Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout — Go Big Read discussion and exhibit Feb 7

Even if you don’t recall fallout shelters and duck-and-cover drills from the 1950s, a book discussion and exhibit will provide a window into that era and this year’s Go Big Read selection.

Participants can join the moderated book discussion and view the companion exhibit on Thursday Feb. 7, from 5-7 p.m. at the Health Sciences Learning Center, 750 Highland Ave.

For the first hour, participants can check out the exhibit, “Fallout: The Mixed Blessing of Radiation and the Public Health” in Ebling Library for Health Sciences. The exhibit curator, Micaela Sullivan-Fowler, will be available to answer questions.

At 6 p.m., Dr. Richard Staley from the Department of the History of Science will lead discussion of this year’s Go Big Read program selection, “Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout,” by Lauren Redniss. A reception will follow.

Go Big Read is UW-Madison’s common-reading program which seeks to engage students, faculty, staff and the entire community in a vibrant, academically driven experience.

In her beautifully illustrated book, “Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout,” Redniss depicts the Curies’ discovery of radioactive power and discusses the complexities of the intersections between science, history, and biography. For more information about Go Big Read, visit:

The companion exhibit, “Fallout: The Mixed Blessing of Radiation and the Public Health,” examines subjects such as the early use of X-rays in diagnosis and treatment, occupational hazards of working with radiation, the military use of X-rays, the history of tanning, a UW connection with Marie Curie, bomb shelters in the 1960s, and the bombing of Hiroshima.

The exhibit is supported by artifacts, journals, books, and other ephemera from Ebling’s Rare Books and Special Collections and materials from other campus libraries and UW’s radiology department. For more information about the “Fallout” exhibit, go to:

Public parking is available at lots 60 and 76 on Marsh Drive off Highland Avenue. The book discussion and exhibit are sponsored by the Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries and the Ebling Library the Health Sciences.  For more information, visit: or call 608-265-2505.