Online exhibition on Thomas Willis at St John’s College Oxford

Jan 14, 2021

Video interviews to celebrate the 400th birthday of Thomas Willis

As part of a series of video interviews to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Thomas Willis's birth, you are invited to listen to the following video shared by Prof. Zoltán Molnár from University of Oxford (UK).

Thomas Willis (1621 - 1675) 400th Birthday - Erica Charters in conversation with Zoltán Molnár
Professor Zoltán Molnár talks to Dr Erica Charters for a History of Medicine perspective on Oxford physician and Father of Neurology Thomas Willis. (released on Monday 11 January 2021)

About Thomas Willis

His name is usually associated with ‘the circle of Willis’ and coining the word ‘neurologia’, but his work also formed the foundation of basic neuroanatomical description and nomenclature, and comparative neuroanatomy and he is the founder of clinical neurology.

Willis’ way of observing and treating patients was different to that of many of his contemporaries, owing to his original observations and critical views. He made pioneering observations of various neural structures, and his system of nomenclature is still used.  Willis was also the first person to propose that the higher cognitive function of the human brain comes from the convolutions of the cerebral cortex.

By combining his insightful clinical observations with his original pathological studies, his enquiring mind established links that are still astonishing 400 years on. For these reasons, Willis’ name and achievements should be proclaimed to every new generation of anatomists and neuroscientists. 

Please visit the online exhibition on Thomas Willis at St John’s College, Oxford HERE.