[ RadSafe ] Sternglass -Galileo Parallel :-) RE: Drawing the line between science > andpseudo-science. (was Rational Thought) >

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Mon Oct 10 01:41:52 CDT 2011

Oct. 10

         Thank you, Stewart, for your account of this event.

         As I've said before, Sternglass is a charlatan.  Here's the 
link to the Wikipedia entry about 
him.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Sternglass

Steven Dapra

At 05:11 PM 10/9/2011, you wrote:

>John Ahlquist writes below:
>Right after Moeller read the statement, I heard Sternglass sigh "Now I know
>Galileo felt."
>John Ahlquist
>Hello everyone.
>Regarding Sternglass & Galileo:
>In 1994, I had the distinct [mis]fortune to speak immediately after Ernest
>Sternglass as one of two invited speakers at an annual meeting of a group
>called the National Association of Atomic Veterans [NAAV] in Washington, DC.
>Most of the people at this meeting are elderly vets on the VA's Ionizing
>Radiating Registry in light of their having been involved in military
>service which exposed them to ionizing radiation in certain defined
>categories during the Cold War or at the end of WWII.
>Seeing Sternglass in action before a gullible group of "atomic vets" was
>quite astounding. His actions were quite reprehensible, and would only have
>prompted extreme fear and additional anxiety among the audience. I assume
>Sternglass thought everyone in the audience would fully buy into his
>nonsense without question,  since he seemed to revel in saying such extreme
>things and was on such a roll.  I only wish I had recorded his "speech". His
>"talk" was a hard act to follow.
>I had been invited by NAAV to speak  since I'd brought attention in a
>Letter-to-the-Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine to the issue of
>a carefully designed human radiation experiment [Project X-434 --Nasal
>Radium Irradiation -NRI] conducted by the Navy on about 800 Submariners at
>the end of WWII. The goal of this experiment was to determine NRI efficacy
>on shrinking enlarged adenoids, by delivering about 2,000 rads [ 20 Gy]
>bilaterally at the opening of each Eustachian tube to facilitate pressure
>equalization during rapid pressure changes experienced by Submariners in the
>diesel subs of the day in certain operations.
>[ see: Farber, S., and Ducatman, A.M., "Radium Exposure in U.S. Military
>Personnel, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 326, No. 1, pp. 71-72,
>Jan. 2, 1992 ]
>  - My letter describes the nasal radium procedure and brought to the
>attention of the medical and scientific communities information that, during
>the time it was in vogue,  an estimated 5,000 treated submariners faced an
>elevated risk for a variety health problems (including various malignant
>head and neck tumors, including brain cancers, and thyroid problems: very
>elevated rates of Graves disorder) based on epidemiological studies cited.
>It called for a central registry and the establishment of a "formal program
>for the identification and medical surveillance of such people" by the US
>Navy. The Navy (in its reply published with my letter) wrote the radium
>treated vets had a "RIGHT TO PRIVACY [emphasis added]" not a "right to know"
>What a change to the "right to know" concept!! The Navy spokesperson claimed
>the risks of NRI were "relatively small" eqyuvakebt to pesticides on apples,
>and why should they do anything since a huge population of children was
>treated with NRI after WWII vs. the Navy having used it on only a few
>thousand men. The Navy clearly felt that a few thousand rads [ 20 Sv ] to
>the nasopharynx of 5,000 vets was as trivial a risk as an apple a day to
>keep the oncologist away.
>Subsequent to the letter above, and in the context of the "DOE Human
>Radiation Openness Initiative" begun in early 1994, I garnered a great deal
>of attention for the NRI issue and prompted a Senate Hearing on the subject,
>and later forced a CDC Workshop on the subject.
>To read more about NRI, the one Human Radiation Experiment judged to have
>the highest cancer mortality risk by a wide margin of any of the 4,000 Human
>radiation experiments [greatly exceeding the Pu injectees], reviewed by
>President Clinton's Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments
>[ACHRE] see:
>But, I greatly digress..
>In any case, Sternglass in his 1994 talk at the NAAV meeting which I
>witnessed delivered what can only be describe as an inflammatory, totally
>unprofessional,  scientific rant unconnected with any scientific reality. It
>was extreme fear-mongering of the type we've witnessed many times from other
>anti-nuclear activists, who will say anything to keep their distortions or
>outright falsehoods repeated by various media, so gullible people believe
>Sternglass blamed radiation exposure for every disorder imaginable,
