Lewis Thomas, Thomas Lewis
, Lewis Thomas Prize
, Talk:Lewis Thomas
, Lewis Thomas Drummond
, John Lewis Thomas, Jr.
, Joe (singer)
, Lewis Spence
, Talk:John Lewis Thomas, Jr.
(November 25 1913
- December 3
) was a physician, poet, etymologist
, essayist, administrator, educator, policy advisor, and researcher.
Thomas was born in Flushing, New York
and attended Princeton University
and Harvard Medical School
. He became Dean of Yale Medical School
and New York University School of Medicine
, and President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute
He was invited to write regular essays in the New England Journal of Medicine
, and won a National Book Award
for the 1974 collection of those essays, The Lives of a Cell
. He also won a Christopher Award for this book. Two other collections of essays (from NEJM and other sources) are The Medusa and the Snail
and Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony
. His autobiography, The Youngest Science: Notes of a Medicine Watcher
is a record of a century of medicine
and the changes which occurred in it. He also published a book on etymology entitled Et Cetera, Et Cetera
, poems, and numerous scientific papers.
Many of his essays discuss relationships among ideas or concepts using etymology
as a starting point. Others concern the cultural implications of scientific discoveries and the growing awareness of ecology
. In his essay on Mahler's Ninth Symphony, Thomas addresses the anxieties produced by the development of nuclear weapons
. Thomas is noted for his eclectic interests and superlative prose style and is often quoted.
The Lewis Thomas Prize
is awarded annually by The Rockefeller University
to a scientist for artistic achievement.
Parallels to Gaia Theory
In the book The Lives of a Cell
, Thomas makes an observation very similar to James Lovelock
's Gaia hypothesis
:I have been trying to think of the earth as a kind of organism, but it is no go. I cannot think of it this way. It is too big, too complex, with too many working parts lacking visible connections. The other night, driving through a hilly, wooded part of southern New England, I wondered about this. If not like an organism, what is it like, what is it most like? Then, satisfactorily for that moment, it came to me: it is most like a single cell.
*The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
, 1974, Viking Press: ISBN 0-670-43442-6, Penguin Books, 1995 reprint: ISBN 0-14-004743-3
*The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher
, 1979, Viking Press: ISBN 0-670-46568-2, Penguin Books, 1995 reprint: ISBN 0-14-024319-4
*Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony
, 1983, Viking Press: ISBN 0-670-70390-7, Penguin Books, 1995 reprint: ISBN 0-14-024328-3
*The Youngest Science: Notes of a Medicine-Watcher
, 1983, Viking: ISBN 0-670-79533-X, Penguin Books, 1995 reprint: ISBN 0-14-024327-5
*The Fragile Species
, 1992, Scribner, ISBN 0-684-19420-1, Simon & Schuster, 1996 paperback: ISBN 0-684-84302-1
*Et Cetera, Et Cetera: Notes of a Word-Watcher
, 1990. Little Brown & Co ISBN 0-316-84099-8, Welcome Rain, 2000 ISBN 1-56649-166-5Thomas, LewisThomas, LewisThomas, LewisThomas, LewisThomas, LewisThomas, Lewispt:Lewis Thomas