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James Parkinson
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Doctor
    (April 11, 1755-December 21, 1824)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Physician, geologist and paleontologist
    Best known for his work 'An Essay on the Shaking Palsy' (1817) - describing symptoms for a condition that would later be named Parkinson's disease
    Wrote many medical and chemical books as well as three volumes of 'Organic Remains of a Former World' (1804, 1808, 1811) and 'Outlines of Oryctology' (1822)
    Along with Sir Humphry Davy, Arthur Aikin, and George Bellas Greenough formed the Geological Society of London (November 1807)
    Died in his home town of London at age 69
    As a political activist, he called for aggressive social reforms and penned many of his radical ideas under the pseudonym 'Old Hubert.'
    He was a member of the London Corresponding Society for Reform of Parliamentary Representation, a secret political society that was under investigation in 1794 for a plot to assassinate King George III (no charges were ever brought against him).
    He straddled the fence on evolution - believing every Earth day of evolution represented long periods of time, but creative power worked continually through new creations and extinctions (continuing processes guided by God).
    It took over 60 years after he first studied shaking palsy for Jean-Martin Charcot to coin the phrase Parkinson's disease.
    Lack of available literature in 1804 led him to write and illustrate his first book on fossils.
    He studied and wrote about gout in 1805 and was the first in English medical literature to write about peritonitis.
    Assisted by his son, he was the first to show perforated appendicitis as a known cause of death (1812).
    His 'Organic Remains of a Former World' series was a huge contribution to the development of British paleontology.
    Nine years after his death, his son published 'Hunterian Reminiscences,' a guide on the principles and practices of surgery he learned and transcribed from a series of lectures given by esteemed surgeon John Hunter.
    He championed legal protection for the mentally ill, their doctors and their families.
    A 1912 article by American J. G. Rowntree subtitled 'English born, English bred, forgotten by the English and the world at large, such was the fate of James Parkinson' brought him a huge amount of attention in his homeland.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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