but unfortunately it is changing, people are afraid to speak in public. I do it, we have a meeting with the rector in a moment. |If I or my deputy do not go evenly, the rest is scared. Jak ja czy mój zastępca nie pojedziemy równo to reszta siedzi wystraszona.|
36. Rafał Górski: Recently I talked with prof. Marek Zmyślony [see: article 1, article 2, video. “Prof Marek Zmyślony is the head of the Radiological Protection Institute of the Occupational Medicine Institute in Łódź. He is also the Chairman of the Commission of the Polish Society for Radiation Research for Bioelectromagnetic Problems.” Source. A.J.], who said that the Ministry of Digitization does not cooperate with experts from the Institute of Occupational Medicine who have huge, documented achievements in the field of electromagnetic radiation. Instead, the Ministry of Digitization works with scientists from the Jagiellonian University, with no scientific achievements in this topic.
Prof. Janusz Mikuła: Because a group was established for a particular thesis, the thesis was to be proved, end of story. Why risking taking people who sit on the subject? Simple, logical.
Rafał Górski: Thank you for the conversation.