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Alice Stewart

Dr Alice Mary Stewart (née Naish) (4 October 1906, Sheffield, England to 23 June 2002, Oxford, England) was a physician and epidemiologist specialising in social medicine and the effects of radiation on health.

Her pioneering study of x-rays as a cause of childhood cancer, which she worked on from 1953 until 1956 as a member of the department of social and preventive medicine at Oxford University Medical School, was initially regarded as unsound, but her findings were eventually accepted worldwide and the use of medical x-rays during pregnancy and early childhood was curtailed as a result.[1]

Her most famous investigation (working with Professor Thomas Mancuso of the University of Pittsburgh) was among employees in the Hanford plutonium production plant, Washington, which found a far higher incidence of radiation-induced ill health than was noted in official studies. Sir Richard Doll, the epidemiologist respected for his work on smoking-related illnesses, attributed her anomalous findings to a "questionable" statistical analysis supplied by her assistant, George Kneale, but today her account is valued as a response to the perceived bias in reports produced by the nuclear industry.

In 1986 she was added to the roll of honour of the Right Livelihood Foundation, an annual award presented in the Swedish Parliament building.


  1. ^ Stewart, Alice M, J.W. Webb, B.D. Giles and D. Hewitt, 1956. "Preliminary Communication: Malignant Disease in Childhood and Diagnostic Irradiation In-Utero," Lancet, 1956, 2: 447.
  • Tucker, Anthony (28 June 2002). "Alice Stewart pioneering woman scientist". The Guardian. Retrieved on 2006-12-06.
  • Doll, Richard (2006). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 
  • Greene, Gayle (1999). The Woman Who Knew Too Much — Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation. Ann Arbor MI: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-11107-8. 
  • Right Livelihood Foundation accessed 7 December 2006.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Alice_Stewart". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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