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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars scientific method rather than prejudice
This is an informative and cogent review of area which is so often populated by ill informed and loud mouthed political activists. Unlike some of the propaganda circulating it is properly referenced to the real peer revieweds scientific literature as opposed to the uusual liat of self published articles and links to activist web sites. The author is a professor of physics...
Published on 18 Aug 2011 by Quack Busters

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9 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Failure to discuss "micro-dosimetry" demolishes a biased thesis
This book has a fatal flaw. Allison attempts to make the complex topic of radiation biology approachable but, as he says at the outset, he "always felt" the conventional radiation safety culture is over-protective. He is now recommending that public exposure limits should be relaxed to a level 70 times the limit defined by European Directive 96/29. (This is in later...
Published on 1 Jun 2011 by Richard Bramhall


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars scientific method rather than prejudice, 18 Aug 2011
This review is from: Radiation and Reason: The Impact of Science on a Culture of Fear (Paperback)
This is an informative and cogent review of area which is so often populated by ill informed and loud mouthed political activists. Unlike some of the propaganda circulating it is properly referenced to the real peer revieweds scientific literature as opposed to the uusual liat of self published articles and links to activist web sites. The author is a professor of physics at the University of Oxford who has written texts on medical physics and radation protection, In short unlike some of the self style politically motivated activists he actually knows what he is talking about. It is very well written for the lay person. I recommend it as a good read.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a shaft of sunlight, 23 Nov 2010
By 
Chris Adams "Gofalus" (wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Radiation and Reason: The Impact of Science on a Culture of Fear (Paperback)
As a technologist I have always intuitively believed that nuclear energy was the only sensible option as the base source of electricity for a fossil free society (mainly because I couldn't see how renewables would work, but also because I couldn't identify with the opponents of peaceful nuclear energy). Wade Allison's book provides the analysis to support my intuitive leaps: I bless him.

His argument develops from facts about human and animal exposure to radiation, and leads to the inevitable conclusion that low levels of radiation pose little threat. His analysis of the effects of radiation on populations known to have been exposed is revelatory

Most important, he exposes how false reproting and false analysis have misdirected policy over the safety of nuclear energy, and have (in the UK, at least) grossly exaggerated the difficulties and costs. "Facts all come with apoint of view."

Of course there are weaknesses. It would have been nice to have more about the effects of radiation on the servicemen who were exposed during H-bomb tests in teh '50s. But this is a minor criticism.

The main problem is how to get people to read the book - my local library refused to purchase it.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! The Real Story, in Understandable Words, 31 Dec 2009
By 
Theodore Rockwell "Engineer and author" (Chevy Chase, MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Radiation and Reason: The Impact of Science on a Culture of Fear (Paperback)
An American sage once wrote: "It's not ignorance that's the problem. It's folks knowing so many things that ain't so." And nowhere is this better illustrated than in the case of nuclear radiation.

In that situation, it is difficult to explain things in clear, simple language. In this book, Professor Allison has done the best job I've seen to date. And I say that, as a person who has read many books and articles on radiation, and written a few myself.

Many people fear radiation as something unfamiliar, unnatural, alien, and uniquely dangerous. This books shows us--not just tells us--why radiation is none of these things. Allison explains that life first appeared on an earth that was much more radioactive than today's. (You thought that the earth was getting more and more radioactive, from all the nuclear bombs and power plants? No, he explains that the earth is getting less and less radioactive each day.) In fact, he shows that we are actually experiencing a radiation deficiency, as our natural radiation background decreases from the high levels experienced in prehistoric times.

Would you feel safer if we didn't have nuclear power plants, and just burned old-fashioned coal, as we used to? Allison explains that people living near nuclear power plants do not get any significant radiation from those plants, but people living near coal-fired plants do get measurable (but safe) amounts of radioactivity. And smokers get even more radioactivity drawn right into their lungs, which tobacco concentrates from the soil.

