[Ads-l] "Neuroscience" (Antedating, 1944)

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 10 18:33:24 UTC 2021

The OED defines "neuroscience" as "[e]ach of the sciences (as neuroanatomy,
neurophysiology, etc.) concerned with the structure or function of the
nervous system; such sciences collectively."

The Society for Neuroscience (sfn.org) holds that in 1962 American
physiologist Francis O. Schmitt "coined the word 'neuroscience' when he
established the Neurosciences Research Program at MIT" [1]. The OED's
earliest example -- "Neurosciences research program bulletin" -- is
Schmitt's usage from 1963.

But the term predates the 1960s.

The uses below don't seem to fall within a sense envisioned by Schmitt
encompassing a basic approach to study of the nervous system, essentially
those fields investigating the nervous system "from the ground up."

Although much of what follows seems to signify neurology, neurosurgery, and
psychiatry (and maybe neurophysiology), aspects of these fields are
generally recognized today as belonging to a category (clinical
neuroscience) within the broader discipline of neuroscience(s).

-- Bonnie

[1] Society for Neuroscience, "The Creation of Neuroscience; The Society
for Neuroscience and the Quest for Disciplinary Unity, 1969-1995," PDF at
(undated), p. 73.


This hospital has very fine specialists in the neuro-sciences; and has done
remarkable work in nerve surgery and other treatment. (From Raymond Brooks,
"Texas Topics: Cheery Spirit Dominant in Army Hospital," The Austin
Statesman, 18 August 1944, p. 4.)

Miss Jean Lehr, neuro-science instructor at Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York,
spent her vacation at home in Allentown with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Otto
Lehr, [etc.] (From "People and Places," The Morning Call [Allentown, PA],
27 July 1954, p. 8.)

A Melbourne man and his family will give £500,000 for a neuro-science
institute at the Alfred Hospital in gratitude for treatment the man
received at the hospital. (From "Ex-patient to Give Hospital £500,000," The
Sydney Morning Herald, 25 August 1960, p. 1.)

Another general medical college will hardly even keep pace with Texas'
growing need for general practitioners and medical and surgical
specialists. It cannot hope to provide the training of specialists in the
neuroscience fields, the doctors in the fields of mental ills. (From "Texas
Needs Doctors in Mental Ills," The Austin American, 13 February 1961, p. 4.)

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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