Field of Science

Multiple Personalities 1: Wrists and snow

Decoding the eponyms of science and medicine offers a quick history lesson. The same names sometime surface in multiple contexts. Some are Renaissance men, others come out of scientific dynasties (think the Thompsons) , still others are just cases of "mistaken identity" (Fischer projections and Fischer carbenes).

Today is the birthday of Marcel De Quervain, a Swiss geologist who has done significant work on the physical properties of snow. A recent paper on the application of manure (really!) to snow and its effect on the melting of the ice pack refers to De Quervain's work.

If you have wrist problems, you may have heard of Fritz De Quervain who in 1895 described the tenosynovitis that bears his name.

Any relation? Not to my knowledge. Connections? You can aggravate your De Quervain's tenosynovitis if you the snow.

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