Christopher Busby, Ph.D. (Chemical Physicist),
European Committee on Radiation Risk)
3.2 – Aliens & Monsters (8.4.11)
3.10 – Aliens & Evil Places (9.28.11)
4.10 – Aliens & Dinosaurs (5.4.12)
5.3 – Alien Power Plants (1.4.13)
Christopher Busby is a British scientist known for his work on the negative health effects of ionising radiation exposure from internal radionuclides, particularly fission-products from fission-products from nuclear fuel cycle releases, atmospheric bomb tests and accidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima. He also believes that inhaled uranium nanoparticles from weapons usage (e.g. in Iraq and the Balkans) represent a serious genetotoxic hazard (cancer, birth defects) which cannot be explained though the current radiation risk model, that of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). Busby is a director of Green Audit Limited, a private company he started in 1992 and scientific advisor to the Low Level Radiation Campaign (LLRC) another private company that Busby helped set up in 1999. Busby was visiting professor at the University of Ulster but retired when the department closed in 2012.
Busby was the National Speaker on Science and Technology for the Green Party of England and Wales. He is no longer a member of the Green Party of England and Wales which he believes is dysfunctional, but he does support it and is supported by individual members and local parties.
Busby is Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) founded in Brussels in 1998 an independent group of more than 50 eminent radiation experts, physicians and scientists whose activities aim at providing for regulators a more accurate assessment of the health risks of ionising radiation. The first Chair of the ECRR was Prof Alice Stewart; currently (April 2013) the Chair is Prof Inge Schmitz-Feuehake. Other steering committee members initially included Prof Alexey Yablokov and Prof Rosalie Bertell.
EARLY LIFE, EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT:
Busby was born in Paignton, Devon, 1st September 1945, the only son of the late Col W. R. Busby MBE, MC, and Enid Lorna Whigham-Teasdale. Up to the age of 3 Busby lived in northern India/Pakistan where he was brought up by his grandmother Winifred Hardinge. After returning to England for a short time he went with his family to Africa. In Kenya he attended St Mary’s school Nairobi. After returning to the UK at the age of 13 he went to Brockenhurst County High School in the New Forest, Hampshire. He was expelled from this school at age 16 and went to live in South London where he went to Erith Grammar school to continue A Levels. He was expelled from this school also. After various adventures Busby finally obtained a BSc in Special Chemistry with First Class Honours from the University of London, and then worked in research at the Wellcome Foundation Research labs at Beckenham Kent as head of the Physical Chemistry Department section investigating drug receptor interactions through spectroscopy and and thermodynamics. He was elected without examination to the Royal Institute of Chemistry in 1974 and this was transposed to a membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RIC) when the Chemical Society and the RIC merged. He worked for a year beginning PhD research on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy at Queen Mary College, London but became disillusioned with the project, left and returned to Wellcome. He later (see below) gained a PhD in Chemical Physics at the University of Kent, researching Raman spectro-electrochemistry and carried out postdoctoral research on electromagnetic array resonance, publishing various research papers on electrochemistry and optical frequency array resonance.
Physical Chemistry Work
Whilst at Burroughs Wellcome (Later the Wellcome Foundation Ltd) between 1967 and 1974 Busby worked on applying thermodynamic and spectroscopic methods to examining dilute solution interactions between molecules in water. Among pharmacological substances he worked with and in some cases helped develop were the antibiotic co-trimoxazole, the smallpox antiviral “marboran” and the muscle relaxant arrow poison tubucurarine which he discovered by using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy had been assigned an incorrect formula. This discovery was later published by his head of department A J Everett, not mentioning Busby. Busby was the first to establish in 1973, in collaboration with S. Wilkinson and researchers (Crabbe) at Birkbeck College that the peptide hormone LHRH (Luteinising Hormone Releasing Hormone) had a tertiary structure although this finding had financial significance and was not permitted to be published. He went on to develop a novel theory of drug receptor interaction, which he termed “molecular communication” and which is an area of science in which he is still occupied. Busby left Wellcome in 1974 shortly after the will of the founder Sir Henry Wellcome (which specified that all profit was to be ploughed back into research) was overturned in the UK Parliament. Busby left Wellcome for moral reasons, refusing to be associated with just another pharmaceutical company making money by US marketing techniques for selling pills. The key item was the decision by the new profit oriented Wellcome not to market a better treatment for a tropical disease (discovered by P Barratt) because the company already controlled the market with an earlier and less effective compound whilst the third world area (South America) where the disease was endemic was poor and to market the new drug would be profitless.
