William Harvey - Renaissance.

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  • William Harvey
    • Harvey's research
      • Blood
        • used dissection to find evidence to prove the theory that blood flowed through veins to the heart.
        • worked out that if Galen's theory where blood was made in the liver and burnt up in the muscles then the liver would have to make 1,800 liters of blood a day for a person to survive.
        • proved that arteries and veins were connected together in one system.
        • criticized Galen's other theories: he showed that the veins only carried blood and proved that the heart acted as a pump.
    • Factors enabling Harvey's discovery
      • Individuals
        • Vesalius had previously proved some of Galen's theories wrong, making it easier for some others to do the same.
        • He was employed by Charles i as his personal physician. this gave him credibility.
      • Institutions
        • The decline of the power of the church enabled Harvey to be critical of Galen's teachings.
      • Science and technology
        • the pump used in fire trucks inspired Harvey to look again at how the heart worked.
      • Attitudes in society.
        • there was more interest in science and in solving some of the puzzles of the body. People began to search for rational explanations for things.
    • The impact of Harvey
      • He encouraged other scientists to experiment on actual bodies.
      • understanding of the circulation of the blood had little practical use in medical treatment.
        • His impact in the 17th century was quite limited.
        • openly criticized and ignored at the time.


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