Nerd Corner: Coming Out Fighting

This week we have a Nerd Corner guest post from Dr. Rachel Crellin. It’s not medical, but it’s about bronze weapons – which is equally as cool! If you enjoy this post, pop on over to the Nerd Corner archive and check out what Kris Childers-Buschle has to say about tuberculosis! Continue reading


Cannabis. And Pliny the Elder. But also cannabis.

Oh yeah. We’re going there. And we’re not taking Hippocrates.


Instead we’re gonna focus on two other ancient legends: one, a nature loving hippie/scholar/politician named Pliny the Elder; the other, a vainglorious physician who shaped nearly every aspect of rational medicine that came before and after him name Galen of Pergamon. I’m gonna do a whole post on the latter sometime soon, as he was highly influential on medicine up until the modern era – as much as I hate to further contribute to his ego. Continue reading

‘Let food be your medicine…’

Carl Nathan's History of MedicineSo I found this image on the interwebz and suffered a multilayered reaction. The first was a brief guffaw followed by curiosity as to who this Carl Nathan fellow is. Then I got a bit pedantic and defensive – the Medieval era probably deserves a little more credit and the early modern era/Renaissance is just completely left out! The horror!

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Professor F. C. Pybus

On top of everything, he was a pretty handsome guy!
On top of everything, he was a pretty handsome guy!

If you ever happen to study the history of medicine at Newcastle University, oddly specific I know, you will be unable to escape the name of Professor Pybus – there’s a Pybus Collection and a Pybus Room and a Pybus Seminar and the Pybus Papers and this list goes on. To paraphrase Jan Brady: Pybus, Pybus, Pybus! At first I didn’t think too much about it, but once I started looking into it, it turned out he was a pretty cool dude.

Emeritus Professor Frederick Charles Pybus was born in 1883 and lived until the ripe old age 92. He spent most of his professional career as a surgeon at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle upon Tyne and was considered an authority in cancer research, surgery and pediatrics. He is also well known for his research in organ transplantation. For example, in July of 1916, he attempted a transplant of pancreatic tissue on two patients; however, these procedures were, unfortunately, unsuccessful.

The good doctor also invented Lucozade.

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