ACHRE Report


The Atomic Century

Before the Atomic Age: "Shadow Pictures," Radioisotopes, and the Beginnings of Human Radiation Experimentation

The Manhattan Project: A New and Secret World of Human Experimentation

The Atomic Energy Commission and Postwar Biomedical Radiation Research

The Transformation in Government - Sponsored Research

The Aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Emergence of the Cold War Radiation Research Bureaucracy

New Ethical Questions for Medical Researchers


The Basics of Radiation Science

What Is Ionizing Radiation?

What Is Radioactivity?

What Are Atomic Number and Atomic Weight?

Radioisotopes: What Are They and How Are They Made?

How Does Radiation Affect Humans?

How Do We Measure the Biological Effects of External Radiation?

How Do We Measure the Biological Effects of Internal Emitters?

How Do Scientists Determine the Long-Term Risks from Radiation?


In the atomic age, Captain Behrens's Atomic Medicine pointed out, radiation research was both the agent and the beneficiary of dramatic developments at the intersection of government and medicine. When ethical questions were raised by these developments, radiation researchers would be on the front line in having to deal with them. The burgeoning government-funded biomedical research, including human radiation research, required a reexamination of the traditional doctor-patient relationship. At the same time, the evolving role of medical researchers as government officials and advisers also posed questions about the place of doctors, and more generally of scientists, in service to government.

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