2016 Award for Outstanding Leadership: Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information (SARI)


Website: http://radiationeffects.org

In 2013, in response to the harm caused by the misinformation propagated regarding radiation effects in Fukushima, following the initiative of Dr. Bobby Scott of Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, a group of about 20 scientists formed a new group known as Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information (SARI) with the following Charter and Mission:

Charter: The objective of this group is to monitor for and counter nuclear/radiological misinformation that could adversely impact the world’s ability to respond effectively to nuclear and radiological challenges, to the end point of saving lives.

Mission: To help prevent unnecessary, radiation-phobia-related deaths, morbidity, and injuries associated with distrust of radio-medical diagnostics/therapies and from nuclear/radiological emergencies through countering phobia-promoting misinformation spread by alarmists via the news and other media, including journal publications.

New Members are required to be nominated by a present member and supported by two additional members. There is an Associate Member category for non-scientists who are interested in furthering SARI’s Charter and Mission. SARI membership has grown steadily since 2013 and it currently has 97 members and 10 Associate Members.

Discussions among SARI members take place in a very active Google Group. SARI has written several open letters to advisory bodies, government agencies, etc. in an attempt to influence them to recognize the growing evidence for the baselessness of the linear no-threshold (LNT) model and for the validity of radiation hormesis. SARI has also responded to government requests for public input on radiation matters.

Recently SARI submitted a petition to US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) signed by 24 members (in support of a similar one by Dr. Carol Marcus of UCLA) urging NRC to abandon the LNT model and instead use radiation hormesis as the scientific basis for setting radiation safety regulations. NRC is currently considering these petitions. This is indeed an encouraging sign.