Oliver Sacks has died. I haven’t read any of his books for a long time, but I loved ‘Awakenings’, and ‘The man who mistook his wife for a hat’. I have never known what many brain people thought of him, but he was a link with the great age of medical description in my own subject in the 19th century. Others have said something similar before: you can learn more about the brain from n of 1 studies than from mega studies that are devoid of meaningful insight. To recognise the world, you have to imagine it first.
I wrote in an earlier post after reading some of his memoirs something about medical education:
When we choose students, so obsessed are we with the avoidance of risk, that we have forgotten that the best defence against whatever adversity the future might throw against us, is diversity.
I doubt if Sacks would have survived much of what we subject our students and you doctors to.
Much of what makes humans special is our visual system (as he says), but he had the wonderful voice to go with his approach, sounds that makes the telling of his stories all the more special.