Lewis Thomas

Lewis Thomas
Vital Statistics
 Name: Lewis Thomas
 Country of Origin: United States of America
 Occupations: Physician, Poet, Biologist, Essayist, Educator
 Year born: 1913
 Year died: 1993
 Age: 80
 ISNI: 0000 0001 1447 2402
 LCNA: n79117098
 Attribution:
Original Curator: MaryC

Lewis Thomas (November 25, 1913–December 3, 1993) was a physician, poet, etymologist, essayist, administrator, educator, policy advisor, and researcher.

Thomas was born in Flushing, New York and attended Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. He became Dean of Yale Medical School and New York University School of Medicine, and President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute.

His formative years as an independent medical researcher were at Tulane University School of Medicine.

He was invited to write regular essays in the New England Journal of Medicine, and won a National Book Award for the 1974 collection of those essays, The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher.

He also won a Christopher Award for this book. Two other collections of essays (from NEJM and other sources) are The Medusa and the Snail and Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony.

His autobiography, The Youngest Science: Notes of a Medicine Watcher is a record of a century of medicine and the changes which occurred in it. He also published a book on etymology entitled Et Cetera, Et Cetera, poems, and numerous scientific papers.

Many of his essays discuss relationships among ideas or concepts using etymology as a starting point. Others concern the cultural implications of scientific discoveries and the growing awareness of ecology.

In his essay on Mahler's Ninth Symphony, Thomas addresses the anxieties produced by the development of nuclear weapons. Thomas is often quoted, given his notably eclectic interests and superlative prose style.

The Lewis Thomas Prize is awarded annually by The Rockefeller University to a scientist for artistic achievement.

Collaborators
Referenced In
None listed
Articles Published

First published:

Condensed List of Works
7 cataloged
Detailed Body of Work
(7 listed)
The Youngest Science: Notes of a Medicine-Watcher
Lewis Thomas - The Youngest Science
From the 1920s when he watched his father, a general practitioner who made housecalls and wrote his prescriptions in Latin, to his days in medical school and beyond, Lewis Thomas saw medicine evolve from an art into a sophisticated science.

Thema Categories: Medical Professional Biographies, Social Sciences Reference
Published in: English
Editions available: 6
The Fragile Species
Lewis Thomas -The Fragile Species
The physician explores such major contemporary medical issues as AIDS, drug abuse, aging, and the environment in the contexts of both evolutionary biology and modern science

Thema Categories: Science Essays & Commentary
Published in: English
Editions available: 3
Et Cetera, Et Cetera: Notes of a Word-Watcher
Lewis Thomas - Et Cetera, Et Cetera
Examines the origin of simple but important words, the development of language, and the light that words shed on the history of human beings

Published in: English
Editions available: 2
A Long Line of Cells
Lewis Thomas - A Long Line of Cells

Thema Categories: Science Essays & Commentary
Published in: English
Editions available: 1
Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony
Lewis Thomas - Alyosha the PLate Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony
This magnificent collection of essays by scientist and National Book Award-winning writer Lewis Thomas remains startlingly relevant for today’s world. Luminous, witty, and provocative, the essays address such topics as “The Attic of the Brain,” “Falsity and Failure,” “Altruism,” and...

Published in: English
Editions available: 5
The Medusa and The Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas - The Medusa and The Snail
The medusa is a tiny jellyfish that lives on the ventral surface of a sea slug found in the Bay of Naples. Readers will find themselves caught up in the fate of the medusa and the snail as a metaphor...

Thema Categories: Science Essays & Commentary, Biology and Life Sciences
Published in: English
Editions available: 4
The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas - The Lives of a Cell
Elegant, suggestive, and clarifying, Lewis Thomas's profoundly humane vision explores the world around us and examines the complex interdependence of all things. Extending beyond the usual limitations of biological science and into a vast and wondrous world of hidden relationships...

Thema Categories: Science Essays & Commentary, Biology and Life Sciences
Published in: English
Editions available: 6
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