SCIENCE AND MEDICINE
SIMSON, Robert. Volume of holograph letters on mathematical topics between Robert Simson.and Matthew Stewart. [1741-1755] MS Gen 146
BURNETT, James, Lord-Monboddo Antient metaphysics.
This volume contains the History and philosophy of men. One of Monboddo's obsessions was to discover whether men still existed with tails; he frequently interrupted court proceedings over which he was presiding by sending notes of enquiry on the subject to those who had returned from abroad. Samuel Johnson remarked of him: 'Other people have strange notions but they conceal them. If they have tails, they hide them; but Monboddo is as jealous of his tail as a squirrel.' Yet, although Monboddo was wrong to be so dogmatic about tails, there is no doubt that he was right in his gropings after an evolutionary theory.
Natural history, general and particular, by the Count de Buffon, translated into
English [by William Smellie]. Second edition. 9 vols
Apart from his contributions to the Encylopaedia Britannica, this is Smellie's most important work. He did not make a word for word translation of Buffon's Histoire naturelle, but read several pages, imbibed the French author's ideas and presented them in his own words, adding original notes and new plates. He indicated where he disagreed with his author and introduced Linnaeus' system of classification and nomen- clature. Buffon himself was pleased with Smellie's translation and wrote: 'je suis trés flatté que vous avez pris la peine de faire la traduction de mes ouvrages.' Some reviewers held that 'Buffon now appeared to more advantage in his new dress than he had done in the original.'
Theory of the earth, with proofs and illustrations.
The originator of one of the most fundamental prin ciples in geology, the Scottish geologist James Hutton formulated the uniformitarian principle, which states that natural processes now at work on and within the earth have been operating in the same general manner throughout many geological ages, and that the different kinds of rocks that compose the earth had been formed by diverse processes. Hutton's theory was vigorously attacked by Richard Kirwan, an Irish chemist and mineralogist and a supporter of the prevailing precipitation theory, which held that all rocks of which the earth is composed were formed by mineral deposits from the oceans.
Hutton's first conception of his revolutionary theories on geology, the basis of modern biology and the new ideas of evolution, was made known in two lectures to the newly founded Edinburgh Royal Society on March 7th and April 4th 1785.Ten years later the momentous two volumes of the Theory of the earth were published.
Notes of his lectures on the elements of chemistry, 1776.
These volumes contain the text of the complete course of lectures delivered by Joseph Black as Professor of Chemistry at Edinburgh, a post which he held from 1766 to 1797.
Black studied first at Glasgow and then at Edinburgh. His Edinburgh M.D.thesis described important experiments in the heating of magnesia alba (magnesium carbonate) and Black anticipated Lavoisier and modern chemistry by indicating the existence of a gas, carbon dioxide, distinct from common air. In 1756 Black succeeded William Cullen as lecturer in chemistry at Glasgow and later became Professor of Medicine there. His studies during this period led to his doctrine of latent heat. Although in 1762 Black described his studies in latent heat to the College Literary Society in Glasgow, he never published any detailed account of them and so others, such as J.A. Deluc, claimed credit for his results. Black's friend the inventor James Watt, was doubtless influenced by Black's ideas in his revolutionary construction of the condensing steam-engine.
An account of the inoculation of small pox in Scotland.
Alexander Monro primus was the first of a family of physicians - father, son and grandson - noted for their primary role in advancing the University of Edinburgh to international prominence as a centre of medical teaching during the eighteenth century. A pupil of the Dutch physician, Hermann Boerhaave (who had built up a renowned medical school at Leyden), Monro was appointed as the first Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at Edinburgh University in 1720. His adoption of Boerhaave's methods attracted the most promising students from the North American colonies to Edinburgh. Altogether Monro published two books and fifty-three scientific papers. In this work on inoculation against small-pox, Monro claimed that of 5826 people inoculated in various parts of Scotland, only seventy-two were said to have died as a result of that inoculation.
Alexander Monro primus was the first of a family of physicians -father, son and grandson - noted for their primary role in advancing the University of Edinburgh to international prominence as a centre of medical teaching during the eighteenth century. A pupil of the Dutch physician, Hermann Boerhaave (who had built up a renowned medical school at Leyden), Monro was appointed as the first Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at Edinburgh University in 1720. His adoption of Boerhaave's methods attracted the most promising students from the North American colonies to Edinburgh. Altogether Monro published two books and fifty-three scientific papers. In this work on inoculation against small pox, Monro claimed that of 5626 people inoculated in various parts of Scotland, only seventy-two were said to have died as a result of that inoculation.
Observations on certain parts of the animal oeconomy.
Journal of attendance on Her Majesty Queen Charlotte as Physician
William Hunter, John's brother, received his training in medicine from three famous Scottish physicians William Cullen, William Smellie and James Douglas. It is through William's work (culminating in his Anatomy of the human gravid uterus) that obstetrics was removed from the hands of the midwives and established as an accepted branch of medicine in the eighteenth century. Amongst Hunter's distinguished patients was Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, whom Hunter attended during several of her pregnancies. The volume on display is the journal Hunter kept whilst he was Physician Extraordinary to the Queen.
In 1768 Hunter built a house in Great Windmill Street, London, containing a lecture theatre, dissecting rooms, and a museum. Here he lived until his death in 1783, dissecting, lecturing, and collecting specimens and preparations. He assembled a remarkable collection of paintings, engravings, coins, medals, gems, minerals, shells, fossils, specimens of natural history, anatomical and pathological preparations, and over 10,000 books and manuscripts. All of William Hunter's collections were left to Glasgow University, where in his youth he had been a student.