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The Woman Who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation.

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Pages: 336

Language: English

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: University of Michigan Press: New edition edition (30 July 2001)

By: Gayle Greene (Author)

Dr. Alice Stewart is a British epidemiologist who revolutionized the concept of radiation risk. Born in 1906, she is an outstanding scientist with more than 400 peer-reviewed papers to her name and someone who has taken courageous and effective stands on public issues. Yet hercontroversial work lies at the center of a political storm and so has only relatively recently begun to receive significant attention. For more than forty years, Stewart has warned that low-dose radiation is more dangerous than has been acknowledged. While teaching at Oxford in the 1950s she began research that led to the discovery that fetal x-rays double the child's risk of developing cancer. As a result, doctors no longer x-ray pregnant women. Two decades later--when she was in her seventies--she again astounded the scientific world with a study showing that the U.S. nuclear weapons industry is about twenty times more dangerous than safety regulations permit. The finding put her at the center of the international controversy over radiation risk. In recent years, she has become one of a handful of independent scientists whose work is a lodestone to the anti-nuclear movement. In 1990, the New York Times called her ''perhaps the Energy Department's most influential and feared scientific critic.''The Woman Who Knew Too Much'' traces Dr. Stewart's life and career from her early childhood in Sheffield to her medical education at Cambridge to her research positions at Oxford and the University of Birmingham. The book joins a growing number of biographies of pioneering women scientists such as Barbara McClintock, Rosalind Franklin and Lise Meitner and will find a wide range of appreciative readers, including those interested in the history of science and technology and of the history of women in science and medicine. Activists and policy makers will also find the story of Alice Stewart compellingreading.\par\pard\s1\sa100\sb100\li0\plain\fs24 Gayle Greene is Professor of Women's Studies and Literature, Scripps College. She is the author of Changing the Story: Feminist Fiction and the Tradition: Doris Lessing: The Poetics of Change and coeditor of Making a Difference: Feminist Literary Criticism.

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