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dr. Helen Caldicott

dr. Helen Caldicott

The single most articulate and passionate advocate of citizen action to remedy the nuclear and environmental crises
Language : English

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  • The dangers of the nuclear age
  • Why the nuclear age is the single greatest threat to the world’s public health
  • The often-underestimated dangers of nuclear weapons and power programs and policies
  • Nuclear power is not the answer
  • Nuclear weapons/policy

The single most articulate and passionate advocate of citizen action to remedy the nuclear and environmental crises, dr. Helen Caldicott, has devoted the last 35 years to an international campaign to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age and the necessary changes in human behavior to stop environmental destruction. Born in Melbourne, Australia in 1938, dr. Caldicott received her medical degree from the University of Adelaide Medical School in 1961. She founded the

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The single most articulate and passionate advocate of citizen action to remedy the nuclear and environmental crises, dr. Helen Caldicott, has devoted the last 35 years to an international campaign to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age and the necessary changes in human behavior to stop environmental destruction.

Born in Melbourne, Australia in 1938, dr. Caldicott received her medical degree from the University of Adelaide Medical School in 1961. She founded the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at the Adelaide Children's Hospital in 1975 and subsequently was an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and on the staff of the Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston, Mass., until 1980 when she resigned to work full time on the prevention of nuclear war.

In 1971, dr. Caldicott played a major role in Australia's opposition to French atmospheric nuclear testing in the Pacific; in 1975 she worked with the Australian trade unions to educate their members about the medical dangers of the nuclear fuel cycle, with particular reference to uranium mining.

While living in the United States from 1977 to 1986, she co-founded the Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organization of 23,000 doctors committed to educating their colleagues about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons and nuclear war. On trips abroad she helped start similar medical organizations in many other countries. The international umbrella group (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. She also founded the Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND) in the US in 1980.

Returning to Australia in 1987, dr. Caldicott ran for Federal Parliament as an independent. Defeating Charles Blunt, leader of the National Party, through preferential voting she ultimately lost the election by 600 votes out of 70,000 cast.

She moved back to the United States in 1995, lecturing at the New School for Social Research on the Media, Global Politics and the Environment, hosting a weekly radio talk show on WBAI (Pacifica), and becoming the Founding President of the STAR (Standing for Truth About Radiation) Foundation.

Dr. Caldicott has received many prizes and awards for her work, most recently the Lannan Foundation's 2003 Prize for Cultural Freedom, 19 honorary doctoral degrees, and was personally nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Linus Pauling - himself a Nobel Laureate. The Smithsonian Institute has named dr. Caldicott as one of the most influential women of the 20th Century. She has written for numerous publications and has authored seven books, Nuclear Madness, Missile Envy, If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth (1992, W.W. Norton) and A Desperate Passion: An Autobiography (1996, W.W. Norton; published as A Passionate Life in Australia by Random House), The New Nuclear Danger: George Bush’s Military Industrial Complex (2001, The New Press in the US, UK and UK; Scribe Publishing in Australia and New Zealand; Lemniscaat Publishers in The Netherlands; and Hugendubel Verlag in Germany), and Nuclear Power is Not the Answer (2006, The New Press in the US, UK and UK; Melbourne University Press in Australia). Dr. Caldicott’s most recent book is War In Heaven (March 2007).

She also has been the subject of several films, including Eight Minutes to Midnight, nominated for an Academy Award in 1981, If You Love This Planet, which won the Academy Award for best documentary in 1982, and Helen’s War: portrait of a dissident, recipient of the Australian Film Institute Awards for Best Direction (Documentary) 2004, and the Sydney Film Festival Dendy Award for Best Documentary in 2004.

Dr. Caldicott currently divides her time between Australia and the US where she lectures widely. She is also the Founder and President of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute (NPRI), headquartered in Washington DC. NPRI’s mission is to facilitate a far-reaching, effective, ongoing public education campaign in the mainstream media about the often-underestimated dangers of nuclear weapons and power programs and policies.

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Cover van War in heaven

War in heaven

Title: War in Heaven - Stopping the Arms Race in Outer Space Before It's Too Late
Authors: Helen Caldicott and Craig Eisendrath
Publisher: New Press
Language: English
Book: Hardcover, 192 pages
ISBN: 978-1595-5811-43

A revelatory look at the U.S. Government's plan to put weapons in outer space, by two bestselling experts.

