Tag Archives: galvanism

“Moonlight” and silence

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Woman at the Piano. 1875/76. Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The Art Institute of Chicago. At seventeen, I knew little about the limitations or losses that might cause a person to second-guess a vocation, deeply held belief, or identity. Perhaps those questions about the unknowable future inhabit the soul of […]

Charles Darwin’s illness and the ‘wondrous water cure’

John Hayman Melbourne, Australia   Fig. 1 Diagram of a douche, from John Smedley, Practical Hydropathy. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) suffered from a relapsing, incapacitating illness for most of his adult life with a bewildering array of symptoms.1 The first symptoms appeared when he was a medical student in Edinburgh (1825-1827), where he was unable to […]

Luigi Galvani: beginnings of electrophysiology

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Fig 1. Lithograph: portrait of L. Galvani. From Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Physicist or physician? Scientist or healer? Artificially, these are divisions that have classified doctors through the ages. Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) (Fig 1.) showed that it was possible to be an amalgam of both. […]