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Last updated: 2009-08-18


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Dějiny věd a techniky, No. 1, Vol. XLII (2009)


DVT 091, 1
Unsuccessful Candidates for the Nobel Prizes for Chemistry till 1956
Neúspěšní kandidáti na Nobelovy ceny za chemii do roku 1956
Jiří Jindra

It has been shown that neither the number of nominations nor the number of years a candidate has been nominated determine the success of candidates for the Nobel Prizes for chemistry (or for physics). As an exception W. Nernst could be named; he won the prize the fourteenth time he was nominated, and he received dozens of nominations previously. Before 1950 seven candidates became laureates immediately when they were proponed, while fivecandidatereceivedawardsthe second time they were nominated.

The paper describes in detail the history of several of the most unsuccessful candidates, who obtained the most nominations for prizes but they were never chosen. These include Frenchmen G. Urbain and H. Le Chatelier, G. N. Lewis from the USA, German G. Tamman, and Austrian L. Meitner.

Key words:
Nobel Prizes for Chemistry • 1901–1956 • nominations • success or unsuccess of candidates

DVT 091, 17
Disgusting Medicaments in the Czech Medieval Manuscripts
„Nechutná“ léčiva v českých středověkých rukopisech

The article deals with the specifictypesofmedicamentsusedintheCzechmedieval medicine. In the Middle Ages the animal medicaments were frequently applied, for instance parts of animal body, animal excrements (including human body and human excrements). The paper is based above all on documentary resources that have not been published (with few exceptions) so far.

Key words:
the Old Czech language • the medieval Czech medicine • medieval medical manuscripts

DVT 091, 29
The Beginnings of the Radon Spa, Joachimsthal, Bohemia. Part II. Medical reports: medical indications, applications, and patients
K počátkům radonových lázní v Jáchymově v Čechách. Část II. Lékařské zprávy (léčebné indikace a aplikace, klientela)

The k. k. Kuranstalt für Radiumtherapie was officiallyopenedinJoachimsthal(Jáchymov) in autumn 1911. Fritz Dautwitz, an assistant at the Second Medical Clinic of Vienna University, was appointed head of the institute and the spa chief medical officer.HehadenthusiasticallyparticipatedintheplanningoftheJoachimsthal state-owned spa, and managed to get radon inhalation and radium therapy accepted as the medical treatments there. The Institute became the firstspecialized radium therapy institute in the Bohemian Lands. This was closely connected with the production of radium in Joachimsthal, which began in 1908. Dautwitz developed special applicators for the external radium therapy (surface brachytherapy) known as Joachimsthal Radiumträger. Radium salt was applied to the applicators with a special paint on metal bases of various shapes. Dautwitz headed the Joachimsthal spa till 1918. After the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the declaration of an independent Czechoslovakia in autumn 1918, he returned to Austria where he continued working in radiology. He died in 1932, at the age of 55, of the harmful effects of working with ionizing radiation for years.

Among the historical sources reflectingthehistoryoftheJoachimsthalradonspathere are reports by the spa doctors. Written for their superiors and partially published, they also document the refinementofthemedicalindicationsandmethods used in the Joachimsthal spa. On one hand, the great interest in the radon spa – resulting from the hopes which sick people placed in new kinds of radiation, as well as from curiosity and profit-seekingadvertising–didnotgivemedicalscientists much time to weigh properly the various views about the effects of radon baths. On the other hand, the great number of patients did provide scientists with an important set of statistics for the refinementofwhathadbeenlearnedonthe subject. The nature of spa treatment, however, made long-term, systematic observation of the treatment results difficult.Connectedwiththiswasanoftenuncritical optimism, even among the doctors giving the treatment.

Leopold Gottlieb, who set up radon spa in Joachimsthal, stated that from spring 1906 to autumn 1910 he had prescribed radioactive baths to a total of 750 patients. During this period, the group of medical indications expanded from the original three (Gicht, i.e. gout, rheumatism, neuralgia) to fifteen.Theannualreports by F. Dautwitz on the operation of the state spa in Joachimsthal are highly detailed. They include statistics about spa guests, treatments, and medical results, including descriptions of representative cases. Some of that diagnoses of that time (for example Gicht and Tabes), however, are hard to interpret today. Nevertheless, a useful comparison of early and contemporary indications of the radon spa in Joachimsthal could be made on these historical sources.

Key words:
treatment with radon • beginning of the 20th century • Bohemia

© M. Barvík 2008