Tag Archives: Winter 2020

Reporting a pandemic

Francis Christian Saskatoon, Canada   Nonno watching the news. Jakob Montrasio. Taken on December 21, 2011. From Flickr. CC BY 2.0 Dust to dust and doom delivered by newscasts dripping irony in considered doses of despair; feigning knowledge of ignorance, feigning ignorance of absent panic and knowledge from experts claiming uncertainty.   But the web […]

Albert Einstein headed off at the “Nobel pass” by Alvar Gullstrand

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, IL USA   Photograph of Albert Einstein in his office at the University of Berlin. c1920. Accessed via Wikimedia. Allvar Gullstrand. Unknown artist. The National Library of Medicine.  Allvar Gullstrand was a brilliant ophthalmologist and the second of eleven surgeons who have received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He was awarded […]

The Dutch anatomy lessons

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. 1632. Rembrandt van Rijn. Mauritshuis. The Hellenistic anatomist Herophilus (c. 330- c. 260 BC) and the physiologist Erasistratus (c. 325– c. 250 BC) were granted limited permission to dissect executed criminals with consent of the first Ptolemaic Pharaohs. This practice, […]

“Hiroshima” seventy-five years after the bombing

Cristóbal S Berry-Cabán Fort Bragg, NC   Figure 1. Little Boy at Tinian Island, August 1945. From the National Archives. Figure 2. Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima, August 6, 1945. From the National Archives. Figure 3. This person’s skin was burned in a pattern corresponding to the dark portions of a kimono worn at the time […]

William Cheselden, father of modern British surgery

William Cheselden was the most eminent English surgeon of the first half of the eighteenth century.1,2 Born in Leicestershire in 1688 just two weeks before William of Orange landed in England, he learned Greek and Latin at school, then was apprenticed to a local barber-surgeon. At fifteen he went to London and was again apprenticed, […]

Gerard Blasius (1627–1682)

Gerardus Leonardus Blasius (1625-1695), physician and professor in medicine. Anyonymous. C.1660. Stadsarchief Amsterdam Gerard Blaes (Blasius) was a Dutch physician and anatomist, famous for his work on the spinal cord and for one of his students discovering the parotid (Stensen’s) duct. As a young man he had lived and studied in Copenhagen, where his father was […]

“A Veritable Angel of Mercy”: the sardonic representation of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta   Group photograph of the first twenty Navy Nurses, appointed in 1908. Naval Photographer. 1908. Wikimedia. Public Domain. Critical acclaim and popular opinion have elevated Kesey’s first novel, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest published in 1962, to something of a modern classic, much read and written about as well as adapted […]

Antonio Benivieni, early anatomist and pathologist

De abditis, or Concerning some hidden and remarkable cases of diseases and cures. The Florentine Antonio Benivieni dissected corpses and recorded his findings some seventy years before Andreas Vesalius and even more so before Batista Morgagni. Yet though he has been called the “founder of pathology,” he never achieved the fame and recognition accorded to […]

Sir Alexander Fleming: A microbiologist at work and play

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States   “Seemingly Simple Elegance” by Arwa Hadid. American Society for Microbiology Agar Art 2019 Professional. Undergraduate MLS student, Oakland University, Rochester Hills, MI, United States i Sir Alexander Fleming had many talents. His discoveries of lysozyme in 1923 and in 1928 the antibiotic effect of the fungus Penicillium notatum are […]

Michel de Montaigne in his circular library

Portrait of Michel de Montaigne c. 1570 At the age of thirty-eight, in 1571, the aristocratic Michel de Montaigne retired from public life and “servitude at the court” in order to spend in his château “what little remains of his life, now more than half had run out.” He passed the next ten years or […]