The formation and evolution of the Society of Nuclear Medicine

Semin Nucl Med. 1996 Jul;26(3):180-90. doi: 10.1016/s0001-2998(96)80023-7.


The Society of Nuclear Medicine was created and constructed by persons from many branches of medicine and the physical sciences, but it originated mostly in the mind of a chemist-physicist-engineer named Norman "Jeff" Holter. Because most medical organizations seemed to care little about the use of radioactive materials for medical purposes, Holter believed a new organization was necessary for their promotion. From its origin in 1954 as the Pacific Northwest Society of Nuclear Medicine, The Society of Nuclear Medicine became a national, multidisciplinary organization in 1956. Rapidly gathering strength with an expanding membership, it employed an administrator in 1959. With this administrator and a dedicated volunteer editor, publication of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine began. Over the next several years the Society evolved into an active force in the development of the application of radioactivity to medical applications. It generated significant internal initiatives and participated in the generation of several important external institutions. The Society of Nuclear Medicine developed a tradition of annual meetings with strong educational programs for all members. By nurturing and embracing the Technologist Section, the Society became a robust and representative organization for all who serve nuclear medicine. From these beginnings came the vigorous Society of Nuclear Medicine of today. Jeff Holter (1914-1983) would be justifiably proud.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • History, 20th Century
  • Nuclear Medicine / history*
  • Societies, Medical / history*
  • United States

Personal name as subject

  • N Holter