Charter & Mission
Charter: The objective of this group is to monitor for and counter nuclear/radiological misinformation that could adversely impact the world’s ability to effectively respond to nuclear and radiological challenges, to the end point of saving lives.
For the world to effectively prepare for and respond to a radiological or nuclear emergency, it is important to have reliable information about risks to humans from both high- and low-level exposures to ionizing radiation and that the general response to the human body from high and low doses is different. Unfortunately, misinformation (such as the linear, no-threshold model (LNT)) about radiation effects on humans is prevalent in the news and other media, especially for low-level-radiation exposure (low-dose and low-dose-rate), as is currently the case for downwind populations of Fukushima. Misinformation (such as the LNT) if not quickly detected and properly countered by reliable information in a timely manner can lead to harm including the unintended loss of many lives as has been demonstrated after the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents. Misinformation related to low-level radiation exposure leads to unintended fatalaties1. Our group is multidisciplinary and includes expertise in a variety of areas including radiation source characterization, radiation transport, external and internal radiation dosimetry, radiobiological effects (both harmful and beneficial), dose-response modeling, radiation risk and benefit assessment, nuclear medicine, diagnostic radiology, radiation oncology, commercial nuclear power, technology supporting use of nuclear power, isotope production, and nuclear/radiological emergency management.
1 Fear based on the LNT was responsible for about 100,000 abortions following the Chernobyl accident and is now also responsible for more than 1,000 lives being lost related to Fukushima evacuations (Scott BR and Dobrzyński L. 2012. Dose-Response 10:462-466).
Mission: To help prevent unnecessary, radiation-phobia-related deaths, morbidity, and injuries associated with distrust of radio-medical diagnostics/therapies and from nuclear/radiological emergencies through countering phobia-promoting misinformation (such as the LNT) spread by alarmists via the news and other media including journal publications.