Science Lecture: Changing Concepts of Radioactivity and Health

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Tuesday January 15

6:30 PM  –  8:00 PM

Lecture by Dr. M. Donald Blaufox. Light refreshments precede the lecture, which begins at 7:00 pm.

"Changing Concepts of Radioactivity and Health"

When ionizing radiation was first discovered it rapidly gained public acceptance. Radiation was thought to be a panacea and was used for the treatment of numerous diseases. By1921, the price of one gram of radium had risen to $100,000.Since the late 1920s and early 1930s the public's attitude towards radiation has shifted 180° and it is now considered an extremely dangerous and potentially harmful source of energy.

However, even as late as the 1950s, there were still some items produced containing radioactivity, which today would be unthinkable. The “Buck Rogers Mystery Ring” of the 1950s was activated with radioactive polonium. This lecture will review the uses of radioactivity for selected medical and commercial purposes and the events that led to the recognition of its dangers.

Members and students with ID, free; non-members $15. The Museum is open at 6:20 pm. Reservations required.

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Contact Kate Dzikiewicz at (203)413-6747 or for more information or questions.