Article ID: CBB864995852

The young Nicola Pende and the ambiguous adrenal gland: at the origins of Italian endocrinology (2019)


The thesis of Nicola Pende, defended in 1903, bore the title "The alterations of the adrenal gland after resection of the splanchnic nerve." Studies on the adrenal glands were the main gate through which the Apulian clinician became one of the first scholars in the world to attempt a systematic organization of the endocrine glands and their functions. Six years after graduating, the treatise on the physiopathology of the adrenals placed Pende on the attention not only of the Italian medical class, but also of the newly formed American magazine Endocrinology and of Sir E. Schaefer himself. The idea of ​​a close correlation between the nervous system and endocrine glands constituted the guiding idea by following which Pende built the systematic building of Italian endocrinology; however, it also constituted the limitation that prevented him - for example - from grasping the exact distinction between the functions of the cortex and medulla of the adrenal glands. This paper aims to underline the precisely ambiguous role that preconceived ideas play in the construction of scientific hypotheses.

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Authors & Contributors
Passione, Roberta
Robinson, Joseph D.
Fragu, Philippe
Sykes, Alan H
Domosławski, Zbigniew
Krementsov, Nikolai L.
Medicina nei secoli
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Archiwum Historii i Filozofii Medycyny
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
W. W. Norton & Co.
Oxford University Press
William Sessions
Firenze University Press
Australian Scholarly Publishing
Sharpey, William
Purkinje, Jan Evangelista
Mosso, Angelo
Chiarugi, Vincenzo
Halford, George Bitton
Redi, Francesco
Great Britain
Prague (Czechia)
Cracow (Poland)
Soviet Union
19th century
20th century
18th century
21st century
20th century, early
Early modern
Uniwersytet Jagielloński (Cracow)
Turin. Università
University of Melbourne

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