Tag Archives: JMS Pearce

Medicine in Greek mythology

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK Fig. 1 Caduceus and Asclepian single serpent Some of the earliest ideas about health and disease lie in Greek mythology. The Greeks of prehistory told, retold, and often remoulded their tales of immortal gods and goddesses that were imaginative, symbolic creations. Stories of the gods probably started with Minoan and […]

John Tyndall, FRS: The beauty of science

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. John Tyndall FRS [This media file is in the public domain in the United States.] Over many centuries non-medical people have carried out research into disease and its causes, often making important advances. The 1841 Census estimates suggest a third of all medical practitioners in England were unqualified.a The […]

William Alexander Hammond

JMS Pearce  Hull, England, United Kingdom   Figure 1. William Alexander Hammond In much of the nineteenth century, ”internal medicine” dominated medical practice in the United States. Specialism was widely disdained and faced hostility and scepticism,i, not least from the influential Sir William Osler: There are, in truth, no specialties in medicine, since to know […]

Henrik Sjögren and his syndrome

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig. 1 Henrik Sjögren The esteemed novelist PD James remarked in a book review: “History reminds us of what we are in danger of losing. A glance over our shoulders into medical history may stimulate, challenge, even enhance our own methods and our thinking.“ Although the names of many […]

Dr. John Wall and Royal Worcester porcelain

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Figure 1. Dr. John Wall At first thought, the making of pots, china and porcelain would seem remote from the practice of Medicine. But one notable, exceptional man was accomplished and original in both. The polymath, Dr John Wall (1708 – 1776) of Worcester, though far from deserting […]

The Monros: a medical dynasty

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Figure 1. John Monro In medieval times Celtic life was based on a clan system of lineage in certain territories. Each clan had a chief, kinsmen, and families who worked and lived on their lands. The treatment of illness within the entire clan was the responsibility of a […]

George Gordon Lord Byron and his limp

JMS Pearce   Fig 1. Plaque of Byron erected in Westminster 4/10/2012 Few would dispute that Lord Byron (Fig 1) was both a poetic prodigy and a flamboyant rogue. George Gordon Noel, sixth Baron Byron (1788–1824), was born on 22 January 1788 at Holles Street, London, son of Captain John (“Mad Jack”) Byron and his […]

The Anatomy of Michelangelo (1475-1564)

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Michelangelo’s anatomy drawings Michelangelo Buonarroti was an exception to the rule that the qualities of many brilliant artists and composers are realized and extolled only after death. He was recognized by contemporaries as a genius, a “Hero of the High Renaissance,” the only artist of whom it was claimed […]

Leprosy: A nearly forgotten malady

JMS Pearce Hull Royal Infirmary   Fig 1. Patient at St. Jørgen’s Hospital Leprosy was the first proven instance of a bacterium causing a human disease. Along with plague, poliomyelitis, and smallpox, leprosy has beleaguered mankind for millennia, causing devastating and often fatal infections that were historically impossible to  cure or prevent. The nervous system, skin,and eyes […]

Foundations of anatomy in Bologna

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Figure 1. Dissecting table, Bologna Home to the oldest western university,1 the University of Bologna was founded in 1088 and was a centre of intellectual life during the Middle Ages, attracting scholars from throughout Europe. The University began as a law school. Medical teaching started circa 1156 and was taught […]