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Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Titles by This Author

Santiago Ramon y Cajal was a mythic figure in science. Hailed as the father of modern anatomy and neurobiology, he was largely responsible for the modern conception of the brain. His groundbreaking works were New Ideas on the Structure of the Nervous System and Histology of the Nervous System in Man and Vertebrates. In addition to leaving a legacy of unparalleled scientific research, Cajal sought to educate the novice scientist about how science was done and how he thought it should be done. This recently rediscovered classic, first published in 1897, is an anecdotal guide for the perplexed new investigator as well as a refreshing resource for the old pro.

Cajal was a pragmatist, aware of the pitfalls of being too idealistic—and he had a sense of humor, particularly evident in his diagnoses of various stereotypes of eccentric scientists. The book covers everything from valuable personality traits for an investigator to social factors conducive to scientific work.

Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934) is widely thought of as the founder of modern neuroscience; and his work is more frequently cited than that of any other scientist in the field. In this seminal book, Cajal summarized for a broad audience the modem cellular view of brain organization. This clear, direct, and accurate translation provides an excellent introduction to Cajal's work, making accessible for the first time the ideas that led Cajal to favor the neuron doctrine that revolutionized neuroscience and won for him (with his rival, Camillo Golgi) the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1906.New Ideas on the Structure of the Nervous System in Man and Vertebrates presents the histological evidence for the laws governing the form and connections of nerve cells. This work and the principles that emerged from it formed the cornerstone for our current understanding of how the nervous system is organized. The book also presents in simplified form the ideas contained in Cajal's famous survey of vertebrate neurohistology, Histologie du Systeme Nerveux de l'Homme et des Vertébrés, unquestionably the most important book ever published in neuroanatomy, and which to this day has not been translated and published in English because of its extraordinary length.Neely Swanson is a scholar of romance languages. Larry W. Swanson is Senior Member of the Salk Institute, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934) made prolific and lasting contributions to understanding "the life of the infinitely small." Widely thought of as the founder of neuroscience, Cajal made remarkable explorations into the organization and function of the nervous system. His work is still referred to more than that of any other scientist in the field.

W. Maxwell Cowan's foreword to this edition conveys the excitement and energy of Cajal's life and endeavors, the liveliness and flamboyance of his engagements with the microscope. Cowan surveys Cajal's salient discoveries, noting that almost every important conceptual issue in neurobiology was foreshadowed in Cajal's work: the initial description of the climbing fibers of the cerebellum, the discovery of the growth cone, the concept of the "dynamic polarity" of the neurom an anticipation of the later discovery of axonal transport, and the prediction that new synapses may be formed throughout life to serve as a physical basis for learning and memory.

W. Maxwell Cowen is Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

A BIT of Advice for a Young Investigator

Santiago Ramón y Cajal is a towering figure in the history of science. Hailed today as the father of modern anatomy and neurobiology, he was largely responsible for the modern conception of the brain. Advice for a Young Investigator, first published in 1897, offers a witty and anecdotal guide for scientists that can be enjoyed by both novice and veteran researchers. In this BIT, Ramón y Cajal considers what it takes to be a successful scientific investigator.