In spite of the historical importance of the research that, in the second half of the 18th century, led Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) to lay down the foundation of modern electrophysiology, his scientific personality is largely misrepresented in science history and in popular imagery. He is still considered as a pioneer that by chance incurred some surprising experimental observations and was incapable of pursuing his research in a coherent way. In contrast with these views, Galvani was a high-standard scientist who succeeded, with the strength of experimental science, in demonstrating, in animals, electricity in a condition of disequilibrium between the interior and the exterior of excitable fibres. This electricity, called 'animal electricity', was deemed responsible for nerve conduction. By studying the scientific endeavours of Galvani, through his published and unpublished material, and by situating them in the historical context of the physiology of the Enlightenment, this paper attempts to trace the elusive and complex path that led Galvani to his extraordinary discovery. To cite this article: M. Piccolino, C. R. Biologies 329 (2006).

Luigi Galvani’s path to animal electricity.

PICCOLINO, Marco
2006

Abstract

In spite of the historical importance of the research that, in the second half of the 18th century, led Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) to lay down the foundation of modern electrophysiology, his scientific personality is largely misrepresented in science history and in popular imagery. He is still considered as a pioneer that by chance incurred some surprising experimental observations and was incapable of pursuing his research in a coherent way. In contrast with these views, Galvani was a high-standard scientist who succeeded, with the strength of experimental science, in demonstrating, in animals, electricity in a condition of disequilibrium between the interior and the exterior of excitable fibres. This electricity, called 'animal electricity', was deemed responsible for nerve conduction. By studying the scientific endeavours of Galvani, through his published and unpublished material, and by situating them in the historical context of the physiology of the Enlightenment, this paper attempts to trace the elusive and complex path that led Galvani to his extraordinary discovery. To cite this article: M. Piccolino, C. R. Biologies 329 (2006).
Piccolino, Marco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/1206766
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