PAC 7: Radiation Education, Risk Communication, Outreach, and Policy

PAC Meeting, March 4, 2018
L to R: J Till, R Hyer [Scientific Vice President], J Bushberg, P Locke, A Karam, C Miller, R Johnson & J Wieder


Develop a strategic plan consistent with NCRP’s mission and PAC responsibilities using the goals of the policy advisory panel as a starting point.


  • identify the policy implications of NCRP publications, meetings and other events, and seek to communicate those implications in a credible and comprehensible manner to policy makers and the public;
  • suggest members or serve as members of new NCRP scientific committees whose topics relate to education, risk communication, policy, and outreach;
  • provide advice, wording, and strategic outreach options to policy makers and the public for NCRP reports;
  • ensure that NCRP communications and outreach emphasize NCRP’s paramount role in providing scientific information and develop communications and outreach strategies so that NCRP’s recommendations are of maximum assistance to policy makers; and
  • bolster educational efforts aimed at recruiting, training and retaining radiation health professionals.

2016 Accomplishments

PAC met at the 2016 Annual Meteting

Prior Accomplishments

PAC met at the 2015 Annual Meteting

Scheduled Activities

Teleconference scheduled for July 17, 2017



Randall N. Hyer


Senior Fellow and Assistant Director for Environmental, Health and Safety, Center for Risk Communication.

Dr. Hyer graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy, and served 12 y on active duty in the U.S. Navy. After earning his medical degree from Duke University, Dr. Hyer served as the 40th Winter-Over Medical Officer and Assistant Officer-in-Charge with Operation DEEP FREEZE at McMurdo and South Pole Stations in Antarctica. Dr. Hyer earned his PhD from Oxford, studying the molecular genetics of juvenile diabetes and helped determine the role of the insulin gene in disease susceptibility.

In 1994, the National Institutes of Health awarded Dr. Hyer the "NIH Outstanding Research Award for Clinical Trainees." Trained in public health at Walter Reed Hospital and Harvard University, Commander Hyer supported four major military operations in the European, African, and southwest Asian theatres to include service as Chief Public Health Advisor for the Kosovo operations and Deputy Surgeon for the Mozambique flood relief operations. Dr. Hyer then spent 4 y at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva as the first WHO Civil Military Liaison Officer and served as part of the WHO's outbreak response team to deadly outbreaks like anthrax, SARS, and avian influenza as well as having organized missions during the 2005 Tsunami response. His experiences with the media in outbreaks and emergencies led him to coauthor the popular WHO handbook, Effective Media Communication During Public Health Emergencies.

Appointed a U.S. Congressional Fellow for Senator Pete V. Domenici (R-New Mexico), he helped introduce legislation to safeguard genetic privacy that eventually became the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA) of 2008. In 2005, Dr. Hyer joined Merck Vaccine Division in Global Medical Affairs and Policy. His focus has been the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine. In 2009, he was transferred to MSD in Tokyo, Japan.

Randall N. Hyer, Vice President
No Image


is Professor of Community and Environmental Health in the College of Health Sciences at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He is a leading expert in emergency planning, public health preparedness, and crisis and emergency risk communication for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear issues. Dr. Becker also has extensive on-the-ground experience at the sites of major events and emergencies around the world. In 2011, he was a member of a three-person assistance team invited to Japan in response to the earthquake-tsunami and accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.

Dr. Becker was appointed to the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board by President Barack Obama on September 25, 2012.

Before becoming a professor at Old Dominion University, Dr. Becker was a professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. For the last 11 y, he also has been an invited faculty member for the Harvard School of Public Health training course on radiological emergency planning.

