The Discovery of Insulin: Special Centenary Edition
Published: September 2021© 2021
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 352 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
352 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.80 in
The discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921–2 was one of the most dramatic events in the history of the treatment of disease. Insulin, discovered by the Canadian research team of Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James Collip, and John Macleod, was a wonder drug with the ability to bring diabetes patients back from the brink of death. It was no surprise that in 1923 the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded for its discovery.
In this engaging and award-winning account, historian Michael Bliss draws on archival records and personal adventures to recount the fascinating story behind the discovery of insulin – a story as much filled with fiery confrontation and intense competition as medical dedication and scientific genius.
With a new preface by Michael Bliss and a foreword by Alison Li, the special centenary edition of The Discovery of Insulin honours the one hundredth anniversary of insulin’s discovery and its continued significance a century later.
Preface to the Special Centenary Edition
Foreword by Alison Li
Introduction: What Happened at Toronto?
1. A Long Prelude
2. Banting’s Idea
3. The Summer of 1921
4. “A Mysterious Something”
6. “Unspeakably Wonderful”
8. Who Discovered Insulin?
9. Honouring the Prophets
10. A Continuing Epilogue
"The definitive history ... well written, highly readable."London Review of Books
"The Discovery of Insulin deserves a place on the bookshelf alongside such eye-openers as James Watson's The Double Helix."Washington Post
"Scrupulously researched and compellingly readable ... I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone with an interest in diabetes, medical history, or medical scandal and gossip."British Medical Journal
"This book reaches well beyond the story of insulin. It is a timeless chronicle on the pursuit of science, as well as the nature of discoveries and the people who make them."Jeffrey M. Friedman, Marilyn M. Simpson Professor, The Rockefeller University, and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
"Beautifully written for both the non-expert and expert, The Discovery of Insulin not only describes the events surrounding that momentous discovery in 1921, but also provides insight into the numerous factors that promote as well as detract from scientific discovery."Patricia Brubaker, Professor, Departments of Physiology and Medicine, University of Toronto
"This book is the definitive history of the discovery of insulin and readers will be captivated by the determination, exasperation, suffering, and ultimate resurrection of individuals. Alison Li’s foreword offers tremendous insight into the writing and impact of The Discovery of Insulin – incredibly valuable and a pleasure to read!"Shelley McKellar, Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine, Western University
"No book before or since, fiction or non-fiction, has affected me as powerfully: I was inspired to enter the specialty of endocrinology and to pursue medical research after reading The Discovery of Insulin. The new edition of this historical masterpiece marking the centenary of insulin’s discovery fleshes out events and personalities through a narrative that remains as stirring and relevant as ever."Robert A. Hegele, Jacob J. Wolfe Distinguished Medical Research Chair, Martha Blackburn Chair in Cardiovascular Research, and Distinguished University Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry, Western University