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Photo of Alice Hamilton

Helen Caldicott on science and social change

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Dan Portincaso:
Both Dr. Alice Hamilton's and your own scientific research led you to fight for social change. Some people labeled Dr. Alice Hamilton as a radical because of this. The women at Hull-House often debated as to whether the radical or the pragmatic approach was the most effective in the fight for social change. Do we live in a radical time or do we live in a pragmatic time today?

Helen Caldicott:
Are you taking about revolution? I believe in revolution and ideas and thinking. And it's time that there was a revolution in the United States . I helped to lead a revolution in the 80s when most people supported that they were “better dead than red” theories, and in five years, most people supported getting rid of nuclear weapons and that was through the process of education by the doctors that I led. So, certainly, that was the second American revolution. Now we need the third American revolution. So, the compassion, caring and understanding and knowing that we are the curators of life on earth, that we hold this in the palm of our hand, and indeed, if we are truly religious or spiritual, we'll make sure that this creation survives. We've made it, we are the life of the universe. That's a big responsibility.