P.D. Medawar (1915–1987) was a British biologist whose research was fundamental to the development of tissue and organ transplants. Along with Frank Macfarlane Burnet, he was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.


Calling Dr. Cooper

The Vital Probe: My Life as a Brain Surgeon

by I.S. Cooper
In a work that is still regarded as a classic of clarity of writing and astuteness of observation, James Parkinson (1775-1824) was the first to describe “an evil from the domination of which the victim had no prospect of escape.” This was paralysis agitans, the shaking palsy that Charcot renamed …

Stretch Genes

Genes, Mind, and Culture: The Coevolutionary Process

by Charles J. Lumsden and Edward O. Wilson
“This book contains the first attempt to trace development all the way from genes through the mind to culture.” The authors’ illusion that this is so is owing at least in part to their neglect or ignorance of the thought of many others who have attempted to arrive at a …

Back to Evolution

The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History

by Stephen Jay Gould

The Evolutionary Synthesis: Perspectives on the Unification of Biology

edited by Ernst Mayr, edited by William Provine
When I reviewed Stephen Jay Gould’s admirable Ever Since Darwin a few years ago, I expressed the hope that he would not lay his pen aside for too long. I need not have worried, for Gould is a natural writer: he has something to say and the inclination and skill …

Comet With a Cold

Diseases from Space

by Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe
I was once visited by a science writer who told me in a state of some excitement of a notion to which he attached great importance: suppose a brain to be transplanted from one person to another; would not the new identity of the recipient of the graft raise perplexing, …

In Defense of Doctors

The Role of Medicine

by Thomas McKeown
The angle of vision from a Chair of Social Medicine such as Thomas McKeown occupied with distinction for many years in the University of Birmingham, England, is quite different from that of a physician at the bedside or a surgeon at the operating table. The difference is embodied in the …