Golgi: A Biography of the Founder of Modern Neuroscience

Hardcover (Print)


The life of Camillo Golgi was an extraordinary intellectual adventure in three major fields of biology and medicine, namely neuroscience, emerging cell biology, and the new science of medical microbiology.

in 1873, Golgi published the description of a revolutionary histological technique which allowed one, for the first time, to visualize a single nerve cell with all its ramifications, and which could be followed and analyzed even at a great distance from the cell bodies. The so-called "black reaction" (later named the "Golgi method") provided the spark to a truly scientific revolution which allowed the morphology and the basic architecture of the cerebral tissue to be evidenced in all its complexity, thus contributing to the foundation of modern neuroscience. It has been written that, in the same way Galileo Galilei was able to find new stars observing any sky region with his telescope. Golgi was able to find new nervous structures and nerve cells by applying his black reaction to any brain region. Finally, the details of the most complex structure in the known universe, the brain, could be characterized.

Golgi's black reaction is just one of his many successes and contributions to society. As this book illustrates, he has also strongly contributed to the development of cell biology with the "internal reticular apparatus" (later called the "Golgi apparatus") and to medical microbiology with his studies on malaria. Engrossing and authoritative, Golgi: A Biography of the Founder of Modern Neuroscience, is a detailed account of one of the most prominent European researchers of his time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Paolo Mazzarello's masterful Golgi: A Biography of the Founder of Modern Neuroscience is testimony to the value of such a project...But at his death, Golgi would have known that his life's achievement would stand the test of time. Mazzarello too has made something of which to be proud." —The Lancet

"This book should be in the library of every department of neurology and neuroscience for residents and students to acquire understanding of the advancements that Golgi and his disciples made to neuroscience." —American Academy of Neurology

"...it was a real pleasure to read Paolo Mazzarello's outstanding book devoted to the life and career of Camillo Golgi, an Italian scientist considered the founder of neuroscience...The book format is pleasing and the print easy to read..The book stimulates the reader's imagination, bringing him in at the dawn of a fascinating branch of the discipline of neuroscience, and serves as an excellent introduction and references source. This reviewer strongly recommends the book to neurosurgeons, residents, and medical students who are interested in the scientific underpinning of our specialty." —WORLD NEUROSURGERY

"Mazzarello has given us a remarkable story that, unlike any previous publication, puts the disagreement between Golgi and Cajal (arguably one of the greatest conflicts in the history of science) into perspective, and that will appeal to a wide audience. the reader will undoubtedly come away with a far greater appreciation for Golgi as one of the greatest scientists in the last 200 years." — Arch Neurol

"As a scientific biography, the book is excellent. It documents all of Golgi's contributions to the study of the nervous system and disease." — Brain

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195337846
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/24/2009
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Paolo Mazzarello, MD, PhD, is Professor of History of Medicine at the University of Pavia, Italy. He is the author of five books on history of Medicine and science in Eighteenth and Nineteenth century. He has written for Nature, Endeavour and Trends in Neuroscience.

Hometown: Mornese (prov. Alessandria, Italy)

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