Who's Dr. John Snow? Only the guy who made the connection between epidemic cholera transmission and water from a contaminated well in London.
“Dr John Snow: This well-known physician died at noon, on the 16th instant, at his house in Sackville Street, from an attack of apoplexy. His researches on chloroform and other anaesthetics were appreciated by the profession.”
The journal accepts that some readers may wrongly have inferred that The Lancet failed to recognise Dr Snow's remarkable achievements in the field of epidemiology and, in particular, his visionary work in deducing the mode of transmission of epidemic cholera. The Editor would also like to add that comments such as “In riding his hobby very hard, he has fallen down through a gully-hole and has never since been able to get out again” and “Has he any facts to show in proof? No!”, published in an Editorial on Dr Snow's theories in 1855, were perhaps somewhat overly negative in tone.
Even allowing for Lancet founding Editor Thomas Wakley's surprising contempt for Snow, the obituary was extraordinary in its brevity and its failure even to mention cholera. The excoriating Editorial 3 years earlier had been provoked by Snow's support for what were known as the “nuisance traders”. Snow told Members of Parliament that the foul smells from processes such as tanning and soap boiling were not capable of producing acute fever or epidemic disease in an individual. Wakley, incensed at what he saw as an attempt to block important public health reforms, accused Snow of unscientific thinking.
Read more here.
Way to go, guys!
Thanks to Peter Gleick for bringing this to my attention.
"Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error." - Marcus Tullius Cicero