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Inelastic proton scattering at energies of a few 100 MeV and forward angles including 0 • provides a novel method to measure gamma strength functions (GSF) in nuclei in an energy range of about 5 -20 MeV. The experiments provide not only the E1 but also the M1 part of the GSF. The latter is poorly known in heavy nuclei. Comparison with gamma decay data (e.g. from the Oslo method) allows to test the generalised Brink-Axel (BA) hypothesis in the energy region of the pygmy dipole resonance (PDR)doi:10.1051/epjconf/201817806002 fatcat:vqi4xrubdzbrznzpyfmefoppcy