Sleepwalking to Armageddon/Atomic Thunder

Dr Helen Caldicott + Elizabeth Tynan

Auditorium 2, State Library of Queensland




#About the event


Dr Helen Caldicott

Dr Helen Caldicott

Helen Caldicott, a graduate of the University of Adelaide  School of Medicine, was a faculty member of Harvard Medical School and in 1974 founded the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at Adelaide Children’s hospital. In 1971 she played a major role in Australia’s opposition to French atmospheric nuclear testing in the Pacific.  While at Harvard in the early 1980s, she helped to reinvigorate, as its president, Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organization of 23,000 doctors committed to educating their colleagues about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons and nuclear war. On trips abroad she helped start similar medical organizations in many other countries; their umbrella group,  International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. She also founded the Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND) in the US in 1980.

The author or editor of eight books including Nuclear Madness, Missile Envy, and, most recently, Sleepwalking to Armageddon, she has been the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, the subject of three award-winning documentary films, and  was  named one of the 20th Century’s most influential women by the Smithsonian Institution.   

Elizabeth Tynan

Elizabeth Tynan

Dr Elizabeth (Liz) Tynan is an Associate Professor at the James Cook University (JCU) Graduate Research School in Townsville.  Her PhD from the Australian National University examined aspects of the British nuclear weapons tests in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s.  She is a former journalist and journalism academic with a background in both print and electronic media.  She is co-author of the Oxford University Press textbooks Media and Journalism: New Approaches to Theory and Practice, and Communication for Business.

In September 2016 her popular history, Atomic Thunder:  The Maralinga Story, was published by NewSouth.  Atomic Thunder won the Council of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) Australia Prize for a Book 2017 and the Prime Minister’s Literary Prize (Australian History) 2017.


Emma Griffiths

Emma Griffiths

From breaking news and political reporting to the latest in entertainment, Emma Griffiths loves the variety of presenting a fast paced Drive program. Taking up a post in Moscow for 4 years saw Emma reporting on the school siege in Beslan, the political upheavals of Ukraine’s “orange” revolution, travelling to the Arctic circle and of course, keeping a close eye on Vladimir Putin. Emma’s coverage in Beslan won her a highly commended nod in the 2005 Walkley Awards. The road from Moscow led to Sydney and Canberra for a long stint of political reporting, including a number of years reporting from the Parliament House bureau. Emma has moved back to her home town and now presents the ABC Brisbane Drive program.

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