Good Morning, God!
A new day — and a new gift! Thank You, God, for showing me yet another unsung woman hero.
It was when I was reading the book Willful Blindness yesterday, that I learned about Dr. Alice Stewart an English epidemiologist — famous for her 1950s discovery that “exposing pregnant mothers to X-rays doubled the risk of cancer in their children.”
One might have thought, God, after that study was published, that would have been the END of exposing pregnant mothers to X-rays! But, they kept right on doing it, criticizing her data.
Her data was excellent! But, there were problems: 1) the medical profession was thrilled with X-rays — a new toy. 2) doctors — like the rest of us — resist knowing that they may have harmed people, especially babies. 3) there was a theory that radiation didn’t hurt us until it reached a “threshold” amount.
The threshold idea was particularly attractive — in fact, scientist even thought a little bit of radiation might be good for us. Alas, ANY X-ray a pregnant woman was exposed to harmed the fetus. Gosh God, this heroine seems quite relevant TODAY with our renewed worries about nuclear power plants.
Alice Stewart kept on researching, working and speaking out. She didn’t retire until she was 90. But she was so unpopular with the establishment, because of her findings, that the British embassy in Oslo wouldn’t even send a car to pick her up when she arrived to receive an award.
Change IS hard. And I am afraid, God, that most of us find it TOO HARD. I’m now coming to believe that CHANGE might best begin with repentance and humility. Sigh. Please, God, help me repent of my busyness.