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Friday
Feb132015

Dr. Ernest Sternglass, scientist, humanitarian, activist, public health investigator and so much more

 

Dr. Ernest Sternglass, 91, Emeritus Professor of Radiological Physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, passed away in Ithaca, NY on February 12, 2015. He was a prominent, published scientist and anti-nuclear activist, whose early warnings about the health effects of low-level radiation from global nuclear weapons fallout contributed to the passage of the Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty in 1963.  Dr. Sternglass would go on to focus on the public health threat from routine and accidental radiological releases from nuclear power plants.

During the Three Mile Island meltdown disaster in late March and early April, 1979 -- as hundreds of thousands spontaneously evacuated (PA Gov. Thornburgh merely advised that pregnant women and small children "voluntarily" evacuate, advice he issued days after the disaster had begun, and after the worst radiation releases had already occurred) -- Dr. Sternglass rushed into the area, with radiation monitoring equipment, in hopes of shedding light on the crisis, and providing vitally needed information to the public. So too did Dr. Judith Johnsrud, a founding Beyond Nuclear board member, who passed on in 2014.