Busby has also has worked as a laboratory technician, a dumper truck driver, a baker and confectioner, a factory worker making steel filing cabinets, a railway shunting engine driver, a railway porter, a welder and oxyacetylene cutter, a forestry worker, an inshore fisherman, a barge skipper, in marine salvage, as a yacht delivery skipper, a yacht painter and a boatbuilder and repairer. For several years he ran a small offset litho printing press for the Green Party and printed (among other things) Radioactive Times, Faner Goch (The red flag), Green Wales, and various leaflets, pamphlets, books and booklets. He developed Green Audit Books, many of which were printed and produced by his own printing press. He has stood in local and national elections (for the Green Party), in and stood for the Green Party in Mid and West Wales in 1994 Euro elections.
Busby has co-founded a number of organisations looking at various aspects of the health effects of radiation, and has joined many more.
Green Party and Direct Action
Busby joined the Green Party in 1992, the same year he published his first books on Radiation and Health. In that year he organised a direct action against Trawsfynydd nuclear power station in which the main gate was chained shut by activists D locking themselves to the mechanisms and the media were called in. This made national news on BBC and ITV and resulted in the permanent closure of the power station in 1993 “for economic reasons”. Busby represented Wales on the Green Party Regional Council and in 1996 co-authored a conference motion to move the Green Party from a purely voting election party to espousing “all legitimate means” of effecting change. Busby then became the coordinator of the “Green Committee of 100″ a non-violent Direct Action Network and he was involved in direct actions in Wales (Trawsfynydd NPP), Kent (Dungeness NPP), London and Bath (Solsbury Hill). He was invited to give a lecture in 1994 on the ethics of non-violent Direct Action to the Ethical Society in London whose previous lecturers have included the anarchist Peter Kropotkin and George Bernard Shaw.
In 1994 he stood as an Election Candidate for the European Parliamentary elections in Wales. This election was influenced by Jonathon Porritt a member at the time of the Green Party, who publically endorsed the Plaid Cymru candidate in the same constituency, which led to Porritt’s being suspended by the Green Party and ultimately him leaving the party Busby argued that Plaid Cymru, the Nationalist Party of Wales (ref) was not truly Green since it attacked the “new age travellers” and supported nuclear power in two of its key constituencies, Meirionydd (Trawsfynydd) and Ynys Mon (Wylfa) and with his lover Molly Scott Cato brought about the dissociation of the Green and Plaid Cymru party pact in Ceredigion by carrying out a guerrilla raid into the Plaid electoral territory and setting up a separate local party in Aberystwyth.
This may have been a key underlying issue in the pro-nuclear-power attacks later made on Busby by George Monbiot (see below) who lives in Wales and is a Plaid Cymru supporter.
Low Level Radiation Campaign (LLRC)
In 1996 Busby set up the Low Level Radiation Campaign with Richard Bramhall and Molly Scott Cato, organising with Plaid Cymru MP Cynog Dafis a symposium at the House of Commons on the effects of low level radiation. The LLRC began within the Green Party but soon became independent and was supported by the Goldsmith Foundation for several years. It published a journal Radioactive Times and has a website http://www.llrc.org. Busby was and is its Scientific Advisor. Busby moved LLRC outside the Green Party as he found that within the party nothing could be done due to the structure of the Green Party decision making and the existence in the decision making structure of 5th columnists, a situation which is even more endemic in the party today.
Policy Information Network for Child Health and Environment (PINCHE)
In 2004 Busby was asked to join PINCHE as Leader of the Science Policy Group. PINCHE was based in Arnhem, the Netherlandsand its aim was to advise the European Commission on priorities in the control of environmental contamination causing effects on child health. The network consisted of over 40 doctors, epidemiologists, paediatricians, toxicologists and other experts from EU countries. The Science Policy Group was aimed at developing ideas about the translation of scientific information into policy, and Busby was enlisted as a result of his experience in this area of the ways in which industry succeed in affecting bias through lobbying and through influencing research (ref I don’t know much). He also became the PINCHE rapporteur on ionising radiation, on radon and also on UV Ultraviolet radiation. He was co-author of the final PINCHE report and the publications in the peer review literature of the PINCHE conclusions. As a result of the deliberations, the final recommendations to the European Commission contained the advice that because of the non-level playing field produced by industry wealth, all decisions should be made by Oppositional Committees like those suggested in the 2000 book I don’t Know Much about Science which was also the origin of the CERRIE ccommittee on internal radiation and (more successfully the DUOB).
