At the beginning of the twentieth century, the newly-discovered element radium was at the center of a storm of public fascination and was touted as a cure for all manner of ailments by patent medicine sellers. By the early 1930s, radium was the foundation of a standard cancer therapy in hospitals. How this transformation occurred, and the physicians and physicists who led that development, are the subject of this dissertation. Early adopters of radium therapy appropriated knowledge, material, and practices from physics as they integrated radium into their practices. Starting in the mid-1910s, even as the long-term dangers of radium were becoming apparent, radium therapy moved into the hospital, in large part because of new equipment adapted from the physics laboratory, and radium therapists invited physicists into the hospital as key collaborators in standardized radium therapy.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2013. Major: History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. Advisors: Michel Janssen, Dominique Tobbell. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 229 pages.
Slaughter, Aimee Chantel Esther.
Harnessing the modern miracle: physicists, physicians, and the making of American radium therapy.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.