Views & Reviews Between the lines

Where there's a will

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39289.512512.59 (Published 16 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:351
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    As everyone knows, the philosopher Francis Bacon was one of the founders of the empirical method in the sciences. Indeed, he was almost a martyr to it, for one day he alighted from his coach to gather snow with which to stuff a dead chicken to establish whether or not refrigeration preserved animal flesh, and in so doing caught a fatal chill.

    What, I wonder, is the empirical evidence that behaving as Bacon behaved predisposes to fatal infections? Certainly as a child I behaved like it all the time, for I obstinately refused to wear a coat in winter or take any notice of the holes in my shoes when walking in the rain. Perhaps it …

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