Topics in Scientific & Medical History

G.G.Meynell (Parts I, II & IV)  and Elinor Meynell (Part III).

I. The French Academy of sciences, 1666-91:  {link}

   The administrations of Colbert and Louvois

  • Describes the French Academy of Sciences, Paris, from its foundation in 1666 under Colbert until 1691 up to the death of Louvois, Colbert's successor. Gives the original text (with translation) of Louvois' memoir to the Academy of 30 January 1686 concerning the direction their researches should take, including an attack on alchemy. The death bed declaration (with translation) of the alchemist and academician, Samuel Duclos. Describes the form of the Academy's accounts and features of the 19th Century transcript by J.-J.Guiffrey. Includes 1,526 records of expenditure taken from the original registers in Paris in a form suitable for a database.

  •   Introduction
  •   General Bibliography
  •   Features of the Academy's accounts
  •   Aspects of expenditure
  •   'Utilité' and Louvois' memoir of 30 January 1686
  •   Colbert and Louvois

  • Appendices
    • 1. Guiffrey's edition of the Comptes des bâtiments du roi
    • 2. The full text of Louvois' memoir
    • 3. Samuel Duclos; his death-bed declaration
    • 4. Database: 1,526 records of the Comptes derived from the original registers

II. John Locke, 1632-1704:

His medical books and medical reading : a database
   (Medical History 1997, vol.42, pp.473-486.)

III. The impact of smallpox vaccination on France:

  • Jenner first published details of vaccination in 1798. They were welcomed enthusiastically in France, by both individuals and the medical establishment which was already responding to the new ideas introduced by the Societé royale de médecine. These events have already been described (Elinor Meynell, 'French reactions to Jenner's discovery of smallpox vaccination: the primary sources.' Social History of Medicine 1995, vol.8, pp.285-303). There follows here a detailed bio-bibliography of the authors and organizations involved.

Section III is available in two formats: either as .htm files {htm} or as .pdf files which have the advantage, amongst others, that their appearance does not depend on the browser. The latter files have to be viewed through the Adobe Acrobat Reader which is often supplied with modern machines but, otherwise, can be downloaded free of charge from Adobe. Given that the Reader is present, open Section III by clicking on the link, {pdf}.

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IV. The Latin text of the Preface to Sydenham's Observationes
:  {link}

(20 September 2000)
(Revision 5: 1 October 2000)
(Final link repaired, 28 November 2000)
(Note on size, 21 December 2000)
(Section III added, 1 July 2001)
(Section II updated, 21 September 2002)
(Section I, minor revisions and hard copy, Nov.-Dec. 2002)
(Section IV added, Feb. 2005)