RADIO SHOWS and PODCASTS:
"Science Friday" interview (Public Radio International)
Listen to the author discuss the hazards of microwave ovens in this radio interview with Ira Flatow.
"Science Weekly" interview (The Guardian)
Listen to the author discuss the risks and benefits of radiation use with Nicola Davis in this Guardian podcast.
"Innovation Hub" interview (Public Radio International)
Listen to the author talk about unraveling the mysteries of radiation in this radio interview with Kara Miller.
"Roughly Speaking" interview (Baltimore Sun)
Listen to the author discuss radiation with Dan Rodricks in this Baltimore Sun podcast.
"The Forum" radio program (BBC World Service)
Listen to the author discuss radioactivity on "The Forum" radio program with host, Rajan Datar.
"Against the Grain" interview (KPFA radio; Berkeley CA)
Listen to the author discuss "Radiation and the Human Body" with host, Sasha Lilley, in this KFPA radio program.
Praise for Strange Glow
Winner, 2017 PROSE Award in History of Science, Medicine & Technology, Association of American Publishers
Strange Glow won a PROSE Award in the category “history of science, medicine and technology.” The PROSE Awards are awarded annually by the Association of American Publishers and are considered the publishing industry’s top awards for professional and scholarly works.
The Telegraph book critics' Top 50 Picks for 2016
Strange Glow -- the "stylish history of radiation" -- ranked SIXTH BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR among all books published in 2016.
Smithsonian Magazine's Best Books About Science of 2016
Strange Glow listed among the TOP TEN SCIENCE BOOKS of the year.
Physics World's Top Ten Books of 2016
Strange Glow listed among the TOP TEN PHYSICS BOOKS of the year.
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2016, American Library Association
Choice magazine, a periodical of the American Library Association, compiles an annual list of Outstanding Academic Titles published during that year. This prestigious list reflects the "best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community."
A History of Science Best Seller for 2016
Strange Glow was ranked the SIXTH BEST SELLER of the year among history of science books.
Kirkus Reviews -- starred review
“In this spirited, thorough investigation into radiation, [Jorgensen] delivers narrative science at its best, providing a propulsive story, each piece building on the next in a series of progressive revelations. … With a deft touch, the author delves into [the science, yet] he displays a soft sense of humor while covering a serious topic. A seismic piece of scientific inquiry, top shelf in narrative style and illumination.”
"This is a solid, accessible work, but perhaps its most beneficial aspect is that Jorgensen equips readers with enough knowledge to make their own risk assessments, whether it is of a potential medical diagnostic test or a particular consumer decision."
John Gribbin, Literary Review
"Strange Glow is a cracking good read, filled with fascinating stories about the people behind the science and covering vastly more of that science than I anticipated, in an accessible style. ... Jorgensen writes, 'If I have done my job well, readers of this book will learn a tremendous amount about radiation and will find this information useful in many practical ways.' He has, and they will."
William Cook, Spectator Magazine (UK)
"Jorgensen proves that there's no excuse for convoluted writing, however difficult the subject. His conversational style makes even the most complex equations attractive, [in this] frightening, fascinating, inspiring story of radiation."
Angela N. Creager, Science Magazine (AAAS)
“Unbiased, comprehensible information on radiation risk is hard to come by. Jorgensen’s book Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation fills this gap, using history to explain how we encounter radiation and how it affects us. … It provides readers with the basic facts so that they can make decisions about the risks they want to live with.”
Rachel E. Gross, Smithsonian Magazine
"[Jorgensen] takes on the task of bringing this scary abstraction [of radiation] down to Earth. ... An informative read that chronicles the history and science of humankind’s ambivalent relationship with this strange force."
Andrew Robinson, The Lancet
"Strange Glow is a three-part narrative history which integrates detailed science and carefully illuminated medical statistics with the personal lives of scientists. ... The book's goal -- ‘to present the facts about radiation as objectively and even-handedly as possible, leaving you to decide which aspects to fear’ -- is achieved with authority and style."
Jun Deng, Physics World
"One real strength of this book is the way it dispels the myth that radiation risks are too complicated for ordinary people to grasp. ... A very useful resource to the general public as well as to radiation experts, thanks to its simplicity, conciseness and lucidity."
Lizzie Blaxland, Chemistry World
"Timothy Jorgensen takes the reader on a journey from the discovery of radiation through to modern day uses of radioisotopes, via the experiences of many colourful characters who have played a part in our understanding of this intriguing topic. ... This book is informative, fast paced and entertaining. ... I guarantee you will be engaged and surprised."
David K. Hecht, British Journal for the History of Science
"[Strange Glow] offers an accesible and illuminating analysis of the risks and benefits of radiation. ... [The book] gives readers tools to understand what research findings mean in actual practice."
Matt Treyvaud, The Japan Times
"Strange Glow is clear, engaging and refreshingly willing to treat the reader as a thinking adult."
Dominic Lenton, Engineering & Technology News
"Strange Glow isn’t about lessening what is largely a sensible fear, but about removing some of the mystery and misunderstanding. Jorgensen’s approach is to make it very much a human story. ... This is a long overdue and successful attempt to rationalise an emotional subject by telling its story in very human terms."
