S. Collado-Vázquez, J. M. Carrillo Neurosciences and History 2019;7(3):113-121
Type of article: REVIEW
S. Collado-Vázquez1, J. M. Carrillo2 1Department of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation, and Physical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences. Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain. 2School of Psychology. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Introduction. As well as being the author of a valuable body of scientific work, Santiago Ramón y Cajal also wrote biographies, essays, and fiction. This study analyses the author’s fictional work.
Development. In his youth, Cajal wrote poems, a robinsonade novel, and an adventure novel inspired by the work of Jules Verne, which were lost during his time as a military physician. In 1905, he published the educational collection Vacation stories, which aimed to give scientific explanations for superstitious ideas. In 1973, the story Life in the year 6000 was published for the first time by one of Cajal’s granddaughters; in the story, Cajal anticipates telemedicine and cloning.
Conclusions. The main subjects of Cajal’s fiction works are science, the scientific method, laboratory work, and the use of microscopes and hypnosis; the stories are educational, aiming to dispel superstitious beliefs in favour of scientific explanation. He presents methods of social control, such as the use of chemical substances, vaccines, and hypnosis, and anticipates new technologies, genetic modification, cloning, and telemedicine.
Cajal and science fiction, Vacation stories, fiction works of Cajal, physician writers, narrative by Cajal, stories by Cajal
Neurosciences and History 2019;7(3):113-121
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