Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

“We the People: A Prescription for Ending the Arms Race,” Dr. Helen Caldicott

Third Annual Ava Helen Pauling Memorial Lecture for World Peace

October 17, 1984

Speaker Biography

Helen Caldicott
Helen Caldicott (Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament)

“We the People: A Prescription for Ending the Arms Race”  Watch Video

A gifted physician, author and lecturer, Helen Caldicott (b. 1938) has devoted much of her career to educating the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age, and speaking out against environmental destruction created by human behavior.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Caldicott received her medical degree from the University of Adelaide Medical School and, in 1975, founded the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital. Retiring from her positions in Australia, she moved to the U.S. and became an instructor at Harvard Medical School and a staff member of the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston.

In 1971, she played a major role in Australia’s stance against French atmospheric nuclear testing in the Pacific, and in 1980 she resigned from her medical posts to dedicate her efforts completely to ending nuclear war. She is the founder and President of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, which continues to educate about the dangers of nuclear weapons, power programs and policies. She is also the founder of Women's Action for Disarmament and has worked closely with Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Named one of the most influential women of the twentieth century by the Smithsonian Institute, Dr. Caldicott has received many awards for her work, including her nomination, by Linus Pauling, for the Nobel Peace Prize.