The history of the development of our knowledge regarding the structure and functions of the lymphatic system: submitted for the Wellcome Prize in the History of Medicine
Bain, W. Alexander
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And so we must conclude, conscious as we are of our failure to do justice to even the majority of those who have brought our knowledge of the lymphaticsystem to what it is . Great and important aspects of the subject have not been touched on at all: others of less moment have been dealt with at undue length. We leave it to the historian of the future to make good these shortcomings, and would content ourselves by remarking on one of the points which strike us.most forcibly with respect to this subject. It is this: that of all the systems of the animal body the lymphatic system seems to be the most neglected at the present day. The greatest text books devote but a few pages to its consideration , and while the anatomist, the physiologist and the pathologist maybe learned in its lore in their respective fields, surely the general biologist has neglected it grossly. We have yet to wait for a sound phylogenetic study of the lymphatic system and an application of this to the central problem of Biology - the problem of Evolution itself. And even if such a study did not have the significance one might expect it to have when applied to this problem, it would at least re~fleet back to the lymphatic system itself a very considerable light, and this after all is what matters most in the end.