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Darwinian Evolution's First 50 Years of Impact on Medicine and Botany at the University of Toronto, 1859 to 1909.

08:00 EDT 23rd March 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Darwinian Evolution's First 50 Years of Impact on Medicine and Botany at the University of Toronto, 1859 to 1909."

Prior to Darwin's masterworks, a university professor of medicine's purview generally included the professorship of botany and direction of the botanical gardens. Yet from the landmark 1876 Johns Hopkins model and especially after the 1910 Flexner Report, botany was limited at certain medical schools to (exaggerating somewhat) decorating their lobbies! Darwinian-era scientific paradigms spread from continental Europe through promulgators such as Huxley and Osler, transforming laboratory research, disease aetiology, biochemical therapeutics, and clinical "bedside" teaching. Unintended consequences at universities with medical schools might include altered loyalties and resources among competing disciplines. At the University of Toronto, botany vis-à-vis medicine was gradually treated as passé or secondary to zoology for modern, scientific platforms. This pattern was not universal; botany strongholds at universities such as Harvard continued to flourish. Where a negative perspective took hold with evolutionary impacts, botanists' careers became limited and the impetus for maintaining botanic research and teaching facilities such as a university botanical gardens was impaired.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Canadian bulletin of medical history = Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la medecine
ISSN: 0823-2105
Pages: e413012020

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