Although knowing nothing about germs at the time, 19th C Austrian doctor – Ignaz Semmelweis worked out that sanitation was the key to reducing unnecessary newborn deaths. He witnessed medical students crossing from cadaver inspection over to birthing, without washing their hands and reduced deaths by over 8%, from 10% down to 1-2%, purely by having them wash their hands in a chlorine solution.
Perhaps predictably, this accusation of uncleanliness didn’t go down well with doctors across the rest of Europe and the discovery was summarily rejected. He died a lonely, depressed alcoholic.
17th C William Harvey first accurately described blood circulation; how it travelled around the body and that it was the heart, not the liver, that was the critical organ in the process.
Roundly ridiculed at the time, he ended his days a recluse, happier to grow wise in old age than face any more contempt for his life’s work.
Aussie doctor Barry Marshall was banned from further researching the cause of stomach ulcers and stomach cancer, after submitting his findings to his peers. He understood that they were caused by a bacteria and not generated solely from stress. Finding his funding and research stopped, he took extraordinary measures to prove it. Making soup of a biopsy of an infected man’s ulcer, he drank it to prove, once he contracted the ulcer, that is was indeed transferred through bacteria. He was eventually awarded a Nobel Prize.
Gregor Mendel discovered genetics working entirely on his own in the garden cross-breeding peas. Unsurprisingly he was of course ignored and his theories not rediscovered and found to be true, until 16 years after his death.
So, with all these egos flying around the Establishment, it’s interesting to me that Cryonics is to this day held in such poor regard. Agreed: who am I to judge, but then, surely all avenues of science are valid. And, as discussed before in my previous blog, how many discoveries are made by mistake, whilst seeking something else.
It seems a shame that fashion and the mores of the day should dictate what is worth exploring and what is not, regardless of my own opinions on any given subject. I can’t help thinking, if Cryonics had been around in Victorian times (or even Ancient Egypt, for that matter), with their open fascination in death, they would have leapt upon it rather than shun.
Read more…. #Lazarus10