BILL SACKS, Director

 

Bill Sacks received a PhD in Astronomy from Harvard in 1966, then taught college physics and astronomy until 1975, when he switched careers to medicine, ultimately specializing in radiology.  He received an MD from the University of Connecticut in 1979, did an internship and junior residency in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina, and a residency in nuclear medicine and radiology at George Washington University, finishing in 1985.  He went on to work in a general clinical radiology practice for 11 years for Kaiser Permanente in Wshington, DC, following which he served as a medical officer at the FDA in the medical device evaluation section for 8 years in Rockville, MD, and then returned to clinical radiology in 2004, specializing in breast imaging (mammography and ultrasound) in Tucson, AZ, until he retired in February 2011.

 

It was in 2003, during his tenure at the FDA, that he first learned of hormesis and the fact that LNT could not possibly be true, when he participated in a conference at which John Cameron ended up in a debate with Eric Hall.  It was immediately evident to him that Cameron had to be correct and Hall wrong, when Cameron simply stated that Hall's point of view entailed not only damage from radiation, but also the assertion of a complete absence on the part of the organism of any biological response to the damage.  It was only late in his clinical career that he began to apply that lesson to inform patients who were afraid of the radiation and were reluctant to be screened on an annual basis that the radiation could only lower, rather than increase, their probability of developing breast cancer.

 

Prior to and since the time of his retirement his research and writing interests have been in global warming, nuclear and other forms of energy, and radiobiology – becoming a SARI member in early 2014.  He has contributed to a number of journal papers, letters, and commentaries along with other SARI members.  The online discussions in that arena continue to teach him and force him to think more deeply about radiobiology in the low dose/rate range, as well as about science in general and how it lends itself to being dominated by political interests rather than by objective scientific concepts and evidence.