[ RadSafe ] FW: Jay Gould obit. in Long Island section of the NY Times, Jan. 1
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Thu Jan 5 14:17:55 CST 2006
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From: NY Times, Jan. 1
Scientist with a passion
Collecting baby teeth is usually something only a devoted parent would think
of doing, but scientific inquiry drove Jay M. Gould to do it.
When Dr. Gould, a statistician and epidemiologist, founded a group in 1985
that opposed nuclear research called the Radiation and Public Health
Project, he contended that low-level radiation from nuclear power plants was
causing increasing levels of cancer on Long Island, particularly around
Brookhaven National Laboratory. Dr. Gould, who lived in Manhattan, spent his
summers in East Hampton.
He had in mind to measure levels of radioactive strontium 90 in the body and
compare them with cancer rates. What better way, he reasoned, than to
analyze the baby teeth of children born near nuclear plants?
Results of Dr. Gould's Tooth Fairy Project, released in 2001, showed an
increase of 40 percent in levels of strontium 90 in the baby teeth of
children in Suffolk County at the same time childhood cancer rates rose by
nearly 50 percent. His findings, though thoroughly researched, nevertheless
enraged his adversaries, who argued that a large body of scientific data
contradicted his work.
Dr. Gould collected 4,500 baby teeth throughout the country for the project,
which made him a leading figure in the antinuclear movement.
Joe Mangano, who worked with Dr. Gould for 17 years and succeeded him as the
national coordinator of the project, called him "brilliant and visionary,
with the ability to bring together people with the best minds from many
walks of life and bring ideas to life."
Emily Gould, Dr. Gould's daughter, said his genius was to be able to
reinvent himself. "He was 70 when he first turned his attention to the issue
of low-level radiation, and that idea drove the last two decades of his
life," she said.
Mr. Mangano called Dr. Gould "a sort of citizen-scientist" and said: "He
knew how to mix disciplines and how to affect policy to make things happen.
He worked furiously when he was excited about something."
Dr. Gould died Sept. 16; the cause was heart failure. He was 90.
LINDA F. BURGHARDT
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