XXIIIrd Convention of the Julius-Hirschberg-Gesellschaft
October 2nd - 4th, 2009 Heiden (Kanton Appenzell)


in the lecturers’ alphabetic order

Klaus Bergdolt (Köln)

Hirschberg Lecture: From Theory to Practice: Ophthalmology in the Middle Ages

Theory and method of medieval ophthalmology were based mainly on antique tradition, although modified by Arab scientists, above all by Alhazen (Ibn al-Haytham). While age-old couching remained the undisputed treatment of cataract, the eye, its anatomy and physiology received considerable attention in 13th century theology and philosophy. Some outstanding treatises (Witelo, Roger Bacon, John Peckham) played an important role in the development of the theory of vision, culminating in Johannes Kepler, whose book “Ad Vitelionem Paralipomena” bridged the gap to the high-medieval period, but radically discarded its theses. Every day practical treatment changed between 1000 and 1400 by the  addition of prescriptions and  proposals, which most likely date back to antiquity – mostly imparted by intermediary Arab sources. In other words: The Arabs contributed a lot to the theory of vision, but changed little in clinical practice. And the real functioning of the eye, i.e. the role of lens and retina, remained obscure to them.



Christian K. Brinkmann (Bonn)

Disc-like Degeneration of the Fovea

Two ophthalmologists from Bonn, Prof Dr Paul Junius und Prof Dr Hermann Kuhnt described the late end stage of exudative AMD for the first time in 1926 in their pamphlet “Disc-like Malformation of the Fovea”. The Bonn University Eye Clinic feels obliged due to the work of the two renowned researchers to maintain the tradition and propel research with a focus on macular disease. The presentation will give an overview on Junius and Kuhnt in context of the history of the local ophthalmology department.



Idil Yağmur Cubuk und Hans-Reinhard Koch (Bonn):

Şerefeddin Sabuncuoğlu and his source

Şerefeddin Sabuncuoğlu (ca. 1385–1468) was a distinguished Turkish surgeon. He lived in the city of Amasya during the 14/15th century in the Ottoman Empire. His textbook Cerrahiyetü’l-Haniyye is said to be the first illustrated textbook in history of Turkish surgery. Apart from Şerefeddin’s own remarkable handdrawn miniatures, the book contains chapters on all fields of surgery, including ophthalmic surgery. Şerefeddin’s Cerrahiyetü’l-Haniyye is based on the textbook At-Tasrif, written by the Andalusian Arab physician Abu’l Qasim (936–1013). By using the example of cataract couching, this paper explores in how far Şerefeddin’s description is a faithful translation of Abu’l Qasim’s At-Tasrif or an independent description.



Ralf Forsbach (Bonn):

The Ophthalmologist Karl Schmidt (1899–1980) during the „Third Empire“

Both in view of science and politics, it appeared consistent in 1935 to offer the Bonn chair of ophthalmology to Karl Schmidt. He had participated in the struggles against the Munich „Räterepublik“ (council republic), against the Polish syndicates in Upper Silesia and during the riots after the „Kapp-Putsch“ (Kapp`s coup d’état). Although leader of the lecturers’ association and rector, Schmidt, who was fond of convivial meetings (hence his nickname „Beer Schmidt“), did not fully act in accordance with the local national socialists’ expectations. His unconventional character made him swing between national socialistic convictions, opportunistic adaptation and criticism of individual measures of the Nazi government. In 1939 he resigned from the position of rector of Bonn University. Two years later he became the foundation rector of the „Reichsuniversität“ (University of the Third Empire) in Strasbourg, a model Nazi university. The lecture mainly focusses on Schmidt’s political activities in Bonn and Strasboug, but also covers his life after the decline of the Nazi regime.



Albert Galand (Rotheux-Rimière):

A brief history of implant styles, from Harold Ridley to premium haptics

In 1949 and 1950, Ridley developed the concept of replacing the cataractous lens by a synthetic intraocular optic very similar to the natural one. So the first IOL was a disc shaped implant. Fixation in the capsular bag was already the wish of Ridley, although it was rarely obtained. Then several prominent surgeons proposed to fixate the implants in the irido-corneal angle. Among them, Joaquin Barraquer designed a simple and elegant J-loop device in 1956. This configuration gave a flexible support, while minimizing the foreign material inside the eye. In 1978, Steven Shearing introduced a lens model based on Barraquer’s  idea, but to be put into the ciliary sulcus. Kratz, Sinskey and others transformed the J-loop into a C-loop. It became, and it is still today, the most widely used lens design in the world. However, the C-loop in the capsular bag frequently caused a partial optic capture in the capsular opening. This was due to a tilt of the optic around the axis constituted by the two optic-haptic junctions. Recently, different manufacturers have optimized a 4 C-loop with cardinal junctions, preventing optic tilt. A challenge was to maintain an easy passage through the usual delivery systems. It seems that this new generation of implant styles deserves to be presented as „premium haptics“.



