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The Croonian Lectures of 1917: a McGill pathologist confronts the biologists of England.

BUTTOLPH, M; (2010) The Croonian Lectures of 1917: a McGill pathologist confronts the biologists of England. Journal of Medical Biography , 18 (4) 198 - 204. 10.1258/jmb.2010.010025.

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Abstract

John George Adami (1862-1926) qualified in medicine at Manchester and in 1892 was appointed professor of pathology at McGill University. At the invitation of the Royal College of Physicians of London, he delivered the Croonian Lectures in 1917. He chose the title “Adaptation and disease; the contribution of medical research to the study of evolution”. Adami believed that medical work had brought to light important facts about heredity that had not been adequately communicated to biological scientists. He used the lectures to describe this work, placing particular emphasis on his contention that acquired characters are inherited. At this time the medical audience at Adami’s lectures would have been generally sympathetic to the idea that acquired characters can be inherited, though many leading British biologists were not. Adami hoped that a concise review of the medical findings would persuade the biologists to his point of view, or at least would be the starting point for a serious discussion of his evidence. However, the biologists were not persuaded, and, although there were acrimonious personal exchanges, there was no scientific debate.

Type:Article
Title:The Croonian Lectures of 1917: a McGill pathologist confronts the biologists of England.
DOI:10.1258/jmb.2010.010025
Publisher version:http://jmb.rsmjournals.com/content/18/4/198.full
Keywords:heredity, inheritance of acquired characters, lamarckism, E Ray Lankester, William Bateson
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Science and Technology Studies

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