AUTHORHines, Neal O.
TITLEProving Ground: An Account of the Radiobiological Studies in the Pacific, 1946-1961
PUBLISHERUniversity of Washington Press
CITYSeattle, WA
ISBNno number - use WorldCat search box

This book presents a narrative history of the University of Washington's Laboratory of Radiation Biology research endeavors during the period in which the United States government tested nuclear weapons at Bikini and Enewetok in the Pacific Ocean. That laboratory, originally founded during the Manhattan Project period to assess the effects of plutonium production on fish in the Columbia River, became responsible for assessing the extent to which the large nuclear detonations at the Pacific Proving Ground altered the marine environment. Based largely on documents exchanged between the laboratory and the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, the author concludes that the new radiobiological investigations were "as disciplined, imaginative, and productive as the resources and the state of knowledge would allow." But he also acknowledges that the research "sometimes fell short of total and comprehensive attacks on basic problems" (p. 311). This work is helpful in documenting an important chapter in the birth of a new scientific discipline, radioecology, during the early Cold War period. Notes and a bibliography are included.

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