Balder P. Gloor (Zürich)

Artistic representation of a cataract operation in the technique of 1991, as experienced by an artist

Annemie Fontana (1925–2002), an outstanding painter and sculptor with a will of her own, hesitated for a long time to allow surgery to be performed on the cataract from which she suffered. She feared she could lose more than she would gain by the operation, and then be hampered in practicing her art in future. Finally, in 1991, when she turned 66, she agreed to go into hospital to have cataract surgery performed. She documented her very personal impressions of the preliminary examinations, local anaesthesia, surgery and postoperative care in a most expressive diary of 29 coloured and black and white sketches, concluding as she left the hospital: “Luckily, less is more!” The sketches give an unusual and deep insight into a patient’s experience, fear and suffering before, during and after cataract surgery – in this case those of a patient who as an artist is especially adept at in expressing in paintings how cataract surgery was performed with the techniques that were still common back in 1991. The sketches are commented against the backdrop of a short history of the biography and the work of the artist.



Hanns-Albrecht von Graefe (Heerbrugg)

Victor and Albrecht von Graefe – brothers, but so different

In some families, two siblings became famous – like Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt or the Grimm Brothers – less so in other families: e.g. Werner and Ludwig Wittgenstein, where only one of them was famous. This was also the case with Albrecht and Victor von Graefe. It is not well known that Albrecht had a brother, who went to sea in his own brig. Both went to college at the Berlin „Gymnase Français“, considered an elite school at the time. Albrecht passed his final degree at the age of 15 with distinction, while Victor was thrown out of school. They also differed in their hobbies: Albrecht had his own laboratory at home, while Victor spent his time sailing on the lakes around Berlin. They were fortunate that the heritage of their father allowed them to realize their dreams. Albrecht had his own hospital with 120 beds at an early age, Victor had his own ship built at Stettin, a brig of 300 tons and 600 square yards of canvas, and he traded in places as far away as Batavia (Djakarta today) in Indonesia. They also differed in the choice of their wives: Albrecht chose a wife of ancient Danish nobility, whereas Victor married the bougeois daughter of his first employer. Albrecht worked to exhaustion, while Victor, raising his family, enjoyed the peace of his manor in Schleswig-Holstein. In some respects, they were similar though. Their town houses in Hamburg and Berlin were quite similar. Both were talented in drawing and painting, surpassed only by their sister Ottilie: Both named one of their sons Albrecht and both enjoyed nature, Albrecht in the company of his “Plänchenbrüder” and on his alpine excursions, Victor on his sailing cruises.



Jutta Herde (Halle/Saale):

The Beginnings of Fundus Photography

The invention of photography by two Frenchmen Niepce (1827) and Daguerre (1839), and by the Englishman Talbot in 1835, as well as the invention of funduscopy by Helmholtz in 1850, were the foundations of the development of fundus photography. The desire and need to document pictures of normal and pathological findings of the fundus led many ophthalmologists, physicists and opticians to experiment with photography. Noyes in America was the first to have photographed a rabbit eye in 1862. The main problems in getting a clear image were the reflexes caused by the refractive media, the light reflex from the fundus, the difficulty of getting a  wide beam of light to pass to and fro through a small pupil and the lack of high quality, light-sensitive photo plates. The first usable photos were then taken by L. Howe in 1866. In 1888 at the 8th IOC in Heidelberg, H. Cohn presented a magnesium-petroleum device which was the result of 20 years of work. For fundus photography he recommended a double camera, which was perfected a year later as the rhombohedron camera. Splitting the pupil for illumination and observation with a prism introduced by Bagneris of Nancy was a great improvement. This principle was adapted by all future researchers. Using a water chamber placed in front of the cornea, the so-called “Kontaktbrille” (contact lens) invented by Fick 1891 and Gerloff 1891 produced acceptable photos of rabbit eyes. Gerloff also took the first good photo of a human eye. Guilloz used a binocular fundoscope of his own device to take multiple photos. Decisive advances were reached by W. Thorner, a Berlin ophthalmologist (1896, 1902, 1903) and F. Dimmer of Innsbruck, Graz und Vienna (1897, 1899, 1901-1906). Working independently, they developed almost simultaneously the same technique using a telescope eye piece, a planar, and orthochromatic plates made by Edward in London as well as a shorter exposure time. Dimmer presented his findings in Utrecht in 1899. The 6.5 PD large photos were sharp up to the margins. The camera was huge and difficult to handle. The engineers working with him, Dr. A. Köhler from Zeiss and M. v. Rohr continued to improve the device. Dimmers camera was the basis of modern day fundus photography.



