Thinking Allowed - Including musings by Daan Spijer.

Book Reviews

November 18, 2011


Devra Davis
Scribe Publishing  2011
ISBN: 9781921640988
288 pp, including index and appendix

This is an important book for the information it provides.  At the same time, it is poorly written and/or poorly edited.  Let me get the negative out of the way first.

Devra Davis is a scientist with a PhD and other written works to her name.  I would have expected her to be clearer and more precise in her use of the English language and clearer in her logical exposition.  I found whole paragraphs repeated in different sections of the book and, in some areas, gaps in explanations of important concepts or data.  The irony in this is palpable: the disconnect of the title refers largely to the gap in what is known by the telecommunications industry and by governments and what is communicated to the public.

Despite these, perhaps minor, failings, the book delivers to the reader a chilling litany of subterfuge, outright dishonesty, obfuscation and misinformation.  According to the author, there is enough data that indicates potential and likely health concerns with the use of mobile phones, to warrant the issuing of strong warnings to users, especially children and teens.  This data has been in existence since the early days of mobile phones.  Despite this, the industry keeps calling for more studies to be done and governments, apparently at the behest or urging of the industry, relaxes safety regulations instead of strengthening them.  A cynic might conclude from this that the profitability of the industry is more important than the health of users of the phones.

As with other books I have reviewed recently1, Disconnect should be read by everyone, in order that the size of the informed (and consequently concerned) public may grow to the extent that it may exert sufficient pressure on governments to offer all of us better protection.  And we can choose to use these devices with more circumspection, or not at all.  It is through the efforts of people such as Devra Davis that we, the consumers of ‘whiz-bang’ technology that we ‘cannot do without’, learn more about the consequences of using ubiquitous devices and can change our habits in an appropriate way.


  1. Health-related books reviewed on this site:

© 2011 Daan Spijer

[to receive an email each time a new review is posted, email me: <daan [dot] spijer [at] gmail [dot] com>]

acrobat reader logo for link to PDF version of post CLICK HERE to download a formatted PDF of the above post

Seventh House Communications Logo See more of Daan Spijer’s writing and his photos at Seventh House Communications

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.