An invitation to celebrate the life, the accomplishments, and the continuing relevance of the literary and scientific contributions of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–1894) spent parts of the nineteenth century as America’s best-known physician and best-selling author. Sir William Osler praised him as “the most successful combination which the world has ever seen, of the physician and man of letters.” Henry James, Sr., called him “intellectually the most alive man I ever knew.” Today, he is remembered as a physician for his investigation of the contagiousness of puerperal fever (two decades before the advent of the germ theory), his advocacy for therapeutic skepticism and rationalism, and for coining such terms as “anesthesia.” He is celebrated as a literary and cultural figure for such poems as “Old Ironsides” (considered responsible for saving the U.S.S. Constitution), for his early forays into what would be considered a new depth psychology, and for terming Boston the “Hub of the solar system” and describing its “Brahmin” caste.
Join us to help celebrate the life, the accomplishments, and the continuing relevance of the literary and scientific contributions of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Spirit of Skepticism:
November 17, 2009, 1:00 PM- 5:00 PM, reception 5:00-6:30
Location: Countway Library, 10 Shattuck St., Boston