>including claiming that fallout from open air nuclear bomb testing was
>responsible for the aids virus having developed in Africa and then spreading
>around the world. He greatly misrepresented, or came up with impossible
>radiation exposure pathways,  and exaggerated the scientific realities of
>radiation risks. He cynically did his best to take advantage of the distrust
>and fears that "atomic" veterans had who had received some radiation
>exposure in the course of their service. It's easy to see why someone like
>Busby, even with the benefit of hindsight, can refer to Sternglass with
>admiration for Sternglass having supposedly found increased infant mortality
>downwind of EVERY nuclear plant in the US. When called to account on this
>nonsense on Radsafe, Busby was still willing to comment that Sternglass is
>"generally correct" in his assertions.
>If Sternglass could compare himself to Galileo at the HPS Meeting discussion
>in 1971, he'd have to be totally out of touch with reality at the time. 23
>years later in 1994 at NAAV, he was still trying to manipulate any audience
>he could find that would listen to his foolishness.
>On last bit of Sternglass trivia that is good for a laugh. I once saw a
>summary of radioactive discharges tabulated by Sternglass while he was still
>RSO for the Univ. Pittsburg Hospitals.  I recall his report showed his
>Hospital discharged more I-131 into the sewers of Pittsburg than any nuclear
>plant in early 1970s.
>Ernest: Would Galileo allow so much I-131 to be discharged into the
>Stewart Farber, MS Public Health
>SAFarber at optonline.net
>-----Original Message-----
>From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
>[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of John Ahlquist
>Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2011 3:46 PM
>To: Radsafe
>Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Drawing the line between science >
>andpseudo-science. (was Rational Thought) >
>I was at the 1971 HPS meeting at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC when this issue
>hot.  There was a lot of press there for the Sternglass show.  I addition to
>excellent statement below read by Dade Moeller, there was a presentation
>how Sternglass had cherry picked data on infant problems.  He did a study of
>data in California but the period he used coincided with an outbreak  of
>{German measles] which causes at least a 20% chance  of damage to the fetus
>if a
>woman is infected early in pregnancy.   The years before and after this
>outbreak, things were normal.
>Right after Moeller read the statement, I heard Sternglass sigh "Now I know
>Galileo felt."
>John Ahlquist
>From: radsafe-bounces at agni.phys.iit.edu on behalf of Bob Cherry
> > Sent: Thu 06/10/2011 04:40
> > To: 'The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List'
> > Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Drawing the line between science
> > andpseudo-science. (was Rational Thought)
> >
> > The December 1996 issue of the HPS Newsletter refers to an even earlier
> > issue:
> >
> > Every issue of the HPS Newsletter seems to have information
> > important enough to reference. The August
> > 1971 issue is no exception. An exceptional event was
> > described in that issue. After Ernest Sternglass presented
> > a paper on an epidemiological study describing health
> > effects from nuclear facilities discharges, Dade Moeller,
> > President-Elect, read a statement that had been signed by
> > Claire Palmiter, President. and all 13 past presidents of
> > the Society.
> >
> > In part. it stated that Sternglass had presented papers
> > in which he associates an increase in infant mortality
> > with low levels of radiation exposure ... His allegations
> > made in several forms, have in each instance been ana.
> > lyzed by scientists, physicians, and biostatisticians in the
> > federal government, in individual states that have been
> > involved in his reports. and by qualified scientists in other
> > countries. . Without exception, these agencies and scientists
> > have concluded that Dr. Sternglass' arguments are
> > not substantiated by the data he presents. The United
> > States Public Health Service, the Environmental Protection
> > Agency, the States of New York, Pennsylvania,
> > Michigan, and Illinois have issued formal reports in rebuttal
> > of Dr. Sternglass' arguments.
> >
> > Again. in spite of the efforts by the most respected
> > authorities to prevent the widespread broadcasting of
> > Sternglass' flawed perceptions, Sternglass was sought for
> > comments by the media and his story told countless times.
> > The public was presented with fearful misinformation.
> > Many members of the Society wanted stronger efforts to
> > counter erroneous information, but our story was not
> > considered newsworthy by the media.
> >
> > --from Bob C

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