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December 6, 1965

Homer William Smith, ScD: His Scientific and Literary Achievements

JAMA. 1965;194(10):1155. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090230123057

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The jacket and subtitle suggest a biography, but the product is quite different from the current recounting of the life and letters of a medical scientist. Since Homer W. Smith did not fit the mold of a contemporary professor of physiology, the unusual presentation seems most appropriate.

I knew Smith more than casually as an instructor in physiology, as a father confessor in the interpretation of experimental observations in clinical investigation, and, finally, as a member of the National Research Council on Chemical Warfare during World War II. I had taken H.W.S. for a born and educated Manhattanite, which seems justified in analyzing his Bachrach portrait. But Smith was born in Cripple Creek, Colo, during the golden days of mining and showed an early interest in natural science and philosophy. In maturity he was highly successful in integrating a continuing perception of philosophy with the development of quantitative techniques for

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