We recently asked Joachim Schuz how he got involved in bioelectromagnetics. His response? “Well, coincidence…”
He continued: “In 1992, the German Childhood Cancer Registry at the University of Mainz started a large comprehensive epidemiological study on causes of childhood leukemia, and we were three Ph.D.-students-to-be who were interested in finding a topic within this study. While the other two worked in the same building where all the interviewers and fieldworkers were located, my office was at the Tumor Centre, so it was decided that I would take over the add-on study to the main study that was in collaboration with an external partner anyway and required less regular contact with our own fieldworkers. Having an office 200 meters away from the main building determined my first contact with EMF, instead of working on leukemia and pesticides or leukemia and infections.
“The EMF measurements were done by the Technical University of Braunschweig, and the head of respective institute was honorable Professor Karl Brinkmann, an early member of BEMS. It was his wish that our study should be presented at BEMS, a conference neither my boss or I had ever heard of before. I first went to a BEMS meeting in 1997, to Bologna, to report our results from the leukemia study done in Berlin. I especially enjoyed meeting all the researchers active in this field at one place, and the multidisciplinary and liberal spirit of BEMS. Since then I’ve only missed the meetings in Florida and Hawaii.
“A bit embarrassing to say, but I became BEMS member only in 2005, however, immediately tried to compensate my failure by becoming a very active BEMS member and was elected to join the BOD in 2006.”
He commented on his own transition from being a student to a full researcher in this area: “During a recent EBEA meeting, a speaker from a large US manufacturers company concluded his talk with a recommendation that no one below 40 years of age should go into EMF research. Luckily I had just turned 40 few weeks earlier and I’m therefore eligible to pick up some loose ends to investigate some questions where I believe we have still quite some scientific uncertainty. Whereas some activities will be completed ‘soon’ (Interphone), others are planned to commence for several decades (Cosmos).” [Editor’s note: there is no upper or lower age limit within BEMS.]
With this auspicious start, we asked how he views the future. He responded with enthusiasm and humor that “in Davos it will be my turn now to listen to my own students, and I wish them a good start in BEMS. Maybe it will be less thrilling than my own start: in Bologna all my slides were upside-down and I had to give my first BEMS presentation freely while the chairmen were busy to turn my slides - from upside-down to mirror-inverted - but the second attempt succeeded.”