I am Luigi Galvani, an Italian physiologist who studied science during the romantic era. I was born September 9, 1737 in Bologna. My passion in life was studying theology and medicine at the University of Bologna. Most of my time was spent working in laboratories doing experiments and reading books to further my knowledge. My long and hard days of research and studying paid off because in 1762, I was appointed lecturer of anatomy and surgery at the University of Bologna. I was only partially complete with the hours I spent lecturing at the university. My true love was being a scientist and I took any opportunity I could to be in the laboratory. My latest project I had been working on was studying the effects of electricity on different animals and observing the different ways their muscles reacted.
Sunday, 22 April 2012
My Frog Experiment
I was in the university one night experimenting with frogs when something extraordinary occurred. While I was cutting a frog’s leg for an experiment, my steel scalpel (blade) touched the brass hook that was holding the frog’s leg in place. I saw the frog’s leg twitch with my own eyes; it was incredible. This observation intrigued and inspired me to do further experiments. I then took an electrostatic machine which is a device that produces sparks and a Leyden jar which is a device used to store static electricity to help prove my observation of the frog’s leg that twitched. I carried out a wide ranging series of experiments and discovered that there were convulsive movements of the frog when two metals were in contact with each other, while one metal was touching a nerve of the frog and the other metal was touching a muscle of the frog. I came to a conclusion that the electricity was inherent in the animal itself, what I like to call animal electricity.
|People on an adventure in the arctic searching for discoveries|
The romantic era was a time period where people strived for accomplishment and had the urge to invent and discover. Similar to Walton, a character in Frankenstein who wanted to discover new passage ways to the North Pole, I was one known for my discoveries in science.
|Frankenstein Book Cover|
I just recently read the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and noticed that a lot of my discoveries and theories of electricity were represented in the story. Victor Frankenstein was 15 at the time when he experienced a violent and wicked thunderstorm. He seemed to be very curious about the whole subject and was astonished when he witnessed a massive oak tree get struck by lightning. He described the oak tree as disappearing since there was nothing that remained other than a gigantic tree stump. Frankenstein made a very good connection and first thought about me and my experiences and experiments with electricity. He took his exposure to lightning as an inspiration towards science and decided to pursue it in his studies. He became very passionate about science and had the urge to create life. He took old body parts from cemeteries and wanted to assemble them together to create life. His method of creating life was again using electricity to strike the body and the internal parts to bring them to life. I am very honoured in a way to see my discoveries about electricity being used within the lives of others and I am happy to see that I am remembered as a scientist who studied the connection between electricity and living organisms. I am proud to see that my past has inspired people to pursue in the studies of science and witness such incredible things.
The article, “Unnatural Selection: is Evolving Reproductive Technology Ushering in a New Age of Eugenics” by Carolyn Abraham talks about the ability science is providing to alter and enhance the genes of the embryo for the benefit of the person. Humanity is striving for perfection and this new discovery has made our society that much more closer to accomplishing it. Scientists have found ways to analyze the embryo’s genes to predict the appearance and lifestyle of the kid. There is now a new approach to baby making offering people the opportunity and power to pick and preview the genetic traits of their offspring. There is the potential to banish the genes that kill us like cancer genes and heart disease genes to improve the health of the person however there is also the ability to alter the appearance genes of a person, for example the genes that correspond to the height, hair colour, skin colour and eye colour of a person.
Science can be a very beneficial tool however in cases like the one above, science is being taken advantage of. Altering genetic information is destroying the beauty of nature and nature’s way of creating life. People will be more artificial than natural which defeats the whole purpose of natural birth.
The book Frankenstein was a perfect example on how science is being taken advantage of and causing more problems than succession. Victor Frankenstein had the desire to create life unnaturally without researching or knowing the effects of the creation. His creation ended up being a disaster and causing many problems within the city. Victor had no reason to create life other than to fulfil his own passion therefore there was no gain out of the whole experiment. In conclusion, science has gone way to far, taking away all what is natural in life and replacing it with artificial elements.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/pregnancy/pregnancy-trends/unnatural-selection-is-evolving-reproductive-technology-ushering-in-a-new-age-of-eugenics/article2294636/
Galvani, Luigi. “De Viribus Electricitatis In Motu Musculari Commentarius.” Bologna: Accademia Delle Scienze, 1791. Print.
Abraham, Carolyn. “Unnatural Selection: Is Evolving Reproductive Technology Ushering In A New Age Of Eugenics?” Globe and Mail (2012): 1-7. Science Online. April 20 2012.
Bellis, Mary. “Luigi Galvani 1737-1798.” Inventors. About.com, 2012. Web. 20 April 2012.
“Animal Electricity-Galvani and Volta.” Galvani’s Experiments with frogs’ legs. N.p. n.d. Web. 20 April 2012.
“Luigi Galvani (1737-1798).” Corrodion Doctors. Kingston Technical Software, 2012. Web. 20 April 2012.
“Galvani’s Second Experiment.” June 21 2007. Online Video Clip. YouTube. Accessed 20 April 2012.