Paul Strathern follows the development of medicine through the lives of its greatest practitioners, whose discoveries (and errors) shaped the course of medical history. Includes geniuses, such as Paracelsus, the father of medical chemistry, and Edward Jenner, whose vaccination banished smallpox, scientific endeavour, such as the discovery of X-rays, and mistakes both fortunate and fatal. With grave robbing, plague and germ theory, quackery, nursing, syphilis, micro-organisms and penicillin along the way, this is the ultimate story of human -- and humane -- achievement.
Paul Strathern was born in London in 1940. He studied physics, chemistry and maths at Trinity College, Dublin, before switching to philosophy. He is the author of several novels, including A Season in Abbyssinia, which won a Somerset Maugham prize, and two highly successful series of short introductory books, Philosophers in 90 Minutes and The Big Idea: Scientists Who Changed the World. His most recent books include Mendeleyev's Dream, which was shortlisted for the Aventis Science Book Prize in 2001, Dr. Strangelove's Game: A History of Economic Genius and The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance.