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Dr. Helen Caldicott:
"The New Nuclear Danger"
Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
Co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility
The single most articulate and passionate advocate of citizen
action to remedy the nuclear and environmental and nuclear crises, Dr Helen
Caldicott has devoted the last 26 years to an international campaign to educate
the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age, and the necessary
changes in human behavior to stop environmental destruction.
Born in Melbourne, Australia in
1938, Dr Caldicott received her medical degree from the University of Adelaide
Medical School in 1961. She founded the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at the Adelaide
Children's Hospital in 1975 and subsequently was an instructor in pediatrics at
Harvard Medical School and on the staff of the Children's Hospital Medical
Center, Boston, Mass., until 1980 when she resigned to work full time on the
prevention of nuclear war
In 1971, Dr Caldicott played a
major role in Australia's opposition to French atmospheric nuclear testing in
the Pacific; in 1975 she worked with the Australian trade unions to educate
their members about the medical dangers of the nuclear fuel cycle, with
particular reference to uranium mining.
While living in the United States
from 1977 to 1986, she co-founded the Physicians for Social Responsibility, an
organization of 23,000 doctors committed to educating their colleagues about the
dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons and nuclear war. On trips abroad she
helped start similar medical organizations in many other countries. The
international umbrella group (International Physicians for the Prevention of
Nuclear War) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. She also founded the Women's
Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND) in the U.S. in 1980.
Returning to Australia in 1987,
Dr Caldicott ran for Federal Parliament as an independent. Defeating Charles
Blunt, leader of the National Party, through preferential voting she ultimately
lost the election by 600 votes out of 70,000 cast.
She moved back to the United
States in 1995, lecturing at the New School for Social Research on the Media,
Global Politics and the Environment, hosting a weekly radio talk show on WBAI
(Pacifica), and becoming the Founding President of the STAR (Standing for Truth
About Radiation) Foundation.
Dr. Caldicott has received many
prizes and awards for her work, 19 honorary doctoral degrees, and was personally
nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Linus Pauling--himself a Nobel Laureate.
Ladies Home Journal, named Dr. Caldicott as one of the "100 Most Important Women
of the 20th Century" (May 1999). She has written for numerous publications and
has authored five books, Nuclear Madness (1979, revised edition by W.W. Norton
in 1994), Missile Envy (1984, Bantam), If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal
the Earth (1992, W.W. Norton) and A Desperate Passion: An Autobiography (1996,
W.W. Norton; published as A Passionate Life in Australia by Random House). Her
most recent book is The New Nuclear Danger: George Bush's Military Industrial
Complex, published in April 2002 by The New Press in the US, Scribe Publishing
in Australia and New Zealand, Lemniscaat Publishers in The Netherlands, and
Hugendubel Verlag in Germany.
She also has been the subject of
several films, including Eight Minutes to Midnight, nominated for an Academy
Award in 1982, and If You Love This Planet, which won the Academy Award for best
documentary in 1983.