Indexed on: 26 Sep '06Published on: 26 Sep '06Published in: Journal of the history of the neurosciences
This paper presents an "impossible interview" to Professor Camillo Golgi, placed in time in December 1906. The Italian Professor Golgi from Pavia has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine ex aequo with the Spanish anatomist Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Both scientists have obtained the award for their work on the anatomy of the nervous system. However, they have opposite views on the mechanisms underlying nervous functions. Golgi believes that the axons stained by his "black reaction" form a continuous anatomical or functional network along which nervous impulses propagate. Ramón y Cajal is the paladin of the neuron theory, a hypothesis questioned by Golgi in his Nobel lecture of Tuesday, December 11. After the ceremony, an independent journalist has interviewed Professor Golgi in the Grand Hotel in Stockholm. Excerpts about his education, his main scientific discoveries, and his personal life are here given (reconstructing the "impossible interview" on the basis of Golgi's original writings).