Bio piece on anti-nuclear campaigner and pediatrician, Helen Caldicott - 1979

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Bio piece on anti-nuclear campaigner and pediatrician, Helen Caldicott - 1979 - Pediatrician believes babies more susceptible...
Pediatrician believes babies more susceptible to radiation By GEORGIA DUIXEA c. 1979 N Y. Times News Service BOSTON She has long been regarded as ''the other pediatrician" in the antinuclear movement. With her lainous colleague. Dr. Benjamin Spock. she marched in the recent Washington rally against nuclear power carrying a black col I in that was decked with papier-mache papier-mache papier-mache forms of infants and a sign saving: "Babies Die First." "Fetuses, babies and young children are 10 to 20 times more susceptible than adults to the ellects ol radiation." she later told the thousands massed at the steps of the Capitol. It was not a new message, not a new cause for Dr. Helen Caldicott. who has been concerned concerned some sav consumed with the medical implications implications ol nuclear radiation on children lor most ot her 40 years. She remembers reading. "On the Beach.' a novel about nuclear holocaust set in her native Australia, at the age ol 12. "It frightened the hell of me.'" she says today. " I'm still (Tightened. " Until recently. Dr. Caldicott s reputation as an antinuclear antinuclear activist had been largely confined to Australia, where she is credited with leading two successlul battles - one to ban atmospheric bomb tests bv the French in the South I'acilic. another to ban the export export of uranium bv Australia. Her involvement in the movement movement in this count rv began two years ago. when she and her husband moved here to accept appointments at Children's Hospital Medical Center and teaching jobs at Harvard Medical School Dr. Caldicott then began lecturing lecturing on college campuses, in church halls and in hospitals around the country She spoke not as nuclear scientist but "as a pediatrician, a mother and a world citizen." Before long, she was president ot a 500-member 500-member 500-member antinuclear group called Physicians Physicians lor Social Responsibility, the author of a polemical book entitled Nuclear Madness ' (Autumn Press i. a minor but provocative figure in the movement movement Then came the nuclear accident accident at Three Mile Island. The unt I inching lace and urgent voice ot Helen Caldicott was all over the television screen. Overnight she had become a symbol lor a diverse movement in which she. as opponent ol nuclear power and atomic weaponry in any form, tails in the extreme radical camp. Radical?" she said with a hall -smile. -smile. "Whv must they put labels on this? I'm a conservative, conservative, actually. I'm for conserving conserving lives. As a physician, I'm trying to educate people about the carcinogenic and mutagenic effects of radiation. The cancer society says 80 percent percent ol cancers are caused by environmental pollutants. Why not stop the front end of the cancer cycle? That's real preventive medicine." She was walking across the campus ol Tufts University at the time, in academic cap and gown, having just addressed the medical school graduates. "We cannot remain in our laboratories, our hospitals, our oltices any more." she had told them. "We must be out there Future CLKMSON Once upon a time in America, young people were not fashionable unless they sported powdered wigs and wrinkled laces. That's not a fable. "In the 18th century in this country, being being old was equated with being wise and having power and influence, influence, says Carol Furry, a Clemson University psychology professor who has studied the aging process "The industrial revolution has changed that." says Furry, who lectured at Clemson s annual annual College Week lor Senior Citizens which concluded Friday. Friday. "Children and old people can always do something on a farm, but they don't lit in very well in an industrial societv." she says. ( hild labor laws, she adds, were based more on the admis Mt. Pisgah nominated to National Register Mount Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Greenwood has been nominated for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places by the South Carolina State Board of Review which met in Columbia May 23. The nomination will be forwarded to the Department of the Interior in Washington for final approval. Mount Pisgah A.M.E. Church is believed to have been designed and constructed by members of the congregation in 1908. An eclectic structure, it is an example of the vernacular ecclesiastical architecture of the early 1880 s and 1890 s. The church, which is an offshoot offshoot of Weston Chapel A.M.E. preventing the pollution of our environment, the destruction of our earth. We must be out there practicing the ultimate in preventive medicine." Doctors, young and old. stopped stopped her. praising and occasionally occasionally criticizing her speech. She was tired, she said, eager to get home "to the old--man old--man old--man old--man and the kids." She pulled oil her cap and let fall a mass ol auburn hair. "Iet's shove otf and get some grub." she said. The Caldicotts live in the suburbs, suburbs, in a huge Tudor house with a small turret on top. It reminds reminds her of "Grimm s Fairv Tales." They have three handsome handsome children, aged 12 to 15. all ol whom wear Three Mile belongs to old sion that children could not do the job in a factorv than on humanitarian grounds. Ironically, much that has been written about the "plight ol the elderly'" has formed negative stereotypes in the public mind, savs Furrv. "Aging has been given a bad name because todav there are a lot ot marginal elderly people who in earlier times would not have lived so long They're not reallv representative of the majority majority ol senior citizens." In recent years that majority has spawned suchsactivist movements as the Gray Panthers and the American Association Association ol Retired Persons, organizations that led the recent recent successlul lobbying eltort in Washington to raise mandatory mandatory retirement age Irom 65 to 70 Church, has been in continuous use since its formation and presently serves a congregation of 60. Mount Pisgah A.M.E. Church has been an important influence in the religious and educational life of the Greenwood black community. The nomination of Mount Pisgah was prepared by the staff of the Historic Preservation Preservation Division of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, which administers the National Register program in the state; Mrs. L. Claretta Donaldson of the Mount Pisgah congregation and Ruth LaForge, historic preservation planner of the Upper Upper Savannah Council of Governments. Island T-shirts T-shirts T-shirts Thev also have a wonderlul marriage." although thev admit that it was once less than wonderlul. In (act. both agreed, over tea in the library, that they would probably be divorced today it it weren't for something called the Creative Initiatives Foundation. Foundation. "It's become the prime locus of our lives over the last lew vears. even more so than the nukes. " said Dr. William Caldicott. a bearded and solt-spoken solt-spoken solt-spoken radiologist who seems equallv committed but is not presently active in the antinuclear antinuclear cause because someone has to stav home and look alter the kids " "The elderlv vote more consistently consistently than anv other group in our societv." she says. "By the year 2000 it is conservatively conservatively estimated that 30 percent ol our population will be over 65. We mav very well end up with a gerontocracy' in this country. " Kurrv is a strong advocate ol doing awav with the distinction between age and competence, and she encourages senior citizens to "act on their environments environments It ou re the kind ol person who lets life happen to you rather than making lile happen the wav you want it. then you will be adversely affected by society's attitude toward aging NEWS unr AMKK PARRISH Greenwood 223-5021 223-5021 OSCAI PAMISH

Clipped from
  1. The Index-Journal,
  2. 02 Jun 1979, Sat,
  3. Page 10

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  • Bio piece on anti-nuclear campaigner and pediatrician, Helen Caldicott - 1979

    danimations – 19 Jan 2015

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