IMC Macintyre



The Edinburgh surgeon Benjamin Bell has been regarded as a scientific thinker in the Enlightenment tradition, despite being accused during his lifetime of both plagiarism and a failure to be innovative. Yet subsequent historical accounts regard him much more favourably. A review of his life and work discusses possible explanations for this apparent lack of concordance.

Keywords Benjamin Bell, reappraisal, scientific surgeon, A system of surgery

Declaration of Interests  IMC Macintyre is the History Editor of The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. This article was submitted to, and handled exclusively by, the JRCPE’s Editor and has been peer-reviewed in line with usual JRCPE procedures.