Tag Archives: Hull

A note on handedness

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Handedness (chirality) refers to the preferential use of one hand over the other. It is a matter of degree; it is seldom absolute. Population left and right preference existed in the Neanderthals (lived from 400,000 to about 40,000 years ago) onwards. Only homo sapiens amongst the great apes […]

Gouty quotes

JMS Pearce  Hull, England   Fig. 1 A decrepit man screaming in pain from gout, rheumatism and catarrh; represented as three tormenting devils. Coloured etching by J. Cawse, 1809, after G.M. Woodward. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) The recent reproduction of G. Cruikshank’s A self-indulgent man afflicted with gout by a demon burning […]

Multiple sclerosis: early descriptions

JMS Pearce  Hull, England   Clinical MS: Augustus D’Este, McKenzie Fig 1. MS plaques, by Robert Carswell. Source It was almost two centuries ago that the best known and possibly the first detailed patient’s description of multiple sclerosis (MS) was recorded. It survives in the diaries (1822-48) and almanac of Sir Augustus D’Este, the Harrovian […]

Plain Words, or pandemic medical gobbledygook

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1: Comic featuring Plain Words The great essayist and philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) once said: “Words, when written, crystallize history; their very structure gives permanence to the unchangeable past.” I suggest that the problems posed by writers who fail to convey meaning are not new.1,2 As long ago as […]

John Dalton

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. John Dalton. Line engraving by W. H. Worthington, 1823, after J. Allen, 1814. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) John Dalton (1766–1844) (Fig 1) is one of the most revered scientists of the last 250 years. His origins were humble. He was the son of Deborah and […]

Joseph Merrick, “The Elephant Man”

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. The Elephant man and other reminiscences As a specimen of humanity, Merrick was ignoble and repulsive; but the spirit of Merrick, if it can be seen in the form of the living, would assume the figure of an upstanding and heroic man . . .6 The […]

The X Club

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig. 1 TH Huxley Wikipedia: This work is in the public domain Charles Babbage, who conceived the first automatic digital computer, published in 1830 Reflections on the Decline of Science in England. This stimulated the formation of several new groups that aimed to further scientific progress and exchange […]

The benefit of literature to a medical student

Martin Conwill United Kingdom   In a letter to Benjamin Bailey in 1817, John Keats, who only one year prior was a medical student himself, wrote: “I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections and the truth of imagination – what the imagination sees as beauty must be truth.”1 This proclamation […]