Cincinnati Radiation Society: "Atoms For Peace" to "Homeland Security." Fostering Knowledge of Radiation in Cincinnati Since 1952
H. Spitz (University of Cincinnati)
Bob Gallaghar, a member of the Radiation Unit of the Public Health Service in 1950, recognized the need to establish a discussion group in Cincinnati to foster mutual interests in the field of radiation. The national program to foster use of atomic energy, "Atoms for Peace" also established a need to inform the public about radiation. Over 25 businesses in the local tri-state area (Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana) were actively exploring uses of radiation in 1952. Bob organized the first formal meeting of what was to become the Cincinnati Radiation Society (CRS) on 15 April, 1952. Attending the first CRS meeting were 75 participants from University Hospital, local industries (e.g., Proctor & Gamble, General Electric, Bendix Aviation, Cincinnati Milling & Machining), and governmental facilities (Fernald, Mound, Wright Patterson Air Force, and the United States Public Health Service). The meeting was held at the Cincinnati Club and the cost of a five-course dinner was only $2.75! In years following the initial meeting, local newspapers relied on the CRS for information concerning the risks associated with radiation exposure. Although now the CRS still dedicates time towards fostering knowledge about the safe use of radiation and radioactive materials (especially in our schools), our new focus is directed towards assisting first responders who need to have a unique understanding about the hazards and risks of radiation exposure in order to effectively and efficiently do their job in protecting our community in the event of a radiological terror. The CRS, which predates the organization of the Health Physics, is proud to be the first official local chapter of the Health Physics Society. We continue to serve our community in fostering knowledge on the benefits of radiation to society and mankind.