ARTICLE: ‘A Dispassionate and Objective Effort:’ Negotiating the First Study on the Biological Effects of Atomic Radiation (2007)

Jacob Hamblin, “‘A Dispassionate and Objective Effort:’ Negotiating the First Study on
the Biological Effects of Atomic Radiation,” Journal of the History of Biology 40, no. 1 (March 2007): 147-177.

In this article Jacob Hamblin examines the history of the debates in the 1950s over
what was a safe level of public exposure from nuclear radiation. Focusing on the
making of the 1956 report on Biological Effects of Atomic Radiation (BEAR) by the
US National Academy of Sciences, Hamblin argues that the influential report resulted
from negotiations between American scientists with different views, between them and
US government officials, and between the US academy and Britain’s Medical Research
Council, against a highly politicized background of public concern over nuclear test
fallout and the 1956 US presidential election.

-Zuoyue Wang