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The Discovery of the Circulation of the Blood

Nature volume 110, page 602 (04 November 1922) | Download Citation



THIS is the first of a new series entitled “Classics of Scientific Method,”and whets our appetite for its successors. The series aims at providing in convenient form reproductions of the great masterpieces of science, together with an account of the action and re-action of ideas which, through process of time, led up to the crucial experiments carried out and described by some great master. This account of Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood is excellent. The first chapter, in language freed so far as is possible of technical terms, describes the structure and function of the circulatory system as we now know it-a modification of the paragraph on p. 8 dealing with the relation of carbon dioxide and hæmoglobin seems desirable—and contains a clear diagram. The subsequent chapters set forth in words and by illustrations the ideas held by the ancients regarding the vascular system, and how the Renaissance of the fifteenth century and the work of such men as Leonardo da Vinci, Servetus, and others, culminated in Harvey's great discovery, of which a detailed and most interesting account is given.

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