Heroes for a Better World

Dr. Helen Caldicott

Australian Co-Founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility
& Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's
Peace Leadership Award

birthdate: August 7
Melbourne, Australia

As a young medical student, Helen Caldicott's life was changed forever when she read the novel, On The Beach about a nuclear holocaust that ended the world. It made her very aware of the real potential threat of nuclear war. Years later, in hte early 1970s, after she had set up the first clinic in Australia to treat young people with cystic fibrosis, the nuclear issue hit home for Dr. Caldicott. France was conducting nuclear tests from an island in the South Pacific and nuclear fallout had been detected in Adelaide where she lived. Dr. Caldicott began writing letters to the editor and speaking out against these nuclear tests. Others joined in, and ultimately atmospheric nuclear tests were banned in the South Pacific. In the late 1970s, Dr. Caldicott helped to cofound Physicians for Social Responsibility, which had over 30,000 members by 1982 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. Helen Caldicott later helped found WAND, Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament. Dr. Caldicott has written a number of books and continues to be a leader in the no-nukes movement, speaking out against nuclear technology, including nuclear power as well as other environmental concerns.

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