Danny Hirsch-Kauffmann Jokl (New York)

Jokichi Takamine – Inventor of Adrenaline

When Emperor Meiji replaced the Tokugawa shogunate in 1867, he immediately introduced Western science and industry into a feudal japan and also selected the brightest students for such training in the West. Jokichi Takamine (1854–1922) was one of them. Sent to Scotland and the United States for industrial chemistry, he returned to Japan and replaced inefficient fertilization procedures with those learned abroad. Paradoxically, he introduced into the United States ancient Japanese rice fermentation methods resulting in his patenting worldwide the enzyme diastase – today called amylase and still in use as a digestive medication. But it was his isolation and purification of the suprarenal gland extract adrenaline that was to make him known worldwide as the “inventor” of epinephrine.



Manfred Jähne (Chemnitz)

Ophthalmologic Traumatology in the Kingdom of Saxony (1806–1918)

This paper deals with ophthalmic traumatology in the period from 1806 to 1918, when ophthalmology was not an independent medical discipline until to the middle of the 19th century. Saxony was a member of the Rhenish Federation. It became a kingdom with the help of Napoleon, but lost two thirds its area after the Congress of Vienna in 1814. in the 1st half of 19th century, only a few case histories on ocular traumetology could be found in the „Journal der praktischen Heilkunde“ (Journal of practical medicine) and the „Zeitschrift für Ophthalmologie“ (Journal of ophthalmology). In 1814 Johann August Wilhelm Hedenus sr. (1760–1836), surgeon in the Collegium medicochirurgicum of Dresden, reported on 2 young boys with corneal perforation and iris prolapse. He achieved a cure by pharmacological treatment with his own prescription of the extract of Hyoscyamos niger (henbanes) and lead sugar (Goulard). The iris prolapse retracted after 3 days and the eye healed with a dilated pupil without complications. Friedrich August von Ammon (1799–1861), ophthalmologist and Professor in Dresden, wrote several books on eye diseases and founded the „Zeitschrift für Ophthalmologie“. In this Journal he wrote two traumatologic papers: “Eye injuries from percussion caps” (1832) and “Remarkable burn from boiling lead” (1833). Injuries from the percussion caps of rifles always induced chalcosis and amaurosis. Magnet extraction came into use in Saxony relatively early in 1800. Two young surgeons Adolf Zander (1832–1863) and Arthur Geissler (1832–1902) closed a gap in the ophthalmic literature with the first german textbook on “The injuries of the eye” (Leipzig 1864). Carl Heinrich Velhagen (1865–1945), the father of a dynasty of ophthalmologists, was the head of a military hospital in Chemnitz during World War I until 1917. Ocular traumatology was still at its beginning in the 19th century. Herbal pharmacological treatment and waiting for spontaneous healing were in the foreground. The results in the ophthalmic surgery improved after 1884 with local anaesthesia (Koller) and wound desinfection with iodine tincture (Grossich, 1908).



Paulus T. V. M. de Jong and P. Stoutenbeek (Amsterdam)

The Discovery of Choroid and Choriocapillary

Choroid and Choriocapillary play an important role in the development of age-dependant macular disorders (AMD). The choroid was first imaged as early as 400 BC, but the name choroid was coined later by Rufus around the year 100 AD. The choroid consists of several layers and different authors counted between 5 and 9 layers. In 1722, Frederic Ruysch described the complex of choroid, retinal pigment epithelium and choriocapillary. His son later named this structure „Tunica Ruyschiana“. Esricht pointed out in 1838 that Ruysch was not the first to describe the choriocapillary layer and that Hovius had done this already in 1702. We have thoroughly studied Hovius, to find where this might habe been described. Up to now we were not able  to find such a unambiguous description in his thesis. It is, however, certain that  it was Esricht, who first coined the term „choriocapillaris“ in his manuscript „Obervations on seals’ eyes“ (1838).



Guido Kluxen (Wermelskirchen)

The Royal Gift of Healing

The subject of the Royal Gift of Healing is related to the old diagnosis of Scrophula (including ocular involvement). In the past, it was assumed that the Kings of France and England could cure this disease by the ritual of a royal touch.



Hans-Reinhard Koch and Heinrich Schall (Bonn and Radolfzell)

Johann Conrad Stoll’s Anatomy

During the 2012 Meeting of the JHG at Zurich, the author was able to present a handwritten manuscript „Treatise about cataract and its treatment“ (1791) by Johann Conrad Stoll. Attempting to identify the author of the manuscript, it appeared most probable that he was the Stuttgart surgeon Stoll (1766–1836). In the meantime another 236-page handwritten Manuscript was found in the library of one descendent of Johann Conrad which makes this assumption a certainty. This newly found manuscript is an anatomy script, which Stoll wrote and lavishly illustrated with ink drawings and water colours, when a student in Basel and Bern in 1786/87. From the text it was possible, to draw a more precise picture of Stoll’s youth in Württemberg and Switzerland. The sources of his anatomical illustrations are identified and his chapter on the anatomy of the eye is presented in detail.



Konrad R. Koch (Köln)

Historical Perspective on Corneal Inlays and Onlays in Refractive Surgery

In 1949, Jose I. Barraquer, son of a famous catalonian eye doctor dynasty who had emigrated to Bogota, published his first reflections on “refractive” keratoplasties. One year before he had witnessed a case of advanced keratokonus ineligible for penetrating keratoplasty who had turned emmetropic from receiving a lamellar epicorneal keratoplasty graft. Over the following 20 years, derided or ignored by the vast majority of his contemporaries, he developed the very first (lamellar) approaches of corneal refractive surgery. In myopic keratomileusis, a superficial epitheliostromal corneal layer was excised, frozen, and carved on a lathe according to prior computer-assisted biometrical calculations. After thawing the lamella was re-fixated with sutures on the bare stromal bed. In case of keratophakia aimed at correcting severe hyperopia or aphakia, no corneal tissue was removed. Instead, a frozen donor cornea was individually lathed on its epithelial side resulting in a disc of adequate refractive power, which was then placed within the corneal stroma after a lamellar microkeratome cut (referred to as corneal inlay). Based hereon, Kaufman and Werblin developed epikeratophakia at the Louisiana State University. Here, a cryolathed donor lenticule was suture-fixated above Bowman’s layer after epithelial debridement (referred to as corneal onlay). Apart from being less invasive, epikeratophakia appeared to be advantageous and progressive due to the fact that the company Allergan Medical Optics (Irivine, CA) started to produce lyophilized donor lenticules of defined dioptric powers on an industrial scale. However, the distribution was soon abandoned as ethical aspects cut across economical profit. Krumeich and Swinger developed a “non-freeze” epikeratophakia procedure, which significantly accelerated postoperative healing.  In view of the shortage of human corneal tissue, which was even truer for refractive indications, numerous synthetic materials were investigated for their potential as alloplastic (epi-) keratophakia lenticules. In particular, permeable hydrogel materials were used, which were already established as soft contact lenses. Nevertheless, lacking sufficient precision in the refractive outcome while frequently causing complications, neither homoplastic nor alloplastic corneal inlays or onlays prevailed, especially not against the fast developing procedures of refractive excimer laser surgery. The latter proved to be vastly superior in the treatment of myopia and hyperopia, while for aphakic patients refractive surgery of the lens became the therapeutic mainstay. It remains to be seen whether corneal inlays or onlays tracing back to J.I. Barraquer will only keep their historical role. Still a renaissance is easily conceivable if suitable biomaterials become available, which embrace transparency, nutrient permeability, lack of toxicity, and biostability on the long run.



Frank Krogmann (Thüngersheim)

Ophthalmologists in Transsylvania

Transsylvania has produced a number of well-known eye surgeons, who worked predominantly in Kronstadt (Brașov), Hermannstadt (Sibiu) and Klausenburg (Cluj), such as Martinus Lange (1753–1792) and Matthias Lassel (1760–1834). The lecture will focus mainly on Ioan Piuariu-Molnar (1749–1815), who, in addition to his medical activities, devoted himself especially to the the advancement of Roumanian culture and language.



Gisela Kuntzsch-Kullin (Braunschweig)

The History of Spectacles – A Tour through my Exposition in the Torhaus of the University of Braunschweig

The exposition displays a documentation of the history of spectacles throughout 700 years. In addition one will find a variety of historical eyeglasses of the most different periods from the author’s collection. Interesting cases from the 18th century and binoculars for the use at theater performances complement the presentation.



Andreas Mettenleiter (Würzburg)

Hermann Schauenburg (1819–18176): Physician and Writer:

A Fascinating Personality, almost forgotten today
The physician Karl Hermann Schauenburg was highly gifted, politically active and a prolific writer. Yet his contemporaries judged him an „unstable character and a writing maniac“.  Nevertheless, the Westphalian born Schauenburg made himself a name not only as a medical practitioner, military physician and lecturer in ophthalmology but also as a poet, intellectual, and author of medical education. He was the first editor of the „Allgemeines Deutsches Kommersbuch“, a collection of German student songs that is now being published in its 166th edition. Apart from that, Schauenburg has today largely vanished into oblivion.



Martin Rohrbach (Tübingen)

15 Years of a Research Project “Ophthalmology in National Socialism”: A Closing Resumé

The research project „Ophthalmology during National Socialism“, which was begun in 1999, will be concluded during the next year, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. A 3rd addendum to the „Memorial List of Jewish Ophthalmologists during National Socialism“ will be published. Up to now, a monograph and 16 papers, mostly in „Klinische Monatsblätter für Augenheilkunde“, have been published on the subject. Although persecution and expulsion of Jewish colleagues were given prominence in our research, it was intended from the beginning of the project to cover all facets of „Ophthalmology in National Socialism“. A summary of the essential results of our research will be presented.



Stephan Töpel (Bonn)

A Question of Suitability: Was Karl Velhagen, the well-known Ophthalmologist, an Expert in Aviation Medicine

The lecturer reports about the current state of his research into the question: Was Karl Velhagen (1897–1990) a specialist in aviation medicine? Velhagen, professor of ophthalmology, worked in Halle, Cologne, Greifswald, Chemnitz, Leipzig and East Berlin. Velhagen was said to be not only an expert in his field, but also a researcher unafraid to tackle new problems and to personally verify technical novelties. It is therefore no surprise that, already in 1934, he became interested in flying, the more so as he found optimal conditions in Halle, where he lived and worked at the time. At first it was civil aviation, later then the air force, which offered Velhagen a new, additional field of work. Velhagen has published several papers on questions of colour vision, especially of colour vision dependence on oxygen content (high-altitude flights). A second focus of Velhagen (and probably his personal concern) was to advance reorganization and standardisation of visual requirements for public servants and individuals. The larger part of Velhagen’s work on aviation medicine was done in Halle, the lesser part in Greifswald.



Wolfgang Trester (Köln):

Artificial Eyes in 18th and 19th centuriy Europe

The question, whether ocular prostheses already existed in ancient times and had been used by patients, who lost their natural eye, cannot be answered. It is, however, difficult to imagine that an advanced culture, like that of the Romans, would not have found such a replacement to restore the facial harmony of a person. The first existing documents of inlay and external artificial eyes can be found about 1560 with Ambroise Paré. The art of making and fitting artificial eyes was then mainly performed in France. The term “ocularist” for the profession of eye makers and fitters was introduced in the middle of the 19th century by Boissonneau in Paris. Illustrations of ocular prostheses of this time period will be demonstrated.



Wulff.-D. Ulrich and Hans-Reinhard Koch (Leipzig and Bonn)

Erich Weigelin (1916–2010) – Pioneer of Ocular Circulation Research and Diagnostics.

After the introduction of the ophthalmoscope, invented by H. von Helmholtz, it were van Tright (1852), von Graefe (1855) and Donders (1855), who observed that digital compression of the globe caused vessel pulsations on the optic disc. This was the first recognition of the possibility of sphygmomanometry of the eye. Numerous animal experiments and clinical studies were to follow. Relatively complicated instruments were constructed, by which to increase intra-ocular pressure. The first usable spring-operated dynamometer was presented by Baillart (1917). Numerous papers and discussions of various authors followed, relating to the place of measurement and the possible significance of the new method of measuring blood pressure in the eye. For the first significant advances in the field of ocular blood pressure evaluation we are indebted to Weigelin (Bonn) and Lobstein (Strasbourg). They elaborated the physical and physiological basis, standardized the measuring procedure, defined the limits of the method and described the areas of clinical application. Comprehensive presentations of the resuluts of this research are found in their monograph of 1952, entitled „Ophthalmodynamometry“ and in a paper of Weigelin, Iwata and Halder („Progess in the area of ocular bood pressure measurement“, 1964). The Bonn circulation laboratory within the first „Clinical Institute for Experimental Ophthalmology“, founded by Hans-Karl Müller und Erich Weigelin in 1953, became a center of interest for researchers around the world. The international study group around Erich Weigelin then elaborated on German soil essential basics of ocular hemodynamics. The consequences of the findings, elaborated by Weigelin and his collaborators, on present-day