Charles Scott Sherrington Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1857 - 1952 *** Full Name: Charles Scott Sherrington *** Occupation: English Neurophysiologist, Histologist, Bacteriologist and Pathologist *** Date of Birth: Charles Scott Sherrington was born on November 27th 1857 *** Place of Birth: Charles Scott Sherrington was born in Islington, Middlesex, England *** Family background: His father was James Norton Sherrington who was an ironmonger and his mother was Anne Brookes, nee Thurtell. There seems to be a question of whether or not the boys were actually the progeny of James Sherrington as there seems to be some suggestion they could have been fathered by Caleb Rose who was a country doctor. There is no father listed for the births of any of the three boys and his mother actually married Caleb in the late 1880’s *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with his two brothers William and George in Ipswich in the family home of Edgehill House *** Education: Charles Scott Sherrington had access to a fine collection of books paintings and geological specimens and would initially attend Ipswich School later attending the Royal College of Surgeons of England ***
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 1: Charles Scott Sherrington was born on November 27th 1857 and during the 19th century period in history when significant developments were made in biology, science, physics, medicine and technology.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 2: Although he would have like to continue his education at Cambridge the family found themselves on hard times due to a bank failure devastating the family’s finances leaving Sherrington to enroll at St Thomas’ Hospital in September of 1876.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 3: As a perpetual pupil he was able to attend Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge with his chosen major in physiology where he took classes with Sir Michael Foster known as the “father of British physiology.”.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 4: In August of 1884 he earned his Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons and the following year he obtained a First Class in the Natural Science Tripos and also earned his degree of Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from Cambridge and the following year also obtained his Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 5: During 1881 at the Seventh International Medical Congress held in London was when Sherrington began working on neurology.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 6: Sherrington went to work with Goltz in Strasbourg over the winter months of 1884 and 1885.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 7: He would spend time with Rudolf Virchow in Berlin as well as Robert Koch and he learned much from these two extraordinary men, physiology, histology, pathology and morphology.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 8: In 1886 he travelled to Italy during an outbreak of cholera to investigate. While in Italy he took the time to view Italy’s many galleries and he would also become addicted to rare books during this trip.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 9: By 1891 he would become appointed as superintendent of the Brown Institute for Advanced Physiological and Pathological Research at the University of London succeeding from Sir Victor Alexander Haden Horsley.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 10: His first full-professorship came with his appointment in Liverpool as Holt Professor of Physiology.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 11: By 1895, having been trying to get employment at Oxford University they finally offered him a job as the Waynflete Chair of Physiology without even considering another candidate.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 12: During his time at Oxford he collected hundreds of microscopic slides he kept in a box specifically created for them and called “Sir Charles Sherrington’s Histology Demonstration Slides”.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 13: When World War I broke out his students attendance was decimated and he himself went to work in a shell factory not only to contribute to the war effort but also to study the effects of fatigue among industrial workers.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 14: By March of 1916 he would also be advocating the admittance of women to Oxford medical school.Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 15: In 1936 he retired from Oxford and moved back to the town in Ipswich where he had grown up. He had a home built and often filled his time corresponding for his former pupils across the globe.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 16: Between 1944 and 1952 he held the position of President of the Ipswich Museum.
Charles Scott Sherrington Fact 17: Charles Scott Sherrington died on March 4th 1952 aged ninety four years in Eastbourne, Sussex in England.
Influence and Legacy: Throughout his life he was honored on several occasions from the Royal College of Physicians in 1899 to the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1932. His legacy include such works and writings in the areas of The Integrative Action of the Nervous System, The Man on His Nature, The Assaying of Brabantius and other Verse which was a collection of poems and a textbook called Mammalian Physiology: a Course of Practical Exercises.
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