The last decades of the past century have brought relentless progress in molecular genetics, opening dramatic opportunities for modifying human life by gene therapy or by cloning new human beings. In this frenzy of new discoveries the names of Cécile and Oskar Vogt, who one hundred years ago envisaged these developments and laid the foundation for modern, genetically oriented neuroscience, have been practically forgotten. This makes most timely the treatise by Igor Klatzo, who spent several years with the Vogts at their Brain Research Institute in the Black Forest, Germany, and then continued his brain research as the Chief of the Laboratory of Neuropathology and Neuroanatomical Sciences at the NIH in Bethesda, MD. Klatzo brings, in addition to the recognition of the Vogts´ greatness in pioneering modern brain research, a lively picture of their personalities, which includes their struggles against the rigid rules of society, and political suppression, the latter associated with the risk of their lives. Human greatness has many connotations. Since the requirements for membership in this category are vague and poorly defined, admittance to the Mount Olympus is frequently erratic and subjective, especially in view of a wide ´´penumbra zone´´ of border cases. Nevertheless, rising above a twilight zone of debatable cases, there are individuals whose right for mem bership is unquestionable. In science, one of the unequivocal criteria for ´´greatness´´ relates to how far one´s scientific achievement affects the opening of new horizons, and points to directions for future development and progress. Unveiling new visions can derive only from creative people who conceive original ideas and con cepts, and who are daring enough to promote them against the indifference or opposition of the establishment. Maintaining the integrity and the faith to one´s own ideals may require extraordinary strength of character, - up to courting persecution or even death, - as happened in the middle ages, and more recently, in the first half of this century with regard to Cecile and Os kar Vogt, whose lives and accomplishments are described in this book. Thus the greatness of the Vogts is based both on their penetrating vision of the future for brain research and on the sterling quality of their character, which sustained a ´´test of fire´´ during the Nazi years in Germany.
Cecile and Oskar Vogt: The Visionaries of Modern Neuroscience: I. Klatzo
Cecile and Oskar Vogt. The Visionaries of Modern Neuroscience:The Visionaries of Modern Neuroscience. 2002. 2002 I. Klatzo
Modes and Manners of the Nineteenth Century, Vol. 2 of 3:As Represented in the Pictures and Engravings of the Time (Classic Reprint) Oskar Fischel
Modes and Manners of the Nineteenth Century, Vol. 3 of 3:As Represented in the Pictures and Engravings of the Time (Classic Reprint) Oskar Fischel