History of Geology and Medicine (Book Review)

Medical History has received a copy of History of Geology and Medicine edited by C.J. Duffin, R.T.J. Moody and C. Garden-Thorpe and published by The Geological Society.   Any volunteer for review or recommendations?  


The historical links between Geology and Medicine are surprisingly numerous and diverse. This, the first ever volume dedicated to the subject, contains contributions from an international authorship of geologists, historians and medical professionals. 

Rocks, minerals, fossils and earths have been used therapeutically since earliest times and details recorded on ancient papyri, clay tablets, medieval manuscripts and early published sources. Pumice was used to clean teeth, antimony to heal wounds, clays as antidotes to poison, gold to cure haemorrhoids and warts, and gem pastes to treat syphilis and the plague, while mineral springs preserved health. Geology was crucial in the development of public health. Medical men making important geological contributions include Steno, Worm, Parkinson, Bigsby, William Hunter, Jenner, John Hulke, Conan Doyle, Gorini and various Antarctic explorers.
A History of Geology and Medicine will be of particular interest to Earth scientists, medical personnel, historians of science and the general reader who has an interest in science.


Published online 14/11/2013. Print copy available from 06/12/2013.