Eileen Welsome

Eileen Welsome (born March 12, 1951)[1] is an American journalist and author. She received a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 1994 while a reporter for The Albuquerque Tribune for a 3-part story titled "The Plutonium Experiment" published beginning on November 15, 1993.[2] She was awarded the prize for her articles about the government's human radiation experiments conducted on unwilling and unknowing Americans during the Cold War.[3][4] Welsome also has received a George Polk Award, the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, an Investigative Reporters and Editors Gold Medal, the Heywood Broun Award, as well as awards from the National Headliners Association and the Associated Press.[3] In 1999, Welsome wrote the book The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War.[5] In 2000, Welsome received the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction and the PEN Center USA West Award in Research Nonfiction for The Plutonium Files.[6]

Welsome began her career in journalism as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise. She also worked for the San Antonio Light and the San Antonio Express-News before joining The Albuquerque Tribune staff in 1987. Welsome graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980 with a Bachelor of Journalism degree.[3]

Eileen Welsome
BornMarch 12, 1951 (age 68)
OccupationJournalist, Author
Alma materUniversity of Texas at Austin
Notable worksThe Plutonium Files
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize for National Reporting (1994), Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction (2000)


  • Welsome, Eileen. The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War. New York, N.Y.: Dial Press, 1999. ISBN 0385314027 OCLC 40805423
  • Welsome, Eileen. The General and the Jaguar: Pershing's Hunt for Pancho Villa: a True Story of Revolution and Revenge. New York: Little, Brown and Co, 2006. ISBN 0316715999 OCLC 62172693
  • Welsome, Eileen. Healers and Hellraisers: Denver Health's First 150 Years. Denver, CO: Denver Health Foundation, 2011. ISBN 9780615423906
  • Welsome, Eileen. Deep Roots: AspenPointe and Colorado Springs, Together Since 1875. 2013. ISBN 9780989618502 OCLC 875892653
  • Welsome, Eileen "Dream Delivered: The Community Health Center Movement in Denver". 2016. Template:ISBN/978069264944

See also


  1. ^ Brennan, E. A.; Clarage, E. C. (1999). Who's who of Pulitzer Prize winners. ISBN 1-57356-111-8.
  2. ^ Eileen Welsome, Albuquerque Tribune made history with 'The Plutonium Experiment', Albuquerque Tribune, Joline Gutierrez Krueger, February 22, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c The University of Texas at Austin. Eileen Welsome: 1994 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting
  4. ^ Robert Martensen. Final Report of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (review) Bulletin of the History of Medicine Volume 72, Number 1, Spring 1998, p. 166.
  5. ^ The Plutonium Files: America's secret medical experiments in the Cold War (Book Review) The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 341:1941-1942, Harriet A. Washington, December 16, 1999, DOI:10.1056 NEJM199912163412519.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2012-06-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links

1994 Pulitzer Prize

The following are the Pulitzer Prizes for 1994.

Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments

The Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments was established in 1994 to investigate questions of the record of the United States government with respect to human radiation experiments. The special committee was created by President Bill Clinton in Executive Order 12891, issued January 15, 1994. Ruth Faden of The Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics chaired the committee.The thousand-page final report of the Committee was released in October 1995 at a White House ceremony.

Albert Stevens

Albert Stevens (1887–1966), also known as patient CAL-1, was a victim of a human radiation experiment, and survived the highest known accumulated radiation dose in any human. On May 14, 1945, he was injected with 131 kBq (3.55 µCi) of plutonium without his knowledge or informed consent.Plutonium remained present in his body for the remainder of his life, the amount decaying slowly through radioactive decay and biological elimination. Stevens died of heart disease some 20 years later, having accumulated an effective radiation dose of 64 Sv (6400 rem) over that period, i.e. an average of 3 Sv per year or 350 μSv/h. The current annual permitted dose for a radiation worker in the United States is 0.05 Sv (or 5 rem), i.e. an average of 5.7 μSv/h.

Experimentation on prisoners

Throughout history, prisoners have been frequent participants in scientific, medical and social human subject research. Some of the research involving prisoners has been exploitative and cruel. Many of the modern protections for human subjects evolved in response to the abuses in prisoner research. Research involving prisoners is still conducted today, but prisoners are now one of the most highly protected groups of human subjects

Human radiation experiments

Since the discovery of ionizing radiation, a number of human radiation experiments have been performed to understand the effects of ionizing radiation and radioactive contamination on the human body, specifically with the element plutonium.

Human subject research legislation in the United States

Human subject research legislation in the United States can be traced to the early 20th century. Human subject research in the United States was mostly unregulated until the 20th century, as it was throughout the world, until the establishment of various governmental and professional regulations and codes of ethics. Notable – and in some cases, notorious – human subject experiments performed in the US include the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, human radiation experiments, the Milgram obedience experiment and Stanford prison experiments and Project MKULTRA. With growing public awareness of such experimentation, and the evolution of professional ethical standards, such research became regulated by various legislation, most notably, those that introduced and then empowered the institutional review boards.

James Aronson Award

The James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism has been awarded since 1990 to honor Hunter College Professor, James Aronson.

This award honors original, written English-language reporting from the U.S. media that brings to light widespread injustices, their human consequences, underlying causes, and possible reforms. This includes but is not limited to: discrimination, exploitation, violations of human rights or civil liberties, and environmental degradation. The Grambs Aronson Cartooning with a Conscience Award is named for his wife, (Blanche Mary) Grambs Aronson. The award, which was established in 1998, seeks to honor Hunter College students who demonstrate prowess in editorial cartooning in either print or digital media.

John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford

The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford is a paid 10-month journalism fellowship at Stanford University. It is one of 20 such programs available in the US for working journalists. It is connected to the School of Humanities and Sciences.

