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Early Medical and Scientific Interests

Early Medical and Scientific Interests


(p.30) Chapter 2 Early Medical and Scientific Interests
Pure Intelligence
Melvyn C. Usselman
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes W. H. Wollaston’s scientific interests in the 1790s, including chemical analysis on a micro scale and substance identification by crystallographic properties. Wollaston’s studies of fairy rings, human calculi and the discovery of cystine are discussed, as are his services to the Royal College of Physicians as censor, madhouse commissioner and smallpox vaccination advisor. His influential study of atmospheric refraction is described and the reasons for his abandonment of medicine are presented. The chapter also discusses the formation of his secret partnership with Smithson Tennant to produce value-added chemical products from inexpensive raw materials.

Keywords:   William Hyde Wollaston, micro scale analysis, crystallography, fairy rings, human calculi, cystine, Royal College of Physicians, smallpox vaccination, atmospheric refraction, Smithson Tennant

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