His work on emergency preparedness and risk communication has been recognized with awards from such scientific organizations as the Health Physics Society and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

Dr. Becker holds a BA from George Washington University, an MA from Columbia University, and a PhD from Bryn Mawr College. He also was a Kreitman Scholar and postdoctoral fellow at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and a Visiting Fellow at the Japan Emergency Medicine Foundation and National Hospital Tokyo Disaster Medical Center.

steven m. becker



is the Chairman of the Board and Senior Vice President of NCRP and Associate Chair and Clinical Professor of Radiology and Clinical Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of California (UC) Davis School of Medicine. He is an expert on the biological effects, safety and interactions of ionizing and nonionizing radiation and holds multiple radiation detection technology patents. With over 35 y of experience he has served as a subject matter expert and an advisor to government agencies and institutions throughout the nation and around the world including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the World Health Organization, and the International Atomic Energy Agency in the areas of radiation protection, risk communication, medical physics, and radiological emergency medical management. Dr. Bushberg is an elected fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the Health Physics Society. He is certified by several national professional boards with specific subspecialty certification in radiation protection and medical physics and currently serves as a Director and Vice-Chair of the American Board of Medical Physics. In 2014, Dr. Bushberg was awarded the Warren K. Sinclair Medal for Excellence in Radiation Science by NCRP in 2014. Prior to coming to the UC Davis Health System as technical director of Nuclear Medicine, Dr. Bushberg was on the faculty of Yale University School of Medicine Department of Radiology where his research was focused on radiopharmaceutical development. Dr. Bushberg has responsibility for medical postgraduate education in medical physics, radiation (ionizing and nonionizing) biology and protection. The third edition of the textbook The Essential Physics of Medical Imaging, authored by Bushberg, Seibert, Leidholdt, and Boone, is used extensively by radiology residency programs throughout the United States.

jerrold t. bushberg
Johnson RRay Johnson

P. Andrew Karam

is a nationally and internationally respected radiation safety professional with over 35 y of experience in his field. He began his career in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear power program, assigned as a radiation safety specialist on a nuclear attack submarine. Upon leaving the Navy he continued his career, taking positions in academia, state government, and as a consultant in private practice before taking his current position with Mirion Technologies.

Dr. Karam has earned degrees in Geology (BA and MS) and Environmental Science (PhD) and is board-certified in health physics by the American Board of Health Physics. He has authored 17 books, six book chapters, and over 30 refereed papers in addition to hundreds of editorials, essays, magazine and encyclopedia articles, and blog postings on various aspects of radiation and nuclear safety. He also presents papers, invited lectures, and posters at meetings throughout the United States and internationally.

Dr. Karam also tries to remain active in his profession outside of work. To that end, he has served on two committees of NCRP, a committee of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and serves as Web Manager for the International Radiation Protection Association. He has made a number of international trips on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Health Physics Society, including to Cambodia, Cyprus and Paraguay. Most recently he travelled to Japan shortly after the tsunami and reactor accident, providing training to emergency and medical responders caring for patients from radiological areas. Andrew’s current focus is on issues related to radiological and nuclear weapon interdiction and response to terrorist attacks. To that end, he works extensively with emergency responders at all levels of government as well as with companies to develop instruments, procedures, and operational concepts, and more.

P. Andrew Karam



a public health scientist and attorney, is an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Division of Molecular and Translational Toxicology. He holds an MPH from Yale University School of Medicine, a DrPH from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a JD degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Dr. Locke's research and practice focus on how decision makers use environmental health science (toxicology, radiobiology, epidemiology) in regulation and policy making and how environmental health sciences influence the policy-making process. His areas of study include radiation risk communication, designing and evaluating radiation protection initiatives and radiation policies, radon risk reduction, safe disposal of high level radioactive waste, and use of computed tomography as a diagnostic screening tool. Dr. Locke directs the School's Doctor of Public Health program in Environmental Health Sciences.