It's a humbling experience to find out how many "facts everybody knows" about radiation are simply not so. But it is exciting and refreshing to be enlightened, and find that the world is far less threatening than we had feared. Read this book, and you'll be glad you did.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radiation and Reason:the imp[act of Science on a culture of Fear, 4 Mar 2012
This review is from: Radiation and Reason: The Impact of Science on a Culture of Fear (Paperback)
An outstanding book. Quite easily the most important/significant book that I have read for decades. It demonstrates that due to advances in understanding of radiation effects on the human cells/body the levels of permissable radiation should be altered by about a hundred times. The implications are enormous for a multitude of issues in the world of today.
ESSENTIAL READING.
John Ridd
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A calming voice of reason... This book is a 'must-buy'!, 9 May 2011
By 
Ms. C. F. Newall (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Radiation and Reason: The Impact of Science on a Culture of Fear (Paperback)
I'm an ordinary member of the public who used to be horrified by the idea of nuclear power and vehemently opposed to it, based on what I THOUGHT I knew. Then came the situation at Fukushima, following Japan's unprecedented natural disasters. Terrified by the media coverage, I decided to educate myself - and seek the "other" side of the story. Web research lead me to this book and I'm glad it did. It de-mystifies what can seem like an overwhelming and sinister subject matter.

I found the science behind it all fascinating and extremely well explained - but, you could actually skip through this if you're not that way minded; the nub of this book is how, collectively, we view risk. Extreme measures surrounding "safe" levels of exposure to radiation have actually proved counterproductive in easing our anxiety. (It explains how the origins of these "safe" levels are based on an un-sound model for calculating the risks of low levels of radiation, in any case)

The disproportionate fear of radiation is so ingrained in the public psyche, at the moment it seems the media seize upon any nuclear-related story and fuel our imagination with predictions of impending doom. This is both irresponsible and rather cruel. The author's almost evangelical approach to the "good news" he brings is refreshing and commendable - but, in the light of recent events, how do you get a society with such fixed views to read it - and have the radical rethink needed to secure our future energy supplies?

I'm in no way diminishing the crisis still unfolding in Japan, but ironically, I do now have a more balanced view. I'm much less fearful. I believe that built properly, in a suitable location, new nuclear power plants form an acceptable - and in fact essential part of a sustainable, low carbon energy-generating future.
...I really NEVER thought I'd be saying that!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fundamental reading to understand radiation, 23 Aug 2014
By 
Urs Bolt (Thalwil, ZH Schweiz) - See all my reviews
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This book helped me to lose the irrational fear of radiation which is common in the public. But to help others the book also explains in understandable scientific terms what the facts backed by credible references, experiences and studies are.
Important reading for those with radiophobia or in general still shuddering when the word nuclear radiation is mentioned. It will certainly help you to rethink your opinion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 23 April 2014
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This review is from: Radiation and Reason: The Impact of Science on a Culture of Fear (Paperback)
This is one of the best books on the subject I've read. Highly recommended. It would be great if he now wrote a book on the Nuclear Power industry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rational and Worthwhile, 23 Mar 2014
By 
William Rees "Bill" (Dorset, England) - See all my reviews
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Wade Allison may well be a high flying academic but "Radiation and Reason" is far from being a dry academic tome. It deliberately sets out to challenge your preconceptions about radiation and nuclear power. Particularly it challenges the many bizarre old wives tales that surround nuclear radiation.

I suspect the people who are in most need of enlightenment from this book are so locked in their medieval dogma they would regard it as a heresy. Consequently they are not likely to read it. Which is a shame.

Even so, for the rest of us, it is a worthwhile and rational exploration of the issues surrounding nuclear radiation.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading, 3 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Radiation and Reason: The Impact of Science on a Culture of Fear (Paperback)
Brilliant. It is about time we had a rational assessment of the effects of radiation which have been vastly overstated
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good and very thought provoking, 6 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. E. J. Leoni-smith "Leo Smith" (Suffolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Radiation and Reason: The Impact of Science on a Culture of Fear (Paperback)
When Wade is on his really specialised knowledge base -the impact of radiation on living tissues, he is peerless.

When he strays off into climate change and the nuclear history of the universe, less so.

I can't judge his political view on the rise of 'nuclear fear' in the Cold War except to say I tend to support his view with probably no more evidence than he has.

What he attempts to do, is demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt, that the LNT model of the harm from nuclear radiation is deeply flawed - flawed to the point of completely disproven, and examine the impacts of the reality of the dangers of radiation.

And he gives the political contexts of why that model was used - essentially there was no other model to use - and what the failure to update it to something approaching the reality of the situation is urgently needed.

Not quite a great book - no 'on the origin of species', this, but a very good book indeed. A damned good book.

Anyone who is really interested in understanding the reality of natural and made made radiation, needs to read this and decide for themselves whether he makes the case or not.
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