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    ABSTRACT: This study discusses the phenomenon of medieval sleepwalking as a disorder of body and soul. In the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, medical and natural philosophical writers began to identify the category of the sleepwalker with unusual precision: the most common example of the disorder involved an aristocrat who rose, armed himself, and mounted his horse, all the while imagining that he was fighting enemies or hunting deer. Explanations for this extraordinary behaviour involved the physiology of sleep and the functioning of the brain. In particular, theorists believed that the imagination, a storehouse of images located towards the front of the brain, took control because reason and sensation had been disabled during sleep. As a consequence, daytime fears and traumas could come to the fore for some sleepers, causing them to act and react in their sleep in ways they could not, or were not willing to do, in their waking, rational state. As such, medieval medical writers viewed sleepwalking as a dangerous, disordered state which called into question the Aristotelian divide between waking and sleeping as well as the categories of reason, sensation and voluntary motion.
    Culture Medicine and Psychiatry 10/2013; 37(4). DOI:10.1007/s11013-013-9344-9
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    ABSTRACT: In 1983, a bulky and profusely illustrated textbook on molecular and cell biology began to inhabit the shelves of university libraries worldwide. The effect of capturing the eyes and souls of biologists was immediate as the book provided them with a new and invigorating outlook on what cells are and what they do.
    Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 01/2013; 14(2):120-5. DOI:10.1038/nrm3513
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    ABSTRACT: According to current hierarchies of evidence for EBM, evidence of correlation (e.g., from RCTs) is always more important than evidence of mechanisms when evaluating and establishing causal claims. We argue that evidence of mechanisms needs to be treated alongside evidence of correlation. This is for three reasons. First, correlation is always a fallible indicator of causation, subject in particular to the problem of confounding; evidence of mechanisms can in some cases be more important than evidence of correlation when assessing a causal claim. Second, evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to obtain evidence of correlation (for example, in order to set up and evaluate RCTs). Third, evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to generalise and apply causal claims. While the EBM movement has been enormously successful in making explicit and critically examining one aspect of our evidential practice, i.e., evidence of correlation, we wish to extend this line of work to make explicit and critically examine a second aspect of our evidential practices: evidence of mechanisms.
    Preventive Medicine 10/2012; 57(6). DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.10.020

  • Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 10/2012; DOI:10.1016/j.shpsc.2012.09.001

  • The Lancet 04/2012; 379(9824):1384-5. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60586-8
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    Medical history 07/2011; 55(3):383-8. DOI:10.1017/S0025727300005445
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    ABSTRACT: The institutional revolution has become a major landmark of late-nineteenth century science, marking the rapid construction of large, institutional laboratories which transformed scientific training and practice. Although it has served historians of physics well, the institutional revolution has proved much more contentious in the case of chemistry. I use published sources, mainly written by chemists and largely focused on laboratories built in German-speaking lands between about 1865 and 1900, to show that chemical laboratory design was inextricably linked to productive practice, large-scale pedagogy and disciplinary management. I argue that effective management of the novel risks inherent in teaching and doing organic synthesis was significant in driving and shaping the construction of late-nineteenth century institutional chemical laboratories, and that these laboratories were essential to the disciplinary development of chemistry. Seen in this way, the laboratory necessarily becomes part of the material culture of late-nineteenth century chemistry, and I show how this view leads not only to a revision of what is usually known as the laboratory revolution in chemistry but also to a new interpretation of the institutional revolution in physics.
    Endeavour 06/2011; 35(2-3):55-62. DOI:10.1016/j.endeavour.2011.05.003
  • Chapter: Index

    The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine, 03/2011: pages 225 - 229; , ISBN: 9781444342673
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    Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 02/2011; 46(S78):5 - 28. DOI:10.1111/j.2041-5370.2003.tb02132.x

  • Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 02/2011; 46(S78):29 - 47. DOI:10.1111/j.2041-5370.2003.tb02133.x
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