"During the early portion of the twenty-first century, space power will also evolve into a separate and equal medium of warfare ... The emerging synergy of space superiority with land, sea, and air superiority will lead to Full Spectrum Dominance." - from U.S. Space Command Vision for 2020

When most of us think about the potential of outer space for future generations, we think of world communications, satellite navigation, and scientific exploration. U.S. Space Command, however, thinks about weapons. Believing that conflict in space and wars fought from space are inevitable, the president has called on the agency to weaponize outer space and thus provoke an arms race that could cost the United States trillions of dollars and could lead to the demise of the human race.

In 'War in Heaven', a Nobel Prize-nominated peace activist and a former U.S. foreign service officer (who helped write the Outer Space Treaty of 1967) look at the history of military uses of space and the current plans for 'militarizing the heavens', including kinetic, laser, nuclear bombardment, and anti-satellite weapons. Contrary to the claims of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that the United States faces a 'space Pearl Harbor', Caldicott and Eisendrath show that the United States itself is today the principal obstruction to passage of an international treaty banning weapons from outer space.

At a time when plans to build and deploy space weapons are on the administration's agenda but only just becoming known to the general public, this book will help launch a national discussion of a critical issue.

Cover van Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer

Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer

Title: Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer
Author: Helen Caldicott
Publisher: New Press
Language: English
Book: Hardcover, 128 pages
ISBN: 978-1595-5806-72

In a world torn apart by wars over oil, many politicians are increasingly looking for alternative sources of energy - and their leading choice is often nuclear. Among the myths that have been spread over the years about nuclear-powered electricity are that it does not cause global warming or pollution (i.e., that it is "clean and green"), that it is inexpensive, and that it is safe. But the facts belie the barrage of nuclear industry propaganda:

  • Nuclear power contributes to global warming
  • The real costs of nuclear power are prohibitive (and taxpayers pick up most of them)
  • There’s not enough uranium in the world to sustain long-term nuclear power
  • Potential for a catastrophic accident or terrorist attack far outweighs any benefits.


Trained as a physician, and - after four decades of antinuclear activism - thoroughly versed in the science of nuclear energy, the bestselling author of Nuclear Madness and Missile Envy here turns her attention from nuclear bombs to nuclear lightbulbs. As she makes meticulously clear in this damning book, the world cannot withstand either.

The edition published by Melbourne University Press contains a special preface for Australian readers.

Cover van The New Nuclear Danger

The New Nuclear Danger

Title: The New Nuclear Danger - George W. Bush's Military-Industrial Complex, Revised and Updated Edition
Author: Helen Caldicott
Publisher: New Press
Language: English
Book: Paperback, 304 pages
ISBN: 978-1565-8487-88

On September 18, 2001, one week after the World Trade Center disaster, Lockheed Martin, the country's leading manufacturer of conventional weaponry, nuclear delivery systems, and national missile defense, took a full-page ad in the New York Times echoing JFK's famous call to "pay any price to assure the survival and the success of liberty." The ad offered an unusually public display of what is typically the invisible hand and muscle of the arms industry guiding American sentiment and government.

In her uncannily timely new book, Dr. Helen Caldicott looks at the indebtedness of the Bush Administration to the arms industry and warns of the incredible dangers inherent in allowing weapons manufacturers to dictate foreign policy. Recounting the history of government collusion with industry, Caldicott shows how the merging of weapons firm in the 1980s created hugely powerful "death merchants," including Lockheed and others, ready to lobby politicians and manipulate public opinion on behalf of their corporate interests.

Now, with unprecedented acts of terrorism fueling the American public's willingness to grant its government broad power to wage war, the constant pressure from weapons makers to use military force -- and by extension, buy more of their weapons -- poses the very real threat of nuclear war. Enumerating, as a physician, the medical consequences of such a war, Caldicott demonstrates conclusively that the notion of nuclear survival is a complete fantasy, and that nuclear victory is an oxymoron.

In the same way that a generation embraced Caldicott's hugely influential Nuclear Madness and Missile Envy, The New Nuclear Danger stands to educate, alert, and mobilize millions of young people and concerned citizens, who must understand the planetary threat posed by overly aggressive nuclear scientific establishments and weapons industries in a volatile world. The edition published by Scribe Publications contains a specially written chapter for Australian and New Zealand readers.

