Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Science is not sufficient: Irving J. Selikoff and the asbestos tragedy

    Tweedale, Geoffrey and McCulloch, Jock (2007) Science is not sufficient: Irving J. Selikoff and the asbestos tragedy. New solutions, 17 (4). pp. 293-310. ISSN 1048-2911

    File not available for download.


    Professor Irving J. Selikoff (1915-1992) was America's foremost medical expert on asbestos-related diseases between the 1960s and early 1990s. He was also well known to the public for his media appearances on the burgeoning asbestos problem. Yet his reputation has been strikingly mixed. On the one hand, he has been portrayed as a mischief maker and irresponsible demagogue, who exaggerated the risks of asbestos and so destroyed an industry; on the other, as a pioneer in asbestos epidemiology, whose landmark studies of insulation (and other) workers demonstrated the severity of a modern occupational and public health tragedy. Drawing upon unprecedented access to the Selikoff archive at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, this article demonstrates that the most serious criticisms of Selikoff are either ill-founded or simply false. It also shows that Selikoff, in the highly politicized world of asbestos science, was a far more complex and conservative individual than previous studies have suggested.

    Impact and Reach


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

    Actions (login required)

    View Item View Item