Since its foundation, the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) has grown to become the international voice of the profession of radiological protection. When it came into being in 1965 the existence of such a profession had only recently been recognised, but already there was seen to be a need for co-ordination and exchange of information and views internationally. As with all such organisations the early years and decades were taken up with the development and evolution of the organisation but there comes a time when, if the history is not documented it gradually gets lost. Recognising this, the Executive Council created the role of archivist and historian, and appointed Geoff Webb with a brief to compile the history of IRPA. This book is the result and covers the developments leading up to the formation of IRPA and from then to the year 2000.
The first IRPA Congress I attended was in Brighton, England in 1970 – the second IRPA Congress. Something of a coincidence in that I now live there. However at that time I was living in Westwood, New Jersey and I attended the Congress primarily to man a booth in the exhibition promoting thermoluminescent dosimetry. Since then I have attended every IRPA Congress except for the fifth Congress in Jerusalem in 1980. I chaired the Programme Committee for the Eighth Congress in Montreal in 1992 at which I joined the Executive Council as Publications Director. I was elected Vice-President in 1996 and was President of IRPA from 2000 to 2004. With this long involvement it seemed natural that I should become the first Archivist and Historian.