Thursday, May 17, 2007

Great Feuds in Medicine :Ten of the Liveliest Disputes Ever

In 1761 German physician Leopold Auenbrugger remarked, "It has always been the fate of those who have illustrated or improved the arts and sciences by their
discoveries to be beset by envy, malice, hatred, destruction and calumny." Following Great Feuds in Science, Hellman (Beyond Your Senses) now documents 10 dramatic medical disputes. British anatomist William Harvey's 1628 discovery of blood circulation challenged anatomical theory and caused his ostracism by the scientific community. In the late 18th-century, electrical disputes raged between Galvani whose "animal electricity" theory, to modern sensibilities, borders on the occult, though it garnered immediate support and prefigured current studies of electricity and paralysis and Volta, who worked to disprove Galvani. Claude Bernard's experiments on animals, in his studies of the nervous system, caused outrage among antivivisectionists and led to his being disowned by his family. Hungarian obstetrician Ignaz Semmelweis was committed to a mental hospital after the Viennese medical establishment rejected his hypothesis that unsanitary conditions in his workplace (doctors went from an autopsy to a birth without washing their hands) caused the high infection and death rate among patients. Other chapters address "Freud bashing," Sabin vs. Salk (polio vaccine) and Gallo vs. Montagnier (AIDS). Hellman eschews comprehensiveness for pith and entertainment, neglecting no unusual "twist," "strange coincidence," "cloud of suspicion" or "lucky break" to heighten the drama of these medical milestones. (Mar. 9)Forecast: Hellman's well-received books and articles (in the New York Times, Omni, Reader's Digest, etc.), and the success of popular science writing ensure his continuing appeal to serious science buffs, history fans, and casual readers alike.

Book details:
Author:Harold Hellman
Publisher:Wiley; New Ed edition (February 1, 2001)
Size: 562 KB
Format:Compiled HTML help file(chm)


No comments: