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The Woman Who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation
by Gayle Greene
University of Michigan Press, 2001
Paper: 978-0-472-08783-9 | Cloth: 978-0-472-11107-7
Library of Congress Classification R489.S78G75 1999
Dewey Decimal Classification 610.92


This biography illuminates the life and achievements of the remarkable woman scientist who revolutionized the concept of radiation risk.

In the 1950s Alice Stewart began research that led to her discovery that fetal X rays double a child's risk of developing cancer. Two decades later---when she was in her seventies---she again astounded the scientific world with a study showing that the U.S. nuclear weapons industry is about twenty times more dangerous than safety regulations permit. This finding put her at the center of the international controversy over radiation risk. In 1990, the New York Times called Stewart "perhaps the Energy Department's most influential and feared scientific critic."

The Woman Who Knew Too Much traces Stewart's life and career from her early childhood in Sheffield to her medical education at Cambridge to her research positions at Oxford University and the University of Birmingham.

Gayle Greene is Professor of Women's Studies and Literature, Scripps College.

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