Introduction

This issue of the BELLE Newsletter explores the history of radiation hormesis in considerable depth. It is comprised of three parts, the historical foundations of radiation hormesis, how this idea became marginalized within the scientific and radiation research communities, and how the history of radiation hormesis compares with that of chemical hormesis. This topic has been generally ignored within the scientific literature and we hope that this issue will provide not only a useful reconstruction of the historical foundations of this aspect of toxicology, but also, and perhaps more importantly, how significant ideas can be trivialized at great risk to society.Two papers on the history of chemical hormesis and how it became marginalized within society have been recently published (Calabrese and Baldwin, 1999, 1999a) and serve to complement the three papers published in this issue of the BELLE Newsletter.

Calabrese, E.J. and Baldwin, L.A.(1999). The marginalization of hormesis. Toxicol. Pathol., 27(2):187-194.

Calabrese, E.J. and Baldwin, L.A. (1999a). Chemical hormesis: Its historical foundations as a biological hypothesis. Toxicol. Pathol., 27(2):195-216.