Cresswell Eastman: The man who saved a million brains by Penny Tangey

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The Aussie STEM Stars series provides readers with incredible insights into the lives of ordinary often unknown Australians who excel in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and who have chosen to make a difference in the world. This latest release about the life of Creswell Eastman, ‘the man who saved a million brains’, is fascinating reading.

From a happy childhood that was not without its challenges to elements of his schooling which may have tested Creswell’s resilience, this book gives a wonderful snapshot of the life of an ordinary man who achieved so much. Creswell’s love of science and the desire to help others ultimately led him from medical school to worldwide research into Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) in China, Tibet and southeast Asian countries including Malaysia, as well as in Australia. His ground-breaking work on the need for sufficient levels of iodine in the body to enable the brain to function at peak performance has been life-changing for millions of people. Babies in particular were at risk of reduced mental capabilities as well as a lower IQ and other impairments. Creswell and his team developed tests for measuring iodine levels and implemented them all over the world. He also encouraged governments to enforce the use of iodised salt.

As well as reading an engaging story, the reader will gain an understanding of how at times, when Creswell felt discouraged or his health was suffering, he worked on solutions to overcome major obstacles. This newest book in the series is a welcome addition to both school and public libraries.

Themes: Family, Science, Medicine, School, University, Research, Iodine Deficiency, Humanitarian Work.

Kathryn Beilby