Tag Archives: 20th century

Paul Pierre Broca

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Paul Pierre Broca. US National Library of Medicine. At the turn of the nineteenth century, knowledge of how the brain worked was largely conjectural. Intelligence, memory, language, and motor and sensory functions had not been localized. The physiologist Flourens, promoting the notion of “cerebral equipotentiality,” concluded, […]

“On Being Sane in Insane Places”1: psychiatric hospitalization as seen by Gabriel García Márquez and Dr. David Rosenhan

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Crowded bedroom at Brooklyn State Hospital. World Telegram & Sun photo by Dick De Marsico. 1961. Library of Congress. No known copyright restriction. Literature and science may complement each other. Sometimes they actually describe the same phenomenon. Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014) was a Colombian novelist, journalist, and short story writer. He […]

Book review of Albemarle Street: Portraits, personalities and presentations at the Royal Institution

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover to Albemarle Street: Portraits, personalities and presentations at the Royal Institution In this fascinating book, the late Professor Meurig Thomas, a distinguished chemist, former Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge University, and an accomplished popularizer of science tells the story of one of Britain’s greatest scientific institutions, which for […]

“Am not I a fly like thee?” Drosophila melanogaster and the human genome

Marshall A. Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   A fruit fly displaying its large red eye. Among Thomas Hunt Morgan’s many contribution to the burgeoning science of genetics, he observed some male fruit flies had a mutant white eye. By cross-breeding males with mutant white eyes with females with the dominant trait and, subsequently, […]

Maligning Macleod and “Bettering” Best: the discovery of insulin as depicted in film before Michael Bliss

James R. Wright Jr. Calgary, Alberta, Canada   JJR Macleod circa 1928. Credit: University of Toronto. Via Wikimedia. In 1921, Fred Banting and Charley Best, working under the supervision of JJR Macleod, made crude pancreatic extracts from duct-ligated dog, fetal bovine, or whole adult bovine pancreata and used these to treat diabetes in depancreatized dogs. […]

Sister Kenny: the forgotten Nightingale

Anand Raja Devaraj Sushama Kerala, India   Elizabeth Kenny photographed in 1915. Unknown photographer. Item held by John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Medical practices flourish and fall out of favor with time. Some become the norm only to turn redundant later; others prevail after a hard battle for acceptance. A campaign is even […]

Novice doctor at Guy’s Hospital in 1964

Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom   Fig 1. “Entrance into that most noble Public Charity and admirable Medical Establishment Guy’s Hospital” Founded 1721 by Thomas Guy it was intended for the incurables rejected by neighboring St. Thomas’s Hospital—the foreground scene shows this restriction had ceased. The building on the east (left), Boland House was […]

Psychiatric care at the historical Athens Mental Health Facility

Cherron Payne Farmington, Connecticut, United States   Athens Asylum for the Insane, Athens State Hospital Administration Building, Circa late 19th Century to early 20th Century. Ohio University Archives. When I was an undergraduate student at Ohio University in Athens, my friends and I would often hike to an intriguing place called the Ridges, overlooking the picturesque […]

Malaria in defeat and victory

Richard J. E. Brown Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom   Lab work in progress at the Royal Navy School of Malaria and Hygiene, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 1944. IWM Non-Commercial Licence © IWM A 28167. A few weeks ago, in the reading room of the National Archives in London, I came across the war diary of a […]

The forerunner

Shafiqah Samarasam Malaysia   Skyline in Kuala Lumpur with haze. 2004. Photo by Nesnad. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 3.0. Southeast Asia has experienced detrimental, large-scale air pollution for decades. Known as the “Southeast Asia haze,” this transboundary pollution is largely caused by illegal agricultural fires in the forests of Indonesia. The lingering smoke results in breathing […]