Dr Helen Caldicott

Among a lifetime of achievements, Dr Helen Caldicott founded the Physicians for Social Responsibility in 1977.

Honour Roll

Helen Caldicott was born as Helen Broinowski in Melbourne on 7 August 1938. She graduated in Medicine from Adelaide University and, in 1975, established the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at the Adelaide Children's Hospital.

In 1971, Helen was angered by French nuclear testing in the Pacific so she began campaigning against nuclear weapons. In 1975, she worked with Australian trade unions to educate their members about the dangers of the nuclear fuel cycle, with particular reference to uranium mining.

In 1977, while living in the United States she founded the group, Physicians for Social Responsibility, which eventually boasted 23,000 members. These doctors are committed to educating people about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons and nuclear war. On trips overseas she began spreading the organisation to other countries. The international umbrella group, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.

In 1980, Helen founded the Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND) in the United States. While there she was an instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and on the staff of the Children's Hospital Medical Centre until 1980 when she resigned to work full-time on the prevention of nuclear war.

Helen returned to Australia in 1987 and in 1990 ran for Federal Parliament as an independent. She narrowly lost on preferences to Charles Blunt, the leader of the National Party.

Helen has received numerous prizes and honorary degrees. She has written many articles and four books, including Nuclear Madness: What You Can Do (1979), If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth (1992) and an autobiography A Passionate Life (1996). She has also been the subject of several films including Eight Minutes to Midnight (1982) and a documentary, If You Love This Planet (1983).

In 1995, she moved back to the United States to live on Long Island. She lectures, performs public speaking engagements, works in paediatrics and hosts a weekly radio talk show on WBAI (Pacifica).