History and Mission of the Health Physics Society

With the development of nuclear technology and the application of radioactive materials to more areas of human life, there was an increased awareness that risks associated with related materials and activities had to be considered and managed to ensure the safety of workers and the general public. Recognizing that evaluating and managing radiation safety required a multidisciplinary technical effort, the field of health physics was born. To support health physicists in all aspects of the practice of their profession, the Health Physics Society was formed. For more than 50 years, the Society has provided cohesion, direction, and recognition in the practice of occupational and environmental radiation safety.

Information in this section describes how we began, how we evolved, our goals, and where we are going. Our history includes important technical accomplishments by some of the most eminent scientists in the history of health physics and truly pioneering and groundbreaking contributions to the development of radiation protection principles and philosophies. Our current mission statement reflects the goals of the Society that have developed over the years and formally expresses our commitment to professional and societal needs. The Society's prospectus (PDF: 21,116 bytes) summarizes the activities, describes the various types of membership, and lists the publications of the Society. The Society's Code of Ethics serves as principles intended to aid members, individually and collectively, in maintaining a professional level of ethical conduct. The Society's Strategic Plan consists of Goals and supporting Objectives believed to be critical to achieving the Society's vision.