Prior to embarking for Europe for a medical conference in 1999, I was handed a book by one of my surgical residents entitled, “A Traveler’s Guide to the History of Biology and Medicine” (1986) by Dr. Eric T. (Ted) Pengelley. As I had already planned on touring some historical sites during my trip, I packed the guide and on the flight read the section on Italy, my intended destination. Intrigued by what I read, I visited three of the featured sites in the guide and found their descriptions to be highly accurate and informative. I felt that I had gained much from incorporating these sites into my trip and that the guide’s information greatly enhanced the experience of the actual visit.
Eager to learn more, I finished Pengelley’s guide upon my return to the United States. However, on subsequent trips both here and abroad, I found that some of the information in the guide was dated or changed. I researched to see if another edition of the guide was available, and my search led me directly to the author himself. I contacted Dr. Pengelley directly and was quite pleased when he graciously accepted my call.
During our conversation, he informed me he was no longer interested in updating the guide because his wife Daphne, who had co-authored the book, had passed away some years earlier and that he himself was then 82 years old. I asked Dr. Pengelley if he would allow me the opportunity to update and rewrite the book, and he quite willingly granted my request, transferring the rights to the work to me.
The information you will be perusing is almost entirely the original work by Ted and Daphne Pengelley. Their obvious passion for the subject resulted in beautifully styled descriptions that I do not believe could be improved or enhanced in any way. Instead, what I have done is update areas where needed. I have verified site information and have obtained additional pictures to supplement the descriptions. Where appropriate, I have noted changes in museum or exhibit locations and included additional points of interest not covered in the first edition. And for medically-minded travelers, I have highlighted and added sites dealing directly with the history of medicine and, in particular, my own field of surgery.
I would have preferred, out of my deep respect and admiration of such a learned and charitable man, that Dr. Pengelley be the one to write this introduction. Sadly, though, he passed away before I had the chance to approach him to consider it or for him to see how the culmination of his life’s research and personal discoveries will now guide even more individuals through its publication on the Internet.
I hope this guide will enhance your studies and travels and ignite a passion for the rich history of medicine both in the United States and abroad, and may the remarkable discoveries of those who have ventured before propel you in your own quests to advance modern science and medicine.
Sir Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Dr. Pengelley, I thank you for just those shoulders.
Email comments to Dr. Bonello at email@example.com
This site is sponsored by: