Stephen Hales and the practice of science

Brown, Simon, and Simcock, David C. (2011) Stephen Hales and the practice of science. Medical Physiology Online, 2011 (October). pp. 1-9.

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Abstract

[Extract] It would be regrettable were this year to end without some commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the death of the Reverend Stephen Hales DD, FRS. Clinicians and virtually all biologists rely on some aspect of his research. While most of us work within a relatively narrow range, Hales made significant contributions to plant and animal physiology on which we still depend, while also contributing to chemistry [1], inventing ventilation systems and winnowing machines [2] and an instrument to remove urinary calculi through the urethra [3], and publishing papers on the causes of earthquakes [4] and the control of fires [5]. The very full scientific life of Stephen Hales has much to tell us about the modern practice of science.

Stephen Hales was born in 1677 in Bekesbourne, Kent, and went up to Cambridge in 1696, where he was elected to a Fellowship at Corpus Christi College in 1702. He was appointed to the parish of Teddington, Middlesex, in 1708 and remained there for much of every year until his death in 1761. He had married in about 1719, but his wife died a year later and he never remarried. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1718 and was awarded its Copley Medal in 1739 for his "experiments towards the discovery of medicines for dissolving the stone, and preservatives for keeping meat at sea". In 1753 he was elected a foreign member of the Académie Royale des Sciences. Hales is buried beneath the tower of his church in Teddington, although a monument in Westminster Abbey was erected in his memory at the instigation of the Princess of Wales to whom he acted as chaplain [6, 7].

Item ID: 35815
Item Type: Article (Other)
ISSN: 1985-4811
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This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, is properly cited.

Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2014 00:14
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