Peter Forbes, The Independent (UK)
"The only antidote to irrational fear is knowledge, and Strange Glow imparts this in spades."
Gretchen Wagner, Manhattan Book Review
“The book is a pleasure to read, written for an audience without technical jargon or medical bombast, but concentrating on the stories of those who discovered and researched various types of radiation. … [Strange Glow] is a well-written, engaging, and fascinating journey through radiation, from history to health.”
Thomas Weber, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
["Jorgensen deals with the scientific explanations easily, pointedly, and understandably. He plainly shows the difficulties of a risk assessment."]
Nancy Szokan, Washington Post
"[Strange Glow] is . . . the story of human interaction with radiation -- beginning with the one type that we can see (light) and continuing through radio waves, atomic blasts, cellphones, radon, microwave ovens, luggage scanners, the Fukushima accident. ... Jorgensen avoids graphs and numbers, instead relying largely on entertaining -- if alarming -- anecdotes."
Jacqueline Cutler, Newark Star Ledger
“What I certainly did not expect [from Strange Glow] was to get caught up in the stories of the scientists. ... Jorgensen has written a compelling book about the history of radiation. . . . [His] gift is that he makes us care about the scientists.”
Manuel Vogel, Contemporary Physics
"[Strange Glow] is very well written in a colloquial style and does not require any specialist knowledge. It can be recommended as a good read both for entertainment and scientifically based information to a general readership."
J. Samuel Walker, Isis: A Journal of the History of Science Society
"[Strange Glow] is engaging, thoughtful, and useful to anyone with an interest in the controversies surrounding the use of ionizing radiation. ... The presentation is very well done and will be especially helpful to those unfamiliar with the subject."
Ryan Stellabotte, Fordham Magazine
"Timothy Jorgensen is a scientist with a knack for narrative storytelling. ... His goal is not so much to dispel our fears of [radiation] exposure but to present the facts as evenhandedly as possible."
"Strange Glow is a fantastic, well-written book about the benefits and risks of radiation. Jorgensen uses common prose so that a wide range of readers can follow the discussions. ... The book includes extensive, useful, and lucid discussions on medical x-rays and radon gas. Readers also learn the facts regarding the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdowns and the problems they caused. [A] well-researched book."
Margaret Harris and Tushna Commissariat, Physics World
"Can you explain why the meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor led to more excess cancer deaths than the one at Fukushima, or why Hiroshima and Nagasaki are thriving cities while the areas around the ruined reactors are ghost towns? Are you well-versed in the risks and benefits of radiotherapy and diagnostic X-rays? If you aren’t – and perhaps even if you are – Jorgensen’s book is an excellent guide to a subject fraught with controversy and confusion."
Matthew Lavine, Physics Today
"The book's careful and readable treatment of radiation's risks and rewards will certainly succeed in tamping down tendencies toward unwarranted ray-phobia in contemporary culture."
Oliver Micke and Mathias Seifert, pro-physik.de (Germany)
["Like in an exciting documentary, the chapters harmoniously build upon one another and one does not want to put the book down."]
R.M. Alexakhin, Radiation Protection Dosimetry
"[Strange Glow] will certainly be useful due to the striking and exciting style of its presentation."
From the Back Cover:
"A thoroughly readable book about an important subject. The sometimes bizarre, sometimes brilliant story of the discovery of radioactivity and its effects on living things is told in an enlightening and entertaining way. I found it surprisingly reassuring."--Penny Le Couteur, coauthor of Napoleon's Buttons: How Seventeen Molecules Changed History
"Through stories and examples, rather than graphs and equations, this lucid book explains the discovery, benefits, and dangers of different forms of radiation, and it examines qualms about nuclear power, cancer treatment, possible radon in the basement, and extensive cell-phone use. Strange Glow is both a fine history and a deft elucidation of risk assessment."--David E. Nye, author of Technology Matters: Questions to Live With
"Strange Glow is an accessible book that presents a huge amount of information about radiation. It enables readers to make sound judgments about various kinds of radiation exposures, including the risks of living in areas affected by radioactive fallout. Useful to radiation experts and general audiences alike, the knowledge gathered here is enormous and full of insights."--Ohtsura Niwa, Fukushima Medical University
"The discovery of radiation opened the way to the modern era and created one of humanity’s greatest moral challenges. In this lucid book, Timothy Jorgensen explains the mechanics of radiation, tells the stories of those who helped uncover it, and gives us a careful assessment of how it continues to influence people and society."--Tom Zoellner, author of Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock That Shaped the World
"This fascinating book is well written, entertaining, and informative. I don't know of another book that takes such a comprehensive look at radiation and it will enjoy a large and diverse readership."--William F. Morgan, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
"Strange Glow is an extremely well-written book about the history of radiation and its many benefits and risks. Starting with the discovery of x-rays, Timothy Jorgensen explores how each radiation breakthrough was achieved and how we are exposed to radiation, both natural and man-made, in our daily lives. This book contains everything we might want to know about radiation but were afraid to ask."--Jay Burreson, coauthor of Napoleon’s Buttons: How Seventeen Molecules Changed History
"Jorgensen's history is an engaging and entertaining attempt to make us feel more secure about the sea of radiation in which we live."--Kate Brown, author of Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters