In Conversation with the Guest Editors of The History Symposium Special Issue: Carmel Mothersill & Howard Lieberman

Our recent special issue, The History Symposium: The Half-Life of Radiation History was published as our August issue.  This special issue was born out of the History Symposia that took place at the Radiation Research Society’s Annual Meetings from 2014 – 2016 and focused on talks around research questions, such as the dominance of the DNA paradigm, the robustness of the evidence for “iso-effect per fraction” in radiotherapy, and the role of non-targeted effects. This issue will preserve the history and information from the symposia.

Guest Edited by Dr. Carmel Mothersill, Professor and Canada Research Chair of Radiobiology at McMaster University and Dr. Howard Lieberman, Professor Environmental Health Sciences Radiation Oncology at Columbia University, we took a moment to ask them some questions.

Why is this special issue important right now?

This issue is important now because many of the fundamental assumptions in radiobiology are being questioned such as the central role of DNA, fractionation in therapy, low dose effects etc and the history symposia and resulting special issue considered these questions at Radiation Research meetings and through the special issue have captured the arguments for posterity.

How did you decide on the photo for the cover?

The photo is both historical (first radiograph) and relevant as it relates to radiation therapy and radiation protection

What effect will if any will this issue have on the future of the radiation community?

This issue gathers the ideas and opinions of critical scientists who were challenged to consider a question which everyone thought they knew the answer to! Such critical review of core beliefs is really important both in its own right but also as a pointer to young scientists to question EVERYTHING!

Read this Free Access article from the issue, History of bystander effects research 1905-present; what is in a name?

If you are attending the Radiation Research Society Meeting in Chicago, stop by the IJRB booth for a complimentary printed copy of the issue.

We’d like to thank our Guest Editors and all the authors that contributed to this fantastic issue that everyone in the radiation community should read.

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