Embryology History - Irving Hardesty

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Irving Hardesty (1866-1944)

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1945 - Proceedings Of The American Association Of Anatomists

Memoir of deceased members of the American Association of Anatomists were prepared by committees appointed by Acting President J. P. Schaeffer.

Irving Hardesty was born at Beaufort, North Carolina, on October 8, 1866. He died on November 7, 1944, 11 years after retirement from the position which he had held since 1909 as professor and head of the department of anatomy in Tulane University, School of Medicine.

Hardesty graduated from Wake Forest College in 1892; in 1918 Wake Forest conferred upon him an honorary degree, the Doctor of Science. Hubert A. Royster, his college mate and friend, describes him in the undergraduate period as ‘‘a keen student and an assiduous worker’’, and adds: ‘‘I do not know of anyone who possessed a sounder scientific attitude or who had a finer appreciation of the principles of biology. An ardent pupil of the late Dr. William L. Poteat, Hardesty was already head and shoulders above the rest of his classmates in scientific subjects.’’

The year following graduation was spent as principal of Wakefield Academy, in North Carolina, after which (1895-1896) he served as assistant in biology at the University of Missouri. It was at the University of Chicago that his advanced training was obtained, mainly under Henry H. Donaldson whose assistant he was until 1900. His was the first Ph.D. degree in the biological sciences to be granted by that institution (1899). In 1900 Hardesty Joined the anatomy staff at the University of California as instructor; he was soon advanced to the rank of assistant professor and then to an associate professorship, which he resigned in 1909 to assume charge of the department at Tulane.

Hardesty’s chief investigations concerned neuroglia, the tectorial membrane and the composition of peripheral nerves. Several editions of Morris’ Human Anatomy carried his section on the nervous system. His Neurological Technique (1902) was a distinct contribution toward advance of neurological teaching and research. A Laboratory Guide for Histology (1908) embodied his conceptions of the mechanics of proper teaching of histology. His basic philosophy of anatomical teaching was set forth in a description of the department of anatomy at Tulane, published in Methods and Problems of Medical Education (1930).

Memberships in scientific societies included the American Association of Anatomists, in which he was elected for three terms as member of the Executive Committee, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (fellow, 1914-), Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, Society of Endocrinologists, and New Orleans Academy of Science (president, 1923-1930). In 1909 Hardesty entered upon a long service as member of the Editorial Board of the Anatomical Record. In the early 1920’s he shared in the work of the National Research Council, taking active part in the committee concerned with investigations of the vestibular division of the inner ear. During World War I he acted as liaison officer between the University and the administration of Camp Martin, the Tulane unit of the Students’ Army Training Corps. His counsel was sought in many affairs of the University, to which he gave generously of his time and effort through service on numerous committees.

Many years ago Hardesty began the writing of a text-book of histology. The illustrations were largely completed, but the manuscript was laid aside unfinished. He abandoned it with an explanation characteristic of his perfectionist ideals, self-distrust for a venture into the welter of conflicting opinions on certain phases of hemopoiesis. For years there hung over his desk the motto, ‘‘ He who thinks a perfect work to see thinks what n’ere was nor ere shall be.’’ Hardesty not only strived to approach the perfect in his own undertakings but constantly held to it as the goal toward which he led students and colleagues. His emphasis on standards was vigorous and unremitting. Hardesty’s associates will ever remember that staunch devotion to high standards — in science, in teaching, in conduct of the department and institution, and in personal honor.

Witsur C. Surrit

Harold Cummings

Rupolph Maras

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, March 3) Embryology Embryology History - Irving Hardesty. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Embryology_History_-_Irving_Hardesty

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