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Title: Contrasting notions of Ramón y Cajal and Constantin von Economo on forced propulsion
Authors: Triarhou, Lazaros C
Type: Article
Subjects: FRASCATI::Medical and Health sciences::Basic medicine::Neurosciences (including: Psychophysiology)
FRASCATI::Engineering and technology
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Hektoen Institute of Medicine
Source: Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanities
Volume: 8
Issue: 2
First Page: 1
Last Page: 4
Abstract: Two visionaries of biomedicine, Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934), “the father of modern neuroscience,” and Constantin von Economo (1876-1931), “a passing meteor in the firmament of neurology,” made major discoveries in neuron biology, cerebral cytoarchitecture, and human neuropathology.1,2 Their surnames are carved into eponyms, including “Cajal cells” and “von Economo encephalitis.” Cajal was awarded the Nobel Prize (jointly with Camillo Golgi); Economo was nominated for the summa cum laude of the Swedish Academy. Their era witnessed the advent of the bicycle, the typewriter, the telephone, electricity, the automobile, and the airplane. It was in their lifetime that science harvested fruits begotten by the laboratory revolution of the 1860s. They also witnessed the “Great War.” There are parallels in the lives of the two men. Both explored the mind through a microscope and drew nerve cells via a camera lucida. They lived by the altruism common in their heyday. And they exchanged correspondence. There are also differences. I next highlight antipodal opinions that the two anatomists expressed regarding the conquest of speed by engineering. For the nostalgic Cajal, the transition from the horse to the automobile and the flying apparatus was a dangerous endeavor. For the technically-minded Economo, the conquest of gravity was a step forward in the path of humanity’s evolution.
Electronic ISSN: 2155-3017
Appears in Collections:Department of Educational & Social Policy

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