Committee on Radiation Risk from Internal Emitters (CERRIE)
In 2001, following the Green Party’s EURATOM petition, Busby and Richard Bramhall succeeded in preventing the UK transcribing the EURATOM 96/29 Directive into UK Law. The Directive permitted the Europe wide recycling of radioactive waste into consumer goods. The EURATOM campaign was joined by many organisations in Europe. Busby spoke at various European venues including the Danish Parliament and cooperated on a BBC2 Documentary on the issue of recycling radioactive waste. This and the Europe wide petition led to a meeting with the Environment Minister Michael Meacher. Following meetings between Busby, Molly Scott Cato, Meacher and representatives of the UK National Radiological Protection Board at the Department of the Environment in London, Meacher decided to form, with the UK Department of Health, a Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters, CERRIE. The model for the committee was the oppositional or discursive one suggested by Molly Scott Cato. The members of the committee were to be chosen from the industry, from the environmental groups and from the NRPB. CERRIE was to take evidence from international scientists through a website and also organise and international conference on the issue of internal radionuclide effects and whether they could be modeled using the current system of the ICRP, which underlies all legal constraints on radioactive exposures to the public. In addition, CERRIE was to have an epidemiological sub-group where Busby, Richard Wakeford for British Nuclear fuels and Colin Muirhead of the NRPB were to jointly investigate some of Busby’s studies which had previously been questioned by official government epidemiological agencies. In the event, when it became clear that the joint study of breast cancer near the contaminated Bradwell nuclear power station in Essex would show Busby’s Green Audit studies to be correct and the government study carried out the Small Area Health Statistics Unit SAHSU (at a cost to Essex Council of £35,000) to be wrong, the epidemiological studies were cancelled by the Chair of CERRIE, Prof. Dudley Goodhead. Busby later discussed this issue in his book chapter on Scientific Dishonesty and in a presentation he made at the Royal Society in 2008. The international CERRIE workshop on internal radionuclides at St Catherines College Oxford in Summer of 2003 resulted in a number of criticisms of the current radiation risk model, in particular from the Russians Academy of Science delegates Prof Alexey Yablokov and Prof Elena Burlakova who had been invited by Busby. At this meeting, Busby presented his Secondary Photoelectron Effect theory (see below).
In October of 2003, discussions began in CERRIE on drafting the final oppositional report, with review of the science by both sides. At this point, the Minister was sacked by Tony Blair and replaced by Elliott Morley MP (who was later jailed for fraudulent expense claims). Following this the Chair, Dudley Goodhead, ensured that no dissenting report could be included, cancelled the epidemiological studies and CERRIE was rapidly wound up. The final CERRIE report did not contain a dissenting report and failed in the remit of the committee as set out by Meacher. Busby took the dissenting report which had been discussed by the full committee but excluded by it and published it separately as a Minority Report with a foreword by Michael Meacher. The affair was reported in the media.
After the first meeting and the clear bias of the secretary Ian Fairlie in reporting what happened in minutes Busby purchased a Sony DAT recorder and every one of the subsequent meeting for the whole period was taped by Richard Bramhall in digital high resolution. These tapes are available for research and Busby hopes that one day they will be used to send some of these people to jail. Busby sees the CERRIE affair as a turning point in Public Health and classes the nuclear radiation affair as the biggest public health scandal in human history.
The European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR)
In 1998, following a meeting organised by the Green group in the European Parliament, Busby and some colleagues founded a new Radiation Protection Committee called the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR). By 2003, the new committee which included Molly Scott Cato [at the time Busby’s partner], Alexey Yablokov Inge Schmitz Feuerhake Rosalie Bertell had developed a new radiation risk model, ECRR 2003. The model adopted an earlier method which had been considered and rejected by the ICRP which was to develop weighting factors for internal radionuclide exposures on the basis of trhe likely ionisation density at the chromosomal DNA . This high efficiency or hazard weightings are given to nuclides that bind to DNA (Sr-90, U-238). The method was refined in 2010 with the publication of an updated and revised model. The predictions of the model were shown to be in line with results of a number of studies of internal exposure situations, notably the increase in cancer in Northern Sweden found by Tondel et al in 2004. By 2012 ECRR had attracted over 50 members including eminent researchers from European countries and from the ex-Soviet countries. The 2010 risk model was made available as a free download following Fukushima and has been incorporated into Japanese law on the building of new nuclear power stations. It should be pointed out that the status of ECRR is no different from that of ICRP. Busby has been Scientific secretary of ECRR since its founding and was also senior editor of a number of ECRR reports including the uranium report which is also a free download from the ECRR website. In 2011 ECRR opened an office in Stockholm, the Baltic Sea regional Office, aimed at carrying out research in the Baltic Sea countries. ECRR has regular international conferences, the last one being in Berlin jointly witrh the German Society for Radiation Protection. The proceedings of the previous Lesvos conference, edited by Busby and colleagues: Fukushima, What to Expect was published in 2012.
The Committee for Nuclear Justice (CNJ)
In 2006 Busby contributed to a conference in Salzburg, Austria on International Nuclear Law. At this conference he was struck by the value of Human Rights legislation to address the issue of radiation exposures. In 2012 he developed a Human Rights argument which he turned into a plea to be used in International and National courts to overthrow the current radiation risk model. Following a meeting in Vilnius Lithuania in 2012 he and Ditta Rietuma set up an organisation, the Committee for Nuclear Justice, which administered the development of the petition. In August 2012 the Petition was pubished and individuals were asked to sign it and send it to the Petitions Committee ofthe European Parliament asking for a re-justification of the current European radiation risk model, the EURATOM basic safety Standards Directive. This has a clause (introduced in 1998 by the Greens following a meeting with Busby, Rosalie Bertell and Alice Stewart) requiring re-justification of all radiation practices if new and important evidence becomes available. Busby presented this at the 2012 Human Right Council in Geneva in September and also as an Intervention at the European Parliament itself in Brussels on behalf of the French Greens in January 2013. The rapporteur walked out in the middle of the presentation, you can see this on the video. The petition has been also described in Geneva and Stockholm.
Busby was elected Honorary Fellow of the University of Liverpool in 2003 and supervised an epidemiology PhD student John Newby in the Department run by Dr Vyvyan Howard. The PhD was awarded and a novel epidemiological method was developed to estimate variations in age of onset of cancer. Following the move of Vyvyan Howard to the University of Ulster in 2009 Busby was appointed Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Health at Ulster. He supervised research on the photoelectric amplification of natural background radiation by nanoparticles of high atomic weight elements including uranium. The PhD work confirmed Busby’s ideas on the photoelectron amplification of nanoparticles and a PhD was awarded to the student, Andreas Elsaessar in 2012. In 2009 Busby was also elected Guest Researcher at the German Federal Agricultural Laboratories (Julius Kuhn), Braunschweig, Germany where he collaborated with Prof Ewald Schnug on the health effects of uranium. He is currently (2013) a guest researcher at the Jacobs University, Bremen.
Chris Busby has spent most of his life researching the health impacts of ionising radiation in a wide variety of contexts.
Health Risks of Radiation
Full article: Chris Busby/Research on The Health Risks of Radiation
Chris Busby has done extensive research into the health effects of radiation, particularly the effect on residence next to nuclear power stations. After his results indicated that the empirical risk of cancer was much higher than the theoretical models suggested, he was no longer given access to cancer data. Busby responded by developing a method of house to house survey for examining cancer rates in small areas. He has been invited to carry out research around the world, looking at the health efffects of radiation due to accidental leaks (such as Fukushima) and from deliberate release (such as depleted uranium). In the light of this, he has developed new, more biologically accurate models which suggest that the current official narrative of cancers due to radiation may vastly underestimating the danger (perhaps by a factor of 600).
The Nature of Living Systems
Busby’s main research interest as of 2013 was not radiation and health but is on the question of what is life and how does it work. Experiments he has carried out in his labs since 1987 have convinced him that the process of life is not described by currently developed biological and physicochemical thinking. The processes are not chemical but physical and involve energy interchange at infrared frequencies, explaining why all living creatures are hot. He has developed an alternative understanding which he presented as an abstract for a conference in Moscow in 2010 and is expected to publish shortly.
At age 30 he left Wellcome with his wife Lorraine (a Mathematics teacher) and three daughters Cecilia, Araceli and Frances to live and cruise on a series of boats which were based near Rochester on the estuary of the Medway, Kent, UK. The first, “Glenway” was a 85 ton wooden sailing barge and Dunkirk little ship. After that came the sailing barge “MN” and then the 65 ton Humber Keel “Nidd” from Hull which they bought out of trade and converted to a yacht (Cruising Association Handbook 1979). He worked on his PhD and later as a Research Fellow at the University of Kent by commuting to Canterbury in VW Beetle from the barge. In this period, Busby also operated a 50 ton registered fishing boat, MV “Renovate”, the ex Looe Lugger “Forget-me-Not” (Olsens Fishermens Nautical Almanac 1979). He also traded as owner and skipper of a small sand-carrying coaster, working between Brightlingsea and London, the 180 ton ex Goldsmith steel sailing barge “MV Oceanic”. This later ran aground and almost sank in the Thames Estuary off the Whittaker although he was able to salvage the craft and later moved it to London, where it became a home for squatters whilst moored alongside the Crunchy Frog warehouse in Rotherhithe where the Sex Pistols group began.
In this period he worked for a time also as a steel vessel surveyor and as a yacht delivery skipper; also by salvaging anchors and mooring chains from the sea bed. The family spent time on the European waterways first on the 42ft, 17 ton Hillyard Ketch “Frances Leslie” and later on the 65 ton Humber Keel Barge “Nidd” built in 1936. They finally left Rochester in 1981 after he resigned from his Science Research Council Fellowship at the University of Kent to spend a year exploring the UK inland waterways on the 57ft Willow Wren narrowboat “Prospect”. In 1981 they moved to Mallwyd, near Machynlleth Wales and bought a ruined cottage with some land and a river. After rebuilding the ruin, and following the birth of his son Joseph in 1992 they moved to Aberystwyth. Busby later fell in love with Molly Scott who was Green Party Regional Councillor for South West England. He left his wife, Molly moved to Wales, changed her name to Cato and gave birth to Rosa in 1994. They separated in 2004.
Music and Poetry
Chris Busby enjoy music and poetry. He plays guitar, 5-string banjo, viola, violin, nyckleharpa, diatonic accordion, bandoneon, piano and concertina. He also writes and performs his own songs as “Carefree” the name of a yacht he owned. There is also a small poetry book where some of the song lyrics originated.
Like many early Green Party members Busby is an Utopianist. He believes that any child could design a safer and more fair system of government and society than the current one. He is in the process of completing an outline of such a system and presented the main points at a meeting in Riga in 2012. His main issues are with Democracy as it is currently practiced and points out (like many others have) that it does not take into consideration “personality”, assuming is some way (a mathematical reductionism, see below) that fairness follows from giving each individual equivalent chance to become politically powerful. He believes that this results in a certain type of personality becoming in charge of the system and has developed a Society to prevent this happening. Other aspects of his Utopianist vision, which includes redefining work along the lines of the ideas of Andre Gortz can be seen in his Latvia presentation. His new Utopia would be self sufficient and have a very low ecological footprint. Busby detached himself from the Green Party when it moved to become a normal political party and decided to have a “leader”.
Logical Positivism, Physicists and Contemporary Thought
One of the few things that Wikipedia got right was Busby’s concerns about physicists. He describes this concern best in an interview he gave to the Swiss film-maker Edgar Hagen and also a video he made about Einstein. He argues that the last century, and continuing today, physicists wield dangerous power since ordinary people are in an Emperor’s New Clothes trap where they cannot understand what the physicist is telling them but are fearful of showing what they see as stupidity. The physicist on their part, rarely understand what they are basing their viewpoint on but instead refer to others and to books, because they, in turn, don’t want to appear stupid. It is a race to the bottom, where the outcome is that stupid policies (e.g. nuclear) are propped up by stupid physicists selected by and employed by dangerous psychologically flawed militaristic personalities (Rumsfeld, Thatcher). A quick look at all government advisers will reveal mathematical physicists in control of advice. The ex head of British Nuclear Fuels who writes epidemiological papers showing that radiation is OK, and who is now advising the Japanese as part of the World Health Organisation, that there will be not detectable health outcome of Fukushima is Richard Wakeford, whose PhD is in some arcane branch of particle physics. Another tremendous example of a stupid physicist is Wade Allison, whom Wikipedia has correctly reported that I have presented as such. Just watch Wade Allison in this video. The problem arose from the Logical Positivist school of philosophy, where only mathematics tells the truth. This is, of course, nonsense. It is a left-brain view of the world and involves no synthetic holistic thinking.