Physician, scientist, and globetrotter 200 years ago

Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848) was not only the enigmatic Swedish chemist of his time. He was also an accomplished medical doctor, an active humanitarian, co-founder of the Karolinska Institute, and secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for 30 years.

From the left: Johan Olof Wallin, Frans Michael Franzén, Jöns Jacob Berzelius, Erik Gustaf Geijer and Esaias Tegnér.

Painting by Johan Gustaf Sandberg, 1843 – Nationalmuseum, Public Domain

TEXT: Frank Wollheim

In addition, he mastered the pen; he left 7000 letters, several books including diaries and an autobiography (1). Based on his humanitarian and literary merits, he became member of the Swedish Academy in 1822. We can follow his life in great detail through many documents of his hand. This story is based on his diaries from two journeys to Europe (2).

The sailing ship Diana had a crew of eight men and only three passengers when it started from the lighthouse Vinga, outside Gothenburg in June of 1812. The ship made 5 knot on the sunny first day. Then it hit a storm and all passengers became seasick. Later, it was approached by a pirate ship and they had to use their 6 canons to fight them  off. He was releived when  on 29. June he landed in Harwich and could take a coach to London. Fortsätt läsa “Physician, scientist, and globetrotter 200 years ago”

Dr. Wedekind’s son: a Frank story

What is in a name, and how does it come to us? This vignette shares the story of the son of a German gynecologist and how his impact influenced two medical students in 1918 Munich, eventually leading to the name of my mother’s first child—also a physician—Frank.

 Denna ”story” är sagolik men sannerligen ingen saga.

Det är en högst seriös ”research”, som för oss rakt in i operakonstens hjärta. Spännande nog får vi aldrig riktigt veta varför, men vi skulle kunna fråga Kerstin Avemo. Det är Frank Wollheim som skriver på synnerligen elegant engelska. Frank Wollheim är 85 år och verkligen ”still going strong”. Professor emeritus, ledande läkare för Lund med omnejd och landsbygd och för hel värld, globetrotter. Prefererar klassisk musik och opera i synnerhet.

I sin framställning tangerar Frank Wollheim Alban Bergs opera Lulu. Men vi får också ta del av tillvaron på ett högt beläget slott i Schweiz. Samt en del detaljer om en libertins tillvaro. Bert Brecht kommer med på ett hörn. Det kommer i ett senare bloggkapitel att bli en del operaanknutna fotnötter av Nils-Göran Olve, Stefan Johansson och Ingemar Schmidt-Lagerholm. Men nu tar vi språnget rakt in i den kreativa kulturradikala värld som så levande skapas och beskrivs av Frank Wollheim. (ISL)

TEXT: Frank A. Wollheim, MD, PhD, Lund University Hospital, Sweden

German-born American citizen and gynecologist Friedrich Wilhelm Wedekind (1816–1888) was born into a family of lawyers in what then was the kingdom of Hannover. He studied medicine in Göttingen and Würzburg, where he defended a PhD in 1839. In 1843 he graduated as MD in Hannover. Dr. Wedekind worked as a doctor for mining industries in several European countries, including Turkey, where it is said that he also served as the sultan’s physician. 1) Fortsätt läsa “Dr. Wedekind’s son: a Frank story”