Until recently, in NZ, the history of science was often scientists or journalists writing on episodes or themes in history,
The history of science of course a discipline of it's own, with methodological criteria.
It's very easy to write about the history of science, but rather harder to do this in a methodolically sound way. And harder still to do it in an easy to read way.
Rebecca Priestley has written a very readable and methodologically sound book.
Like Dr Priestley, I thought that her interest in NZ nuclear history, would have been a very short history.
But I remembered Rutherford & Marsden from my school days.
Arthur Koestler mentioned how his father made money out of radium cures. These sorts of cures have resonances in NZ, Rebecca mentions these.
Dr Priestley's emphasis on health & nuclear history is very important.
Marsden mentioned somewhere that the proximity of Buller Gorge to Motueka may have been responsible for the link between lung cancer and smoking. This bit is dotty, as it was post - Richard Doll.
I remember seeing in the NZ Medical Journal a photo of an (?)1896 X-Ray clearly showing shot gun-pallets in a hand.
Yes, so NZ was on board the nuclear ship, very early.
I can remember shoe shops having X-ray machines and knew that they had disappeared sometime, I now know From Rebecca, that this was 1969.
NZ's anti-nuclear policies remain important. But so too, is the NZ nuclear history. And that history may be at at variance with NZ public perception of the subject.
Other reviewers will write of Rebecca's book with more knowledge than I have.
But I thought that it was important to pin at least 1 review onto an otherwise blank wall.
Although I have written this as a NZer, commenting on a NZ book, the subject has far wider relevence.
Dr Priestly has done a magnificent job, but her book may be doomed to be unread (sadly), although I hope not.
Thank you Rebecca.