Award Honors Life's Work of Compassion and Facts
During the 2014 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting, to be held July 13–17 in Baltimore, Maryland, one of the Society’s founding members, Robert L. Brent, MD, PhD, DSc, will receive the HPS Distinguished Public Service Award. Dr. Brent was selected due to his life of scientific achievement and public service and specifically for his work as the Ask the Experts (ATE) Topic Editor for the Pregnancy and Radiation category for HPS.
This award is intended to acknowledge contributions to the profession of health physics while in public service or service to the general public that significantly contributes to the relationship between the public and the health physics profession.
Dr. Brent’s considerable contributions to the field of teratology include innumerable consultations with pregnant women and in which he uses his “compassion and facts” approach. Since the Pregnancy and Radiation category for Ask the Experts (ATE) was started in 1992, he has personally answered every pregnancy or fertility question that comes in to the feature. He has had more than 3,000 direct contacts with ATE questioners. In addition, more than half of the over 1,000,000 hits received on the ATE feature per year are to the “Pregnancy and Radiation” category, which has been created from Brent’s research and consultation materials.
An example of just one of his personal interactions was summarized in February 2013 Health Physics News cover story and is available here. In addition to his personal interactions with the public, Brent also mentors his fellow physicians, students, and research/academic colleagues on ways to communicate about radiation effects. He advises consultants in this capacity to listen carefully, let the audience know they care, and then, as briefly as possible, offer facts so people can make their own informed decisions.
Dr. Brent has received numerous awards and honors, including the1995 HPS Landauer Award and the 2000 HPS Robley Evans Commemorative Medal. Dr. Brent has been a faculty member at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia for 56 years and at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. Congratulations to Bob on receiving this prestigious award!
The HPS holds an awards ceremony each year at its annual meeting. At this ceremony the HPS honors individuals who have been selected by the Awards Committee , composed of the president and the four most recent past presidents of the Society, to be recognized for accomplishments and actions that meet the criteria of one of the HPS awards established in the Rules of the Society.
Previous recipients of the HPS Distinguished Public Service Award include Senator Pete V. Domenici (2008), Pete Lyons (2010), Genevieve Roessler (2011), and Paul Ziemer (2012).