The single most articulate and passionate advocate of citizen action to remedy the nuclear and environmental crises, Dr. Helen Caldicott has devoted the last forty two years to an international campaign to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age and the necessary changes in human behavior to stop environmental destruction.
A native of Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Caldicott received her medical degree from the University of Adelaide Medical School in 1961. In 1971, she played a major role in Australia’s opposition to French atmospheric nuclear testing in the Pacific. Dr. Caldicott was an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and on the staff of the Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Boston, Mass. until 1980, when she resigned to work full time on the prevention of nuclear war.
While living in the United States from 1977 to 1986, Dr. Caldicott was the President of and played a major role in re-invigorating Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organization of 23,000 doctors committed to educating their colleagues about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons and nuclear war. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the international umbrella group for Physicians for Social Responsibility, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. On trips abroad she helped start similar medical organizations in many other countries and also founded the Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND) in the U.S. in 1980.
Dr. Caldicott has written for numerous publications and has authored seven books. She also has been the subject of several films, including Eight Minutes to Midnight, nominated for an Academy Award in 1981, If You Love This Planet, which won the Academy Award for best documentary in 1982, and Helen’s War: Portrait of a Dissident, recipient of the Australian Film Institute Awards for Best Direction (Documentary) 2004, and the Sydney Film Festival Dendy Award for Best Documentary in 2004.
Dr. Caldicott has received many prizes and awards for her work, including the Lannan Foundation’s 2003 Prize for Cultural Freedom and twenty one honorary doctoral degrees. She was personally nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling and was named as one of the most influential women of the 20th Century by the Smithsonian. Five decades of Dr. Caldicott’s work regarding peace and the dangers of nuclear weapons are honored and recognized by the US Peace Memorial Foundation in its US Peace Registry.
Dr. Caldicott currently divides her time between Australia and the U.S. where she lectures widely.
For Dr. Caldicott’s complete curriculum vitae, click here.