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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 74:515 doi:10.1136/jnnp.74.4.515
  • Neurological stamp

Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930)

Little is written in textbooks of medical history about Nansen, who is better known as the Norwegian who founded modern polar exploration. His contributions were in many spheres. Nansen was an invertebrate zoologist who in 1882 was appointed curator of zoology at the Bergen museum. He stayed in Bergen for 5 years, focusing his interests on the neuroanatomy of marine invertebrates. For one of his papers “The structure and combination of histological elements of the central nervous system” (1887), the university in Kristiana conferred upon him the degree of doc- tor of philosophy. His dissertation contained so many novel interpretations that the examination committee accepted it with reluctance, but the work is now considered a classic. Two days …