One of my early popular science books, The Man Who Stopped Time, was on the photographic and moving picture pioneer, Eadweard Muybridge, who did most of his work in Pennsylvania and California, but who was born in Kingston-upon-Thames. Here’s an account I wrote at the time of hunting for Muybridge in Kingston. When getting under the skin on Edweard Muybridge you can’t avoid Kingston-upon-Thames. It inevitably means regular visits to the North Kingston Centre, an unfriendly, echoing civic build… »
The memory is from 14 years ago, but it stings like it was yesterday.
“I think he’s a famous old actor,” I said, during a game I play with friends where you have to get your team to say a name you’re reading on a slip of paper that they can’t see.
“Humphrey Bogart!” one person yelled out.
“Charlie Chaplin. Marlon Brando!” another hollered.
My heart sank as I looked at the words “Henry Kissinger” written on the paper I was holding. I was in a “I somehow don’t know who this incredibly famous pers… »
It’s always a good idea to bring reading material on your trips, whether you plan to have some airport downtime or you’re spending five years floating on the ocean. When Charles Darwin departed in 1831 for his trip around the world on the HMS Beagle, he had a well-stocked library. But the collection wasn’t saved, and neither was the catalogue listing the titles.
The team behind Darwin Online, led by John van Wyhe, has been working to recreate that library. They painstakingly worked backward from »
This paper describes the activities of amateur plant breeders and their application of various methods and technologies derived from genetics research over the course of the twentieth century. These ranged from selection and hybridization to more interventionist approaches such as radiation treatment to induce genetic mutations and chemical manipulation of chromosomes. I argue that these activities share characteristics with twenty-first-century do-it-yourself (DIY) biology (a recent upswing in…
Welcome to the Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Online. This website makes available the text of the celebrated Nebraska edition of the Lewis and Clark journals, edited by Gary E. Moulton. Moulton’s edition — the most accurate and inclusive edition ever published — is one of the major scholarly achievements of the late twentieth century. The site features the full text — almost five thousand pages — of the journals. Also included is a gallery of images as well as audio files of acclai…
Google has embarked on what may be its most ambitious and difficult science project ever: a quest inside the human body. WSJ’s Alistair Barr joins Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero with the details. Photo: iStock/sankalpmaya
Though William James is now mostly remembered as a philosopher, he was one of two ‘founding fathers’ of modern professionalized psychology. While his German counterpart, Wilhelm Wundt in Leipzig, dismissed empirical approaches to reported psychic phenomena and spiritualism, James on the contrary sought to make the study of unorthodox phenomena a legitimate part of nascent modern psychology. The following article is an entry on ‘Telepathy’ written by James for vol. 8 of Johnson’s Universal Cyclo… »
This my Great Aunt Tibby or Tibbie Harris and her fellow nurses somewhere near the front in France I believe. Tibby was from Edinburgh and had six brothers and one sister. All of them bar one brother, who was in America, were in France or Belgium. All returned home at the end of the war. A very lucky group of siblings. Family history reports that the brother in America, who was a plasterer and went to San Francisco in 1906 after the earthquake, was ostracised because he did not return to fight….
By Penelope Gouk Emotions are central to any investigations into music and medicine, as music has long been understood to alter internal states of body and mind. Music can function as an emotional tool to enhance or undermine well-being. The
A few weeks ago I attended the annual BSHS conference at the University of St Andrew’s and, like a number of other delegates, I am now blogging about some of the work I presented. I know it has taken awhile to put this post together and my only excuse is that, in the interim, I have been somewhat preoccupied with submitting my PhD thesis.
To premise, the story of English syphilisation is only one part of a much larger and complex debate encompassing many important issues and questions including… »
Galen of Pergamon. De sanitate tuenda libri sex. Coloniae: In aedib. Eucharij Colon., 1526.
Thomas Linacre was a 16th century English scholar and physician who translated several of Galen’s works into Latin, and also served as physician to King Henry VIII. He dedicated this book to Henry.
The Becker Library’s copy features a heraldic binding. While we haven’t identified the coat of arms on the front cover (anyone care to take a stab at it?), the back cover features Henry’s coat of arms (top) »
From Elias Ashmole’s Theatrum chemicum britannicum : containing severall poeticall pieces of our famous English philosophers, who have written the hermetique mysteries in their owne ancient language (1652).
As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!
42 years later are African-American still afraid of being exploited by science?
Twitter Chat hosted by the National Science and Technology News Service (NSTNS) -a science media advocacy group that works to diversify health and science news by providing diverse experts and original content to news outlets-would like to commemorate the revelation of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment by hosting a Twitter Chat on bioethics and address lingering concerns about medical mistrust in the African-Am… »
An unlikely pair: NO RARE BOOKS (or Librarians) WERE HARMED DURING THIS BLOG POST
Title page for Hollybush’s A most excellent and perfecte homish apothecarye
For this week’s how-to, I thought I’d try some 16th century recipes from the first English translation of Europe’s most popular apothecary of the 15th and 16th century. I’ve grabbed St Andrews’ copy of A most excellent and perfect homish apothecarye, with an aim to recreate some of Hieronymus Brunschwig’s recipes and also with an aim to … »
From 1987 to the late 1990s, James Haddow and his team of researchers at the Foundation for Blood Research in Scarborough, Maine, studied children born to women who had thyroid deficiencies while pregnant with those children. Haddow´s team focused on newborns who had normal thyroid function at the time of neonatal screening.
Anesthesia is one of America’s great contributions to medical care. Ironically, some of the earliest users of ether were often medical students, doctors or dentists who inhaled it recreationally. Crawford Long, a doctor in Georgia, after such use in his community realized the practical potential for ether, and he used it on several surgical patients in 1842. In October 1846 dentist William Morton demonstrated ether inhalation at Boston’s Massachusetts Hospital, and the news spread quickly. By 1… »
Chest x-rays illustrating an article on pulmonary abscess from 1922 New York Journal of Medicine.
New titles from our National Endowment for the Humanities-funded grant to digitize medical journals are going up in our collection on the Internet Archive regularly.
A recent addition is the New York Medical Journal, in a run from 1865 to 1922. The 1865 volume includes an obituary on Abraham Lincoln and articles, notes, and communications on abortion, uterine surgery, scurvy, and diabetes. The volu… »
"Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings: Morphology: Embryology: Rudimentary Organs" is the thirteenth chapter of Charles Darwin’s book The Origin of Species, first published in England in 1859. The book details part of Darwin’s argument for the common ancestry of life and natural selection as the cause of speciation.
Strahil V. Panayotov, BabMed Project, Free University Berlin. Fumigation is a term for healing through the power of smoke. It is a wide-spread therapy in many traditional healing systems and it was also used in Ancient Mesopotamia. Through fumigation the … Continue reading →
Announcing a new collaboration between the History of Science Collections and K12 educators: The OU Academy of the Lynx.
Check out the oulynx.org blog, follow oulynx tweets, join the Galileo-L listserv, and explore the OU Lynx Educator Workspace.
Our aim with the Lynx is to foster collaboration between OU and educators — including K12 teachers, amateur astronomers, docents, and museum professionals — in the development and implementation of the Galileo’s World exhibition, set to open in August… »
Azuma Makoto’s astonishing extraterrestrial plants are a totally new type of landscape, set against the infinity of space
Azuma Makoto has created a completely unprecedented set of landscape images that show organic life on the edge of space.
Working with JP Aerospace, the Tokyo artist has sent a bonsai tree, orchids, lilies and other plants into the stratosphere, suspended in a balloon.
Silas Weir Mitchell’s fame comes from his work as a neurologist and as an ardent believer in the “rest cure,” which was used to treat women (and occasionally men) who were suffering from a variety of nervous disorders. In his later years, however, he began a second career as a novelist. He was fairly successful at the time, although his works are not regarded as classics of American literature. His most enduring literary legacy might actually be that he indirectly inspired Charlotte Perkins … »
Ronen Shamir’s new book is a timely and thoughtful study of the electrification of Palestine in the early twentieth century. Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2013) makes use of Actor-Network Theory as a methodology to trace the processes involved in constructing a powerhouse and assembling an electric grid in 1920s Palestine. The book brilliantly shows how electrification “makes politics” rather than just transmitting it: under the auspices of British c… »
Andreas Vesalius was an ambitious young man who was not shy of self-publicity. Born in Flanders 500 years ago, he had his eye on one of the most prestigious roles in medicine. He sought an appointment as personal physician to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. To optimise his chances, Vesalius set out to demonstrate his extensive knowledge of the workings of the human body. One of the ways he did this was to publish in 1543 an extraordinary tome known as the Fabrica, in reference to its Latin …
During the mid-nineteenth century, Johann Gregor Mendel experimented with pea plants to develop a theory of inheritance. In 1843, while a monk in the Augustian St Thomas’s Abbey in Brünn, Austria, now Brno, Czech Repubic, Mendel examined the physical appearance of the abbey’s pea plants ( Pisum sativum) and noted inconsistencies between what he saw and what the blending theory of inheritance, a primary model of inheritance at the time, predicted.