Dr. Locke was a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board from 2003 to 2009. He has served on seven National Academy committees, and is currently a member of an NAS committee that is tasked with providing an assessment of lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident for improving the safety and security of nuclear plants in the United States. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of NCRP. He was program committee chair of the NCRP's 2010 annual meeting entitled "Communication of Radiation Benefits and Risks in Decision Making." Dr. Locke is admitted to practice law in the state of New York, the District of Columbia, the Southern District Court of New York, and the United States Supreme Court.

paul a. locke
No ImageM. Carol McCurley



joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 1992. He is currently Chief of the Radiation Studies Branch, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health. In this position he provides leadership for the agency's radiological emergency response and consequence management efforts. Previously, Dr. Miller worked with the Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Anderson (Indiana) University. His primary area of expertise is the transport and dose assessment of radionuclides released to the atmosphere, and other facets of environmental radiological dose assessment. He has authored or coauthored over 100 journal articles, laboratory reports, and meeting papers. Dr. Miller is a member of NCRP and a Fellow of the Health Physics Society. Dr. Miller holds a BS in Physics/Math from Ball State University, an MS in Meteorology from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Bionucleonics (Health Physics) from Purdue University.

charles w. miller



is President of Risk Assessment Corporation. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Program and retired a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1999. Dr. Till received an MS from Colorado State University in 1972 and a PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1976. In 1977 Dr. Till formed Risk Assessment Corporation to perform research on radionuclides released to the environment by nuclear facilities. His career has focused on the development of methods to estimate dose and risk to humans from radionuclides and chemicals in the environment. He has served on committees for the National Academy of Sciences, the International Commission on Radiological Protection, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. He has published widely in the open literature including the first textbook on radiological risk assessment published by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1983 and an updated version, Radiological Risk Assessment and Environmental Analysis (2008).

In 1995, Dr. Till received the E.O. Lawrence Award from the U.S. Department of Energy in the field of Environmental Science and Technology. In addition to his scientific work, Dr. Till also owns and operates his family farm, growing corn and soybeans near Neeses, South Carolina.

john e. till

Jessica S. Wieder

is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Center for Radiation Information and Outreach and is the senior public information officer for EPA's Radiological Emergency Response Team. Ms. Wieder was part of the team tasked with communicating about EPA's efforts and radiation levels in the United States during the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. She has facilitated international panels on public communication about radiation risks after terrorist incidents and was part of the contingency planning team for the 2011 launch of the Mars Science Laboratory. In 2010, Ms. Wieder was detailed to Federal Emergency Management Agency's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Branch, where she helped establish their Improvised Nuclear Device Response and Recovery Program and created the intergovernmental Nuclear/Radiological Communications Working Group. With her guidance, this group developed the nuclear detonation messaging document Improvised Nuclear Device Response and Recovery: Communicating in the Immediate Aftermath. She was also the lead author for the communications chapter for the second edition of the White House's Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation. In 2013, she was awarded EPA's Exemplary Customer Service Award for her leadership in enabling all levels of government to provide quick, effective communications to the American people in response to large-scale radiological emergencies.

Jessica S. Wieder
No ImageVivi Siegel, Consultant



is the President of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), Bethesda, Maryland, and Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee. He is an international authority on radiation effects and currently serves on the Main Commission of the International Commission on Radiological Protection and as a U.S. advisor to the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. During 27 y of service in the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Boice developed and became the first chief of the Radiation Epidemiology Branch at the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Boice has established programs of research in all major areas of radiation epidemiology, with major projects dealing with populations exposed to medical, occupational, military and environmental radiation. These research efforts have aimed at clarifying cancer and other health risks associated with exposure to ionizing radiation, especially at low-dose levels. Boice's seminal discoveries and over 460 publications have been used to formulate public health measures to reduce population exposure to radiation and prevent radiation-associated diseases.

He has delivered the Lauriston S. Taylor Lecture at the NCRP and the Fessinger-Springer Lecture at the University of Texas at El Paso. In 2008, Dr. Boice received the Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Award of Merit. He has also received the E.O. Lawrence Award from the Department of Energy — an honor bestowed on Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann among others — and the Gorgas Medal from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. In 1999 he received the outstanding alumnus award from the University of Texas at El Paso (formerly Texas Western College). Dr. Boice directs the Million U.S. Radiation Workers and Veterans Study to examine the lifetime risk of cancer following relatively low-dose exposures received gradually over time.

john d. boice, jr., NCRP Contact


Back to Top
Last modified: April 4, 2018