A TRIBUTE TO A SCIENTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE – ERNEST H. STARLING (1866-1927)
One of the defining moments in the history of medicine came in the year 1902 with the discovery of Secretin, the first hormone to be isolated in the human body. The men credited with this milestone discovery, which went on to revolutionize medicine, are Ernest H. Starling and William M. Bayliss.
Their contributions aided the transition of medical practice from empiricism towards rationalism. E.H. Starling introduced the word ‘hormone’, laying the foundation for the development of Endocrinology as a medical specialty. His extensive research in circulatory physiology including the study of the electric activity of the heart and capillary fluid shift has made his name a mainstay in its study. His interests were varied, where he contributed his scientific bend of mind to the study of different fields of Physiology and his non-conformist ideals to the study of the then prevalent educational system in Great Britain. In lieu with celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of E. H. Starling, a brilliant scientist and an educational reformist, a chronological construe of his academic pursuits and milestone achievements has been presented. One hopes that such recollections serve to inspire and invigorate the scientist inside everyone and also serve as guiding beacons to students and researchers.
Key words: History of medicine; 20th century Physiology; Ernest Starling; William Bayliss; Secretin; Starling’s Forces