Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Date Information

2016

Department

History

Department

History

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Aviva Chomsky

Abstract

Early radiologists experienced occupational injuries that they called x-ray burns. Between 1896 and 1904, early U.S. radiologists debated the cause of these injuries. Using the American X-Ray Journal, I identify at least half a dozen competing theories. Notably, early U.S. radiologists seemed to resist the conclusion that their injuries were directly caused by exposure to x-rays. I argue that the early U.S. radiologists demonstrated vocational bias against concluding that the technology around which they were forging a new discipline was inherently dangerous. I also argue that this bias was left unchecked by a dearth of conclusive evidence that x-ray burns were directly caused by exposure to x-rays.

Included in

History Commons

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