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I declare to you, I did not believe the man lived, who was such an unmitigated cynical brute as to profess and act upon such principles; and I would willingly agree to any law that would send him to the treadmill.The impression his evidence made on Cardwell and Foster (two of the other commissioners) is profound; and I am powerless (even if I desire, which I have not), to combat it.These included the discovery of the circulation of blood, the discovery of the lacteal and lymphatic system of vessels, and Sir Charles Bell’s discovery of the compound function of the spinal nerves.
At the meeting of the British Association in Edinburgh in 1871, Sir James Paget, father of the Stephen Paget, whom we commemorate tonight, laid a series of resolutions which were passed.
These included the following: Firstly: No experiment that can be performed under the influence of an anaesthetic ought to be done without it; Secondly: No painful experiment is justifiable for the mere purpose of illustrating a law or fact already demonstrated.
Huxley wrote to Darwin on October 30th, after Klein had provided his evidence: The Commission is playing the deuce with me.
I have felt it my duty to act as counsel for science, and was well satisfied with the way things are going.
But on Thursday, when I was absent, (Dr Klein) was examined; and if what I hear is a correct account of the evidence he gave, I may as well throw up my brief.
I am told he openly professed the most entire indifference to animal suffering, and he only gave anaesthetics to keep the animals quiet!
Knowledge goes before the application of knowledge, and the application of a discovery is seldom foreseen when the discovery is made.
‘Who,’ says Helmholtz, ‘when Galvani touched the legs of frogs with different metals, and noticed their contraction, could have dreamt that …Europe would be traversed with wires, flashing intelligence from Madrid to St Petersburg with the speed of lightning…’ Of course that was right then, and it is true now.
It is a nice enunciation of the justification and the importance of the conducting of basic research led by curiosity in to answering important scientific questions.
So then as now, in the Commission, the Report and the evidence, examples were given of discoveries important to the advancement of human health.