Wade allison

Wade Allison
Born 1941
Education Universities of Cambridge and Oxford
Title Emeritus Professor

Wade Allison (born 1941) is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Oxford University. Author of Radiation and Reason: The Impact of Science on a Culture of Fear.[1]

Early life

Wade Allison was born in 1941 in wartime Britain, the son of a fleet air arm pilot serving with arctic convoys.

He left Rugby School in 1959 for Trinity College, Cambridge with an Open Exhibition in Natural Science. There he gained a First Class in Part I of the Tripos, before taking Part II in Physics and Part III in Mathematics in 1963. At Oxford he studied for a DPhil in Particle Physics, on the way becoming the last student permitted to operate Oxford University's thermionic valve Ferranti Mercury computer. He was elected to a Research Lecturership (JRF) at Christ Church, Oxford in 1967 and a Fellow of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. He spent two years at the Argonne National Laboratory before returning to Oxford in 1970.

In 1976 he was appointed a University Lecturer in the Physics Department at Oxford, later with the title of Professor. At the same time he was elected to a Tutorial Fellowship at Keble College. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota in 1995. During his career he served periods as Associate Chairman of the Oxford Physics Department, Senior Tutor and Sub-Warden of Keble College. He retired officially in 2008, since when he has continued to teach, lecture and study. He was elected to an Emeritus Fellowship at Keble College in 2010.[2]

Research interests

His background is in experimental Particle Physics. In earlier years he developed new experimental methods with their theory, and applied these in experiments on quarks at CERN and on neutrinos in the USA. He made special studies on the fields of relativistic charged particles in matter including Cherenkov Radiation, Transition Radiation and other mechanisms of energy loss, dEdx. As a result of initiating some years ago an optional student course on applications of nuclear physics, his interests moved sideways into medical physics, in particular safety, therapy and imaging across the full spectrum: ionizing radiation, ultrasound and magnetic resonance. He spent 3 years writing an advanced student text book Fundamental Physics for Probing and Imaging (2006), before starting work on his new publication, Radiation and Reason (2009). Since the Fukushima accident this book has been translated into Japanese and published by Tokuma Shoten (Tokyo), July 2011.

Academic biography

  • Emeritus Fellow, Keble College, Oxford (2010)
  • Fellow by Special Election and Senior College Lecturer, Keble College, Oxford (2008)
  • Visiting Professor, Dept of Physics & Astronomy, University of Minnesota (1995)
  • Tutorial Fellow of Keble College, Oxford (1976–2008)
  • University Lecturer in Physics, Oxford (1976–2008)
  • Research Officer, Nuclear Physics Lab., Oxford (1970–1975)
  • Post-doctoral appointment, Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois, USA (1968–1970)
  • Research Lecturer, Christchurch College, Oxford (1966–1971)
  • Christchurch College, Oxford, D Phil (1963–1968)
  • Trinity College, Cambridge, Open Exhibitioner, Nat. Sci. Pt I (First), Physics Pt II (Second) Maths Pt III (1959–1963)


  • Radiation and Reason: The Impact of Science on a Culture of Fear. (http://www.radiationandreason.com
  • Fundamental Physics for Probing and Imaging. Oxford University Press (2006)
Selected articles
  • Wade Allison, Life and Nuclear Radiation: Chernobyl and Fukushima in Perspective, European J. of Risk Regulation (Lexxion, Berlin) 2(2011)373
  • Wade Allison, We Should Stop Running Away from Radiation, Philosophy and Technology (Springer) 24(2011)193
  • WWM Allison et al., Ab initio liquid hydrogen muon cooling simulations with ELMS, J Phys G Nucl. Part. Phys. 34(2007)679-685
  • G Alner, D Ayres, G Barr et al., Neutrino Oscillation Effects in Soudan-2 Physical Review D, 72 (2005), 052005 23pp
  • WWM Allison Calculations of energy loss and multiple scattering (ELMS) in Molecular Hydrogen J Phys G, 29 (2003), 1701–1703
  • WWM Allison et al., The atmospheric neutrino flavor ratio from a 3.9 fiducial kiloton year exposure of Soudan2 Physics Letters, B 449 137 (1999)
  • WWM Allison An article in Experimental Techniques in High Energy Physics, ed. Ferbel, World Scientific (1991)
  • WWM Allison and JH Cobb, Relativistic Charged Particle Identification by Energy Loss Annual Reviews in Nuclear & Particle Science, 30 (1980), 253


External links

  • http://www.radiationandreason.com
  • http://www.keble.ox.ac.uk/academics/about/professor-w-w-m-allison
  • http://atomic.thepodcastnetwork.com/2006/12/28/the-atomic-show-043-prof-wade-allison-the-dangers-of-radiation-safety-rules/

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