IT is indeed fitting that we should recall on this commemorative occasion the contributions made by Lister to physiology. His very earliest scientific papers were all physiological. He may be said to have entered by way of physiology his surgical researches which were to achieve so much. His first paper was entitled “The Contractile Tissue of the Iris.” It was work done by the microscope, which he used for the study of function rather than of form alone. It appeared in 1853, in the first number of the first volume of the now well-known Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science. Lister was then twenty-five years of age. That the microscope should be his instrument for his maiden voyage of discovery was but natural in the son of his father, Joseph Jackson Lister, that remarkable man, who leaving school early for the business he conducted so successfully, yet found time to cultivate optics to such purpose as to devise and give to the world the achromatic microscope. Lister's earliest paper, this on the iris, supplied the first full and correct description of the radiating muscle dilating the pupil of the eye. It thus made a lasting mark upon its subject.
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SHERRINGTON, C. Lister and Physiology1. Nature 119, 606–608 (1927). https://doi.org/10.1038/119606a0