Revue de presse
"Wonderful ... Professor Norton writes with engaging fluency and is easily understood by the non-scientist" (Independent)
"This book is guaranteed to make you wince, laugh and marvel at the bravery and foolhardiness of the people who, through their own discomfort, have made our own lives a good deal better" (Telegraph)
"packed full of amusing anecdotes ... delightful" (Mail on Sunday)
"His research has been intensive and his material is rich and plentiful...This book may not be for the squeamish or the very gentle of disposition but you soon come to share Norton's admiration for these crazed men and women" (Spectator)
Présentation de l'éditeur
Many have followed the advice of the great Victorian scientist Jack Haldane to 'never experiment on an animal if a man will do' and 'never ask anyone to do anything you wouldn't do yourself.'.He and his father inhaled poisonous gasses to test the efficacy of the prototype gas mask they had invented. When breathing gasses under pressure he suffered the smoking ears and screaming teeth of the title.
The stories are astonishing, disturbing or absurd - the Marquis de Sade meets Monty Python. John Hunter pioneered self-experimentation and deliberately infected himself with venereal diseases by the puss transference method and gave his name to chancre of the penis. The zoologist Frank Buckland made a concentrated effort to widen the nation's diet by personally testing everything that crossed his path, from boiled elephant's trunk to bluebottles. He published recipes for such delicacies as slug soup. Some medics deliberately contracted deadly blood diseases in the hope of finding cures. Then there was the the surgeon who got the sack and won the Nobel prize for thrusting a catheter into his own beating heart.
Trevor Norton writes that self-experimentation is still a component of much scientific research. In our health and safety obsessed society, we need people who are willing to risk themselves to make life safer for us.