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Sir John Forbes, 1787-1861
[Mentioned in Science and Health, p. 164]
Sir John Forbes exerted his greatest influence on medicine through the British and Foreign Medical Review, which he edited for 12 years. In this Review he came out strongly for the cause of temperance. His last article on "Homeopathy, Allopathy, and Young Physic" was coolly received by members of his profession, but it did much to eliminate indiscriminate dosing and to bring about a more rational method of treatment.
Before undertaking his work as editor, he had served as an assistant-surgeon in the Navy and had practiced in Penzance and Chichester. In Penzance he wrote his observations on its climate and papers on the geology of "Land's End," and on the "Temperature of Mines." In Chichester he compiled and published a Cyclopædia of Practical Medicine.
In the interests of his Review he moved to London, where he was made a physician to the queen's household. Later he was named a fellow of the London College of Physicians and was knighted. He translated for publication a French medical work, and to get at the truth he investigated mesmerism and clairvoyance. All his work was stamped with the truthfulness, accuracy, and justice of his character.
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