September 23, 2021
7:00 – 8:30 PM
Link to the meeting HERE!
Abstract: Ionizing radiation is commonly used in medical diagnostics and cancer treatment yet it is often misunderstood by patients, the general public, and even by scientists. This presentation will explore common radiation myths held by the general public as well as more technical misconceptions held by professionals that work with ionizing radiation. The presentation will use a quiz format to initiate discussion of these myths and misconceptions. Questions such as: “Is the human body naturally radioactive?” “Am I exposed to radiation every day?” “Is a diagnostic X-ray like a walk in the sun?” and “Can a high-energy photon beam be fully attenuated?” will be discussed in the context of the science and in terms of real and perceived risks.
Speaker Bio: Jeff C. Bryan was born in Minnesota and raised in California, and believes that his odd childhood mixture of Jell-O™ salad and reticence in a free and open society have caused his various personality quirks. He earned an A.B. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. In chemistry from the University of Washington. He then spent a year of postdoctoral work with Warren Roper at Auckland University. He spent five years at Los Alamos National Laboratory, initiating a modestly successful research program synthesizing new compounds of technetium. He then spent eight years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory working on the development of a process to separate Cs-137 from defense wastes. He joined the chemistry faculty of the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse in 2002, where, despite his best efforts, he has been promoted to full professor. He currently teaches nuclear and general chemistry courses. His scholarship focuses on making nuclear science more accessible to students with limited science and math backgrounds. As part of this effort, he authored a textbook titled “Introduction to Nuclear Science,” and coauthored a lab manual titled “Experiments in Nuclear Science.” He also helped write “30-Second Chemistry,” and is currently working on a new book tentatively titled “Radiation is Scary.”