Health Physicist William J. Bair, Ph.D.
Biochemist Waldo E. Cohn, Ph.D.
Dr. Patricia Wallace Durbin, Ph.D.
Dr. Nadine Foreman, M.D.
Radiologist Hymer L. Friedell, M.D., Ph.D.
Health Physicist Carl C. Gamertsfelder, Ph.D.
Dr. John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D.
Radiation Biologist Marvin Goldman, Ph.D.
Julie Langham Grilly
John W. Healy
Hematologist Karl F. Hubner, M.D.
Oral History of Radiologist Henry I. Kohn, M.D., Ph.D.
Medical Physicist Katherine L. Lathrop and Physician Paul V. Harper
Pathologist Clarence Lushbaugh, M.D.
Health Physicist Constantine J. Maletskos, Ph.D.
Radiologist Earl R. Miller, M.D.
Health Physicist Karl Z. Morgan, Ph.D.
Biochemist William D. Moss
Physiologist Nello Pace, Ph.D.
Cell Biologist Don Francis Petersen, Ph.D.
Radiobiologist Chet Richmond, Ph.D.
Physician James S. Robertson, M.D., Ph.D.
Biophysicist Robert E. Rowland, Ph.D.
Biophysicist Cornelius A. Tobias, Ph.D.
Biochemist John Randolph Totter, Ph.D.
Oncologist Helen Vodopick, M.D.
Dr. George Voelz, M.D.
Donner Lab Administrator Baird G. Whaley
HUMAN RADIATION STUDIES:
THE EARLY YEARS
Oral History of
John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D.
Conducted December 20,
United States Department
Office of Human Radiation Experiments
December 1993, U.S. Secretary of Energy Hazel R. O'Leary announced her
Openness Initiative. As part of this initiative, the Department of Energy
undertook an effort to identify and catalog historical documents on radiation
experiments that had used human subjects. The Office of Human Radiation
Experiments coordinated the Department's search for records about these
experiments. An enormous volume of historical records has been located. Many of
these records were disorganized; often poorly cataloged, if at all; and
scattered across the country in holding areas, archives, and records centers.
The Department has produced a roadmap to the large universe of pertinent
information: Human Radiation Experiments: The Department of Energy Roadmap
to the Story and the Records (DOE/EH-0445, February 1995). The collected
documents are also accessible through the Internet World Wide Web under
https://ehss.energy.gov/ohre/. The passage of
time, the state of existing records, and the fact that some decisionmaking
processes were never documented in written form, caused the Department to
consider other means to supplement the documentary record.
In September 1994, the Office of Human Radiation Experiments, in
collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, began an oral history project
to fulfill this goal. The project involved interviewing researchers and others
with firsthand knowledge of either the human radiation experimentation that
occurred during the Cold War or the institutional context in which such
experimentation took place. The purpose of this project was to enrich the
documentary record, provide missing information, and allow the researchers an
opportunity to provide their perspective.
Thirty audiotaped interviews were conducted from September 1994 through
January 1995. Interviewees were permitted to review the transcripts of their
oral histories. Their comments were incorporated into the final version of the
transcript if those comments supplemented, clarified, or corrected the contents
of the interviews.
The Department of Energy is grateful to the scientists and researchers who
agreed to participate in this project, many of whom were pioneers in the
development of nuclear medicine.
The opinions expressed by the interviewee are his own and do not necessarily
reflect those of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Department neither endorses
nor disagrees with such views. Moreover, the Department of Energy makes no
representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the informa-tion provided
by the interviewee.