Monday, September 26, 2011
Calabrese’s interpretation of this history is supported by letters and other materials he has retrieved, many from formerly classified files. He published key excerpts this month in Archives of Toxicology and Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis.
Muller was awarded the 1946 Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery that X-rays induce genetic mutations. This helped him call attention to his long-time concern over the dangers of atomic testing. Muller’s intentions were good, Calabrese points out, but his decision not to mention key scientific evidence against his position has had a far-reaching impact on our approach to regulating radiation and chemical exposure.
Calabrese uncovered correspondence from November 1946 between Muller and Curt Stern at the University of Rochester about a major experiment that had recently evaluated fruit fly germ cell mutations in Stern’s laboratory. It failed to support the linear dose-response model at low exposure levels, but in Muller’s speech in Oslo a few weeks later he insisted there was "no escape from the conclusion that there is no threshold." To Calabrese, this amounts to deliberate concealment and he says Stern raised no objection.
Calabrese adds, "This isn’t an academic debate, it’s really practical, because all of our rules about chemical and low-level radiation are based on the premises that Muller and the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) committee adopted at that time. Now, after all these years, it’s very hard when people have been frightened to death by this dogma to persuade them that we don’t need to be scared by certain low-dose exposures." ctd
I have, for some time, been promoting the fact that the LNT theory, which has no evidential backing is not only wrong but that the opposite theory, hormesis, that low level radiation has vitamin effects, is clearly proven.
This is important because LNT is the only vaguely credible reason for opposing nuclear power and and the part of the anti-nuclear scare which is most scary because it is invisible.
In turn the anti-nuclear movement has meant that humanity do not have two and a half times more electric power and therefore approaching two and a half times more wealth. Also it is why we do not have inexpensive space ships which could have got us to "Saturn by 1970".
All in all far more damaging than the global warming fraud, at least so far.
However a positive development is that this researcher has been able to publish and had a signnificant amount of coverage , ok significant in terms of a physics story from 1945. That would not have happened a few years ago.
Look at the comments on this post on Junkscience . OK Junkscience is a sceptical blog, unlike "Skeptical Science" or "scienceblogs" and thus might be expexted to have readers open to this idea. However they are not merely interested the commenters almost entirely understand that the LNT theory is fraudulent.
Scientific fraud, from whaterver motives, comes about not merely, perhaps not primarily, because of the fraudster. Scientific opinion is the ocean scientists swim in and if that ocean were not conducive to particular frauds they would either not be done or not develop the critical mass (ok mixed metaphor) to achieve common acceptance.
The growing strenght of online scientific scepticism is a major factor in promoting scientific progress. Even the fact that opponents are trying to adopt the label, misspelled, is a sign it is becoming mainstream, as well as of their dishonesty and intellectual bankruptcy.