Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation
What is ‘radiation’? Is all radiation harmful? Are there health risks? If so, what are they? Author Timothy Jorgensen answers these questions and many more in this intriguing book. Radiation research, and even its medical use, has been extant for over a century, and here readers become acquainted with radiation heroes, such Wilhelm Roentgen, who discovered X-rays; and villains, such as the Ingersoll Watch Company, who used radium-laced paint for their glow-in-the-dark watches. Different types of radiation are all discussed in terms of health and risk, and the author is careful to explain how risks are calculated, what the numbers from risk factors mean, where the measurements have come from, and how trustworthy they are.
The book is a pleasure to read, written for an audience without technical jargon or medical bombast, but concentrating on the stories of those who discovered and researched various types of radiation. Throughout, the implications of their findings and their impact on the researchers’, as well as modern readers’ health, is also clearly explained in a balanced, reasoned, objective approach that leaves room for the reader to weigh risks with many (enumerated and significant) benefits. The stories are personalizing and immediate, and carry the greater narrative of radiation history; these scientists, researchers, patients, and victims become real to the reader, as their lives are impacted (for good and ill) by wars and disasters, family, and friends. This book is a well-written, engaging, and fascinating journey through radiation, from history to health.
|Timothy J. Jorgensen
|Princeton University Press
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|Science & Nature