Category: Humanities and social sciences


EMF within the privacy of the consulting room





People visit their physicians when they are concerned with their health. What occurs in the interactions between the physician and patient when the request concerns the electromagnetic field which is related to the area of environmental health ? General practitioners and specialists will be interviewed in order to analyse their individual responses given their  position as medical doctors and as well as their sensitivity to the issues at hand. The physician is in a central position among various collective dimensions (knowledge, norms, financial stakes, etc) which he can integrate when facing his patient. What in fact is the situation within this dynamic context ? These results will contribute to enriching  a global analysis in the area of regulation of electromagnetic fields. It is a first step in understanding the emergence of environmental health concerns within the context of physicians medical practices.




Risques et intelligence




Danielle Salomon Risques et Intelligences

[email protected]



9 months





Concerns about the health effects of electromagnetic fields have led authorities as well as counter-experts to produce knowledge on its dangers and in turn on its consequences. Individuals who question the link between illnesses and electromagnetic fields can find different ways to cope with their pathologies and be informed on their own, as well.  Physicians, however, are in fact part of a heterogeneous group.  They are in the front line in order to answer individuals concerns. Conscious of this phenomena, professional organizations have begun to organize themselves in order to tackle these issues that usually lie beyond their professional knowledge. This project will study thoroughly these phenomena about which very little social science work has been carried out.


– Interviews with different physicians located in municipalities with contrasted characteristics will enrich the knowledge of interactions between medical doctors and patients about electromagnetic fields. The objective is to answer the following questions: What occurs within the privacy of the consulting room? How do patients formulate their requests? What is the nature of these requests? How do physicians translate these requests? How do they answer?  How do they cope with their needs? How do they learn about this issue? What type of knowledge do they learn? What is exchanged within these interactions? How do these requests which are not only of a curative order, integrated among the strategic choices each physician makes about his or her individual practice? Can they be a source of evolution of this strategy? How do these public health elements integrate within the curative order?


– Complementary interviews will delve deeply into the formal and informal physicians medical associations as well as potential interactions with health authorities (alarms, questions, training).


These results will contribute to a global knowledge about electromagnetic fields as well as health and environment concerns in which physicians play an emerging role.

This research project calls for organization, public policy, health and risk sociology.

The research will be carried out by a team of sociologists working in a private and independent agency, (Risques & Intelligence), which has a long and rich experience in conducting research and studies within the health and environment field.


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