“No interest in human anatomy as such”: Frederic Wood Jones dissects anatomical investigation in the United States in the 1920s Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • In 1926, Frederic Wood Jones, professor of Anatomy at the University of Adelaide and a leading figure in the British anatomical world, took a Rockefeller Foundation funded trip to the United States in order to inspect anatomy programmes and medical museums and to meet leading figures in the anatomical and anthropological world. His later reflections paint a picture of a discipline in transition. Physical anthropology and gross anatomy were coming to a crisis point in the United States, increasingly displaced by research in histology, embryology and radiological anatomy. Meanwhile, in Britain and its colonial outposts, anatomists such as Wood Jones were attempting to re-invigorate the discipline in the field, studying biological specimens as functional and active agents in their particular milieus, but with human dissection at the core. Thus, an examination of this trip allows us to see how the interaction between two traditions in anatomy informed the process of the development of human biology in this critical period.

publication date

  • 2014