|MadSci Network: Science History|
Great question Jeremy! I thought it was going to be easy to answer, but it's taken me a bunch of research to narrow it down. The best thing I could think of doing was to look for the first use of the word blastula, and its etymology. I looked at the Oxford English Dictionary website and found out blastula was first used in 1887, by a man named Alfred Cort Haddon. He was one of many embyrologists of this time. However, he is more famous for his anthropolgy studies than his embryology studies. Here's a little bit about his biography. Professor Alfred Cort Haddon, FRS, 1855-1940, born in London, after studies in Cambridge he was appointed professor of Zoology at the Royal College of Science, Dublin in 1880. After a coral reef study trip to Torres Strait, he became interested in the native culture of the region and he changed direction and moved back to Cambridge, arranging the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Straits in 1898-99 [Parazoanthus haddoni, Conchoesia haddoni Brady & Norman, 1896, Chaetopleura haddoni Winckworth, 1927]. Haddon became the well-known Professor of Ethnology at Cambridge, where he spent the rest of his life. He was reader in ethnology at Cambridge University between 1904-25. Haddon's daughter, Kathleen Haddon Rishbeth, 1888-1961, like her father, began in zoology and then turned to anthropology. Kathleen published two papers on copepods in 1912, part of a natural history honors degree from Cambridge. She is remembered (in spite of the masculine ending) through Herpyllobius haddoni Lützen, 1964. (Dr. D. Damkaer kindly provided much of this information). Even though he was the first person to NAME the blastula, he was probably not the first person to observe one (though I can't figure out who may have first observed it). That's the way it sometimes goes in science. Here are a couple other references that I found useful in looking up the answer. http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/00023257?query_type=fulltext&que ryword=blastula&edition=2e&first=1&max_to_show=10&search_spe c=fulltext&sort_type=alpha&control_no=00023257&search_id=v16D-t f7VTH-3518&side=M http://sites.netscape.net/jeremyhodes/Hadin.htm Best of luck! -Sarah Tegen
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