Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Adding to the clarity of the dialogue about radiation and its effects, Dr. Robert Peter Gale '66 and medical writer Eric Lax '66 have published "Radiation: What It Is, What You Need to Know," a nonfiction book that's been commended for its in-depth information on radiation and how it affects the earth.
Together, the authors demystify the science and dangers of radiation, and examine its myriad of benefits, from safely sterilizing our food to what's described as a relatively low-risk fuel alternative of nuclear energy. Published by Knopf, the book explores a range of topics about radiation, including kinds of radiation, the association between radiation exposure and cancer, the aftereffects of nuclear accidents and bombs, radiation and birth defects, and how radiation occurs.
"Radiation" received praise in book reviews for its outstanding content and for the intrigue its piqued for readers.
Publishers Weekly notes the book is an "invaluable guide for negotiating an increasingly radioactive world." In addition, Kirkus Reviews deems the book a "well-written extension of the reach of reason in an area fraught with phobia and hysteria."
With 10 illustrations and four pages in full color, "Radiation" can be purchased in bookstores and online.
At the Colleges, Gale was a double major in biology and chemistry, going on to become a scientist and physician.
At present, Gale is a visiting professor of hematology at Imperial College in London. His career has focused on the biology and therapy of bone marrow and blood cancers, particularly leukemia. The author of 22 medical books, Gale's articles have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. For the past 30 years, he has led or has been involved in the global medical response to nuclear and radiation accidents.
Lax, who was an English major at the Colleges, currently is a medical writer who draws on an exceptional depth of knowledge to correct myths and establish facts.
Lax is the author of numerous books, including "Life and Death on Ten West," an account of the UCLA bone marrow transplantation unit; and "Woody Allen: A Biography," each which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His book, "The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat," which is about the development of penicillin, was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year.