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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Henry Jacob Bigelow Quotes

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Henry Jacob Bigelow
(11 Mar 1818 - 30 Oct 1890)

American surgeon who was Professor of Surgery at Harvard University. He was outspoken against vivisection, the practice of experimentation on live animals.

Science Quotes by Henry Jacob Bigelow (3 quotes)

Every discoverer of a new truth, or inventor of the method which evolves it, makes a dozen, perhaps fifty, useless combinations, experiments, or trials for one successful one. In the realm of electricity or of mechanics there is no objection to this. But when such rejected failures involve a torture of animals, sometimes fearful in its character, there is a distinct objection to it.
— Henry Jacob Bigelow
From 'Vivisection', an original paper in Surgical Anaesthesia: Addresses, and Other Papers (1894, 1900), 369-370.
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The horrors of Vivisection have supplanted the solemnity, the thrilling fascination, of the old unetherized operation upon the human sufferer. Their recorded phenomena, stored away by the physiological inquisitor on dusty shelves, are mostly of as little present use to man as the knowledge of a new comet or of a tungstate of zirconium … —contemptibly small compared with the price paid for it in agony and torture.
— Henry Jacob Bigelow
From address to the Massachusetts Medical Society (7 Jun 1871), 'Medical Education in America', collected in Surgical Anaesthesia: Addresses, and Other Papers (1894, 1900), 309.
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There will come a time when the world will look back to modern vivisection in the name of science as they now do the burning at the stake in the name of religion.
— Henry Jacob Bigelow
Concluding remark from 'Vivisection', an original paper in Surgical Anaesthesia: Addresses, and Other Papers (1894, 1900), 370.
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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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