Book ID: CBB578376088

Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation (2016)


More than ever before, radiation is a part of our modern daily lives. We own radiation-emitting phones, regularly get diagnostic x-rays, such as mammograms, and submit to full-body security scans at airports. We worry and debate about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the safety of nuclear power plants. But how much do we really know about radiation? And what are its actual dangers? An accessible blend of narrative history and science, Strange Glow describes mankind's extraordinary, thorny relationship with radiation, including the hard-won lessons of how radiation helps and harms our health. Timothy Jorgensen explores how our knowledge of and experiences with radiation in the last century can lead us to smarter personal decisions about radiation exposures today. Jorgensen introduces key figures in the story of radiation--from Wilhelm Roentgen, the discoverer of x-rays, and pioneering radioactivity researchers Marie and Pierre Curie, to Thomas Edison and the victims of the recent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Tracing the most important events in the evolution of radiation, Jorgensen explains exactly what radiation is, how it produces certain health consequences, and how we can protect ourselves from harm. He also considers a range of practical scenarios such as the risks of radon in our basements, radiation levels in the fish we eat, questions about cell-phone use, and radiation's link to cancer. Jorgensen empowers us to make informed choices while offering a clearer understanding of broader societal issues. Investigating radiation's benefits and risks, Strange Glow takes a remarkable look at how, for better or worse, radiation has transformed our society.

Reviewed By

Essay Review E. Jerry Jessee (2017) Radiation, Risk, and History. Science and Education (pp. 407-409). unapi

Essay Review David K. Hecht (2017) Why we Write (Nuclear) History. British Journal for the History of Science (pp. 537-543). unapi

Review Maria Rentetzi (2018) Review of "Radium and the Secret of Life". Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology (pp. 55-59). unapi

Review J. Samuel Walker (2017) Review of "Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 471-472). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Chapter Wilder, Kelley; (2010)
Visualizing Radiation: The Photographs of Henri Becquerel (/isis/citation/CBB001221460/)

Article Badash, Lawrence; (2005)
Becquerel's Blunder (/isis/citation/CBB000650656/)

Article Kipnis, Nahum S.; (2000)
The window of opportunity: Logic and chance in Becquerel's discovery of radioactivity (/isis/citation/CBB000111697/)

Article Marco Fontani; Mary Virginia Orna; Mariagrazia Costa; Sabine Vater; (2017)
Science is Not a Totally Transparent Structure: Ştefania Mărăcineanu and the Presumed Discovery of Artificial Radioactivity (/isis/citation/CBB061937173/)

Essay Review Pasachoff, Naomi; (2013)
Radioactivity Redux [Review Essay Number 1500178] (/isis/citation/CBB001500179/)

Article Malley, Marjorie; (2002-2003)
Bygone Spas: The Rise and Decay of Oklahoma's Radium Water (/isis/citation/CBB000340304/)

Thesis Cohen, Sara Jo; (2011)
Medical Screening: Medical Imag[in]ing, the Body, and the Self (/isis/citation/CBB001567331/)

Article Paulina Oszajca; (2023)
Amore mortale. La storia dell’uso del radio nei prodotti di bellezza (/isis/citation/CBB453209942/)

Chapter Blume, Stuart; (2001)
Structures of Innovation and Their Historic Roots: The Case of Medicine (/isis/citation/CBB000102127/)

Chapter Martins, Roberto de Andrade; (2010)
Henri Becquerel and Radioactivity: A Critical Revision (/isis/citation/CBB001250595/)

Essay Review Pasachoff, Naomi; (2013)
Radioactivity Redux (/isis/citation/CBB001500178/)

Book Craig Nelson; (2014)
The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era (/isis/citation/CBB788069512/)

Authors & Contributors
Pasachoff, Naomi
Sabine Vater
Eckart Roloff
Oszajca, Paulina
Ulrich Haas
Martin Schneider
Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau
Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science
Substantia: An International Journal of the History of Chemistry
Atti e Memorie, Rivista di Storia della Farmacia
The Chemical Educator
Technology and Culture
Böhlau Verlag
University of Minnesota
Biographical studies
Medical technology
Röntgen, Wilhelm Conrad
Becquerel, Henri
Curie, Pierre
Curie, Marie Sklodowska
Curie, family
Mărăcineanu, Ştefania (1882-1944)
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
21st century
20th century, late
United States
Oklahoma (U.S.)
General Electric

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment