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Program Information
WINGS: Women's International News Gathering Service
The deep research of biometrist Rosalie Bertell
Weekly Program
Rosalie Bertell, PhD (1929-2012), biometrist who studied risks to health from radiation and pollution. She was a recipient of a Right Livelihood Award.
 WINGS: Women's International News Gathering Service  Contact Contributor
Nov. 26, 2023, midnight
Biometry is the application of mathematical analysis to biological data. Mathematician Bertell was enticed into health research and did complex analyses on large data sets with many variables. Her first breakthrough was in showing how exposure to radiation increased the risk of metastasizing cancers - which convinced the US Congress to limit the use of X-rays to diagnostics. She was also able to trace the spike in breast cancers among cohorts of American women to their exposure to above-ground nuclear testing. Based on her Xray research, she came out against routine mammography, especially on younger women. Among other research topics, she worked on how pollution affects the health of whole communities. She was offended by campaigns that led individuals to try all sorts of things to prevent disease in themselves without looking at the environment around them. She was shunned and vilified by various persons with financial stakes that would be adversely affected by her work. But all the work she discusses in this 1994 interview is still relevant and not overturned today. The lessons she conveys are still needed.
Interview recorded in 1994 by Laura Flanders, for the local women's program Broadsides on WBAI, and shared with WINGS. Edited for WINGS in 1994 and updated in 2012 and 2023 by Frieda Werden.
WINGS: Women's International News Gathering Service has been covering the global women's movement and related issues for community radio since 1986. Contact: wings@wings.org

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00:28:58 1 Nov. 26, 2023
New York City and Canada
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