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Dr. Ernest Sternglass − scientist, humanitarian, activist

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

Dr. Ernest Sternglass, 91, Emeritus Professor of Radiological Physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, passed away in New York on February 12. He was a prominent, published scientist and anti-nuclear activist, whose early warnings about the health effects of low-level radiation from global nuclear weapons fallout contributed to the passage of the Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty in 1963. Dr. Sternglass would go on to focus on the public health threat from routine and accidental radiological releases from nuclear power plants.

During the Three Mile Island meltdown disaster, Dr. Sternglass rushed into the area, with radiation monitoring equipment, in hopes of shedding light on the crisis, and providing vitally needed information to the public.

Dr. Sternglass was a physicist and inventor whose TV cameras sent the first live pictures back from the moon's surface and were also used in the Hubble Space Telescope, and whose digital x-ray systems work in the 1970s and 1980s led to the low x-ray dose and high-image accuracy of today's digital machines.

Born in Germany in 1923, Sternglass fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938. In 1947 he was invited to discuss his scientific ideas with Albert Einstein, another refugee from Nazi Germany. Einstein advised him: "Don't go back to school. They will try to crush every bit of originality out of you. Don't go back to graduate school."