NextGEM participates in the Erice School of Bioelectromagnetism

The 10th Course of the Erice International School of Bioelectromagnetism, “one of the best organised in its framework”

NextGEM partners co-organised and participated in this School of Bioelectromagnetism, which celebrated its 20th anniversary

The 10th Course of the Erice International School of Bioelectromagnetism was carried out successfully at the beginning of April 2024. The programme occurred at the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Center for Scientific Culture in Erice (Sicily, Italy) for the last 20 years. This time, it counted on the participation of some NextGEM partners, including the co-director of the Erice International School of Bioelectromagnetism, Maria Rosaria Scarfi, Research Director at CNR-IREA (now retired). Scarfi considers that “the 2024 course was one of the best organized in the framework of the School“. She adds: “I liked more than one aspect. For example, very friendly atmosphere,  high student participation, strict interaction between teachers and students, and organization of group work.”

NextGEM partners pose in front of the project's poster at the School of Bioelectromagnetism
NextGEM partners pose in front of the project’s poster during the 10th Course of the Erice International School of Bioelectromagnetism. From left to right: Mats-Olof Mattsson (SPi), Maarten Velghe (RIVM) and Maria Rosaria Scarfi (CNR-IREA).

Dr Scarfi was not the only NextGEM partner taking a role at the school. There were also attendees from the Universitätsmedizin Mainz (IMBEI), SciProof International (SPi) and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Prof. Mats-Olof Mattsson is the CEO of SPi and was an invited lecturer to the course: “The course had a good balance between formal lectures and interactive sessions, and the knowledge presented was on a good academic level”, considers the Professor. He also defines the atmosphere as “very friendly, open, and constructive“.

CLUE-H and BioEM co-directed the course

The 2024 edition, celebrated on April 7-12, was also the 20th anniversary of the event. The goal of the School of Bioelectromagnetism’s 10th Course was to empower participants to apply epidemiological approaches with confidence. It focused on electromagnetic fields and health, for which in-depth reviews, insights, and discussion of key aspects were conducted. The theme of the course was in line with CLUE-H‘s, the co-organiser of this year’s edition. CLUE-H is a network that involves over 70 organisations and four research consortia, one of which is NextGEM. It aims to fill the knowledge gaps that exist regarding the impact of wireless technologies on health and the environment.

In addition to CLUE-H, the other co-organisers of the course were the BioEM Society, who supported the course from a scientific and economic side. IGEA Clinical Biophysics and the Interuniversity Center for Interaction between Electromagnetic Fields and Biosystems also sponsored the Erice School of Bioelectromagnetism.

Great satisfaction with the course

During the course in bioelectromagnetism, attendees were divided into small groups involved in: a) EMF measurements; b) Risk perception/communication; and c) How to judge a scientific paper in epidemiology. Joshua Louis Ziegler is a Research Assistant at IMBEI and collaborates with the NextGEM Project. “I attended this course to broaden my theoretical and practical knowledge on RF-EMF so that it would improve my work within NextGEM”, he says.

21 international participants from 13 institutes in 8 European Countries attended the school, all of them with diverse backgrounds. Prof. Scarfi pointed out that participants graded the course with an 8.9 over 10, showing that they were very satisfied with it. Ziegler spoke in the same line: “The courses were structured very well with plenty of highly interesting practical exercises. I liked it a lot.”

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