Cover van A Desperate Passion

A Desperate Passion

Title: A Desperate Passion - An Autobiography
Author: Helen Caldicott
Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc.
Language: English
Book: Hardcover, 336 pages
ISBN: 978-0393-0394-74

"Dr. Helen Caldicott," the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle declares, "is back on the scene." A Desperate Passion is Caldicott's engaging, inspiring memoir, chronicling her life both on and off the scene. Raised in Australia and trained as a physician, she first found her voice protesting French nuclear tests in the Pacific. Years later she rose to international prominence, founding Physicians for Social Responsibility, "which did perhaps more than any other group to thrust the nuclear issue under the public eye" (New York Times).

"Driven by intense passions, she seems to have adopted the world's population as her children. And all of us are probably better off as a result" (East Bay Express Books) - but Caldicott, wife and mother of three, found that her success did not come without cost. This is a personal story too, a candid, revealing self-portrait of a woman who has not relinquished her remarkable efforts to save the world.

"Our contaminated air and our fractured earth demand a doctor's attention in the nuclear age, and the doctor on this case is a master." Bloomsbury Review

"Helen Caldicott was the First Lady of the Nuclear Freeze Movement in the 1980s. This story, by an extraordinary woman, is a compelling memoir of those extraordinary times." Edward M. Kennedy

Cover van Nuclear Madness

Nuclear Madness

Title: Nuclear Madness - What You Can Do
Author: Helen Caldicott
Publisher: W W Norton & Company
Language: English
Book: Paperback, 240 pages
ISBN: 978-0393-3101-15

"As a physician, I contend that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. If present trends continue, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will soon be contaminated with enough radioactive pollutants to pose a potential health hazard far greater than any plague humanity has ever experienced," says Dr. Helen Caldicott in Nuclear Madness.

In this completely revised, updated, and expanded edition of her classic book, Caldicott defines the dangers of nuclear power, discusses the insidious influence of the nuclear power industry and the American government's complicity in medical "experiments" using nuclear material, and calls on us to accept the moral challenge to fight against it, both for our own sake and for that of future generations. The disaster at Chernobyl and the "incidents" at other plants around the world have disproven the image of "safe" nuclear power, and developing nuclear technology in the Third World poses still further risks.

This is an eminently useful book as the George W. Bush Administration and atomic energy brokers push ahead with major plans to revive support for nuclear power and build many new plants, with green washing campaigns in major media outlets calling nuclear power "environmentally preferable."

Cover van If You Love This Planet

If You Love This Planet

Title: If You Love This Planet - A Plan to Heal the Earth
Author: Helen Caldicott
Publisher: W W Norton & Company
Language: English
Book: Paperback, 232 pages
ISBN: 978-0393-3083-58

"Helen Caldicott has been my inspiration to speak out." Meryl Streep

Our planet is desperately ill and must be healed. If the human race does not change its present behavior, the ecosphere may be doomed within the next ten years. A renowned anti-nuclear activist for twenty years, Helen Caldicott here turns from the arms race to the race to save the planet, laying out the grim details of ozone depletion, excess energy consumption, pollution, and global warming. The causes: public apathy, corporate greed, and the cynical manipulation of political leaders.

To save the planet we need to change the way we think and behave. Closer contact with, and appropriate reverence for, nature will help to provide simple answers to seemingly complex problems.

If You Love This Planet describes in easy-to-understand language the scientific and medical consequences of the greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, deforestation, species extinction, toxic chemical pollution, nuclear waste, food contamination, and the ever-present threat of nuclear war.

Caldicott, a physician by training, also gives us a prescription for cure - and a cause for hope. We must learn energy efficiency, we must organize politically (voting, she suggests, should be compulsory), and we must hold corporations and governments accountable for their actions. Above all, she says, our fight for the planet will draw its greatest strength from a love for the Earth itself.

To be issued in a revised and updated edition on Earth Day, 1 June 2009.

Cover van Metal of Dishonor

Metal of Dishonor

Title: Metal of Dishonor - Depleted Uranium - How the Pentagon Radiates Soldiers & Civilians with DU Weapons
Author: Helen Caldicott
Publisher: International Action Center
Language: English
Book: Paperback, 260 pages
ISBN: 978-0965-6916-04

In May, 1997, the International Action Center published a book of essays and lectures on depleted uranium: the contamination of the planet by the United States military. In addition to exposing the deadly duplicity of the Department of Defense, the book documents the genocide of Native Americans and Iraqis by military radiation, the connection between depleted uranium and Gulf War Syndrome, the underestimated dangers from low-level radiation, the legal ramifications of DU Production and Use, and the growing movement against DU.