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March 21, 1925


JAMA. 1925;84(12):908-909. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660380044020

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Sir James Mackenzie's Scientific "Last Will and Testimony"  Immediately before his death, Sir James Mackenzie wrote a letter to a friend which was never posted and was found after his death among his papers. It is a veritable scientific "last will and testimony." The following is the gist: "When I left London I dared not tell any one the real reason, for it would have been looked on as a piece of folly. For years I had been gradually becoming convinced that the whole tendency of research was on wrong lines; it was devoid of fundamental principles, was haphazard, and could not supply the kind of knowledge that would enable us to solve medical problems. I saw that there was undoubtedly a great fundamental principle which, if discovered, would do for medicine what the atomic theory has done for chemistry. With the object of searching for this principle I undertook,

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