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"Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist."

"Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist." 1977.
Produced for NOVA by Robert Richter/WGBH-Boston.

Carbon-14. (1:25)


Newsreel Voice-Over: Three hours after the H-bomb had been detonated, a downpour of radioactive descended upon the Fortunate Dragon and its crew of twenty-three. None of them...

Narrator: After one of the fishermen died from high-level radiation sickness, there was an international outcry. But Pauling was also worried about low-level radiation and its long-term effects on life. A voracious reader, he had come across a Russian scientific paper that reported Carbon-14 caused genetic damage as well as cancer. And Carbon-14 was a by-product of H-bombs. Pauling started to put facts together. Because of his unique background, he came to chilling conclusions that he felt the public had to know about.

Linus Pauling: My estimate was that the six-hundred megatons of testing that had been done up to 1963 would, in the course of time, cause fifteen million children to be born with gross physical or mental defects, who would otherwise have been normal. And would cause about fifteen million cases of cancer that would not have occurred otherwise. Pretty big. And so, if you test one twenty-megaton bomb, that would be at the sacrifice of one-thirtieth of those numbers. That would be five-hundred thousand. Five-hundred thousand unborn children, five-hundred thousand cases of cancer per twenty-megaton bomb tested.


Creator: Linus Pauling, Robert Vaughn
Clip ID: 1977v.1-carbon14

Full Work

Creator: Robert Richter, WGBH-Boston
Associated: Linus Pauling, Ava Helen Pauling, Robert Vaughn, Frank Catchpool

Date: 1977
Genre: video
ID: 1977v.1
Copyright: More Information

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