The fellowship, which is awarded to up to 20 journalists each year, is open to professional journalists with a minimum of seven years of experience (five years for journalists from outside the US). Acceptance is based on the applicants' ability to "identify and articulate a challenge in journalism that they want to work on addressing." According to the program, "We expect them to arrive in the program with more questions than answers and we seek people who are eager to experiment and to change course based on what they learn along the way."

Joseph Gilbert Hamilton

Joseph Gilbert Hamilton (November 11, 1907 – February 18, 1957) was an American professor of Medical Physics, Experimental Medicine, General Medicine, and Experimental Radiology as well as director (1948-1957) of the Crocker Laboratory, part of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Hamilton studied the medical effects of exposure to radioactive isotopes, which included the use of unsuspecting human subjects.

He was married to painter Leah Hamilton.

Kate Brown (professor)

Kate Brown is a Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the author of Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future (2019), Dispatches from Dystopia (2015), Plutopia (2013), and A Biography of No Place (2004). Brown has received many research grants and written many articles.

Moody College of Communication

The Moody College of Communication is the communication college at The University of Texas at Austin. The college is home to top-ranked programs in advertising and public relations, communication studies, communication sciences and disorders, journalism, and radio-television-film. The Moody College is nationally recognized for its faculty members, research and student media. It offers Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Journalism degrees as well as robust graduate curricula. The Moody College of Communication operates out of the Jesse H. Jones Communication Complex and the Belo Center for New Media, which opened in November 2012. The college has a $106 million endowment as of April 14, 2016.

Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting

This Pulitzer Prize has been awarded since 1942 for a distinguished example of reporting on national affairs in the United States. In its first six years (1942–1947), it was called the Pulitzer Prize for Telegraphic Reporting – National.

Strong Memorial Hospital

Strong Memorial Hospital (SMH) is an 830-bed medical facility, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center complex (abbreviated URMC), in Rochester, New York. Opened in 1926, it is a major provider of both in-patient and out-patient medical services.

SMH is owned and operated by the University of Rochester and serves as its primary teaching hospital. It offers programs toward medical, dental, or graduate degrees through the School of Medicine and Dentistry. The hospital anchors the University's health care delivery network in the Rochester area. It serves as a primary community hospital and a regional trauma center for the Rochester area. Also part of the network are Golisano Children's Hospital, and URMC affiliate Highland Hospital.SMH offers care in 40 different specialties and is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report, and has won the Consumer Choice Award for the best hospital in the area for 12 consecutive years. Strong has signature programs in cardiac care, cancer care, neurology, orthopedics and pediatrics. As an affiliated academic research hospital, patients have access to the latest treatments before they are widely available elsewhere.

SMH is composed of a series of attached buildings. The different sections of the facility range from 3 to 11 floors, although not all areas are accessible to the public. The hospital offers 739 patient beds. Strong provides emergency medical services. SMH is a teaching hospital and patients may expect to interact with faculty, residents, fellows, interns and/or medical students.

The Albuquerque Tribune

The Albuquerque Tribune was an afternoon newspaper in Albuquerque, New Mexico, founded in 1922 by Carlton Cole Magee as Magee's Independent. It was published in the afternoon and evening Monday through Saturday.

On February 20, 2008, E. W. Scripps Company announced that the Tribune would close, effective February 23, 2008. The closure followed a seven-month effort by the company to sell the paper, which had declined in circulation from 42,000 in 1988 to about 10,000 in 2008. Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico declared the paper's last day "Albuquerque Tribune Day" in his state, to "celebrate the Tribune's long and proud history and its honorable service to the state."Eileen Welsome of The Albuquerque Tribune won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 1994 for her series entitled "The Plutonium Experiment", a series about human radiation experiments that took place at the Walter E. Fernald State School of Massachusetts, among other locations.

The Plutonium Files

The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War is a 1999 book by Eileen Welsome.

It is a history of United States government-engineered radiation experiments on unwitting Americans, based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning series Welsome wrote for The Albuquerque Tribune.

The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady

The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady is a 2011 novel by Elizabeth Stuckey-French. The story follows a woman who decides to exact revenge on the man who secretly poisoned her over forty years ago.

The Texas Observer

The Texas Observer (also known as the Observer) is an American magazine. The Observer is published bimonthly by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Texas Democracy Foundation. Its mission, as declared by founding editor Ronnie Dugger, is to "serve no group or party but ... hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it". It is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

Unethical human experimentation in the United States

Unethical human experimentation in the United States describes numerous experiments performed on human test subjects in the United States that have been considered unethical, and were often performed illegally, without the knowledge, consent, or informed consent of the test subjects. Such tests have occurred throughout American history, but particularly in the 20th century. The experiments include: the exposure of humans to many chemical and biological weapons (including infection with deadly or debilitating diseases), human radiation experiments, injection of toxic and radioactive chemicals, surgical experiments, interrogation and torture experiments, tests involving mind-altering substances, and a wide variety of others. Many of these tests were performed on children, the sick, and mentally disabled individuals, often under the guise of "medical treatment". In many of the studies, a large portion of the subjects were poor, racial minorities, or prisoners.Funding for many of the experiments was provided by the United States government, especially the United States military, the Central Intelligence Agency, or private corporations involved with military activities. The human research programs were usually highly secretive, and in many cases information about them was not released until many years after the studies had been performed.

The ethical, professional, and legal implications of this in the United States medical and scientific community were quite significant, and led to many institutions and policies that attempted to ensure that future human subject research in the United States would be ethical and legal. Public outrage in the late 20th century over the discovery of government experiments on human subjects led to numerous congressional investigations and hearings, including the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission, both of 1975 and the 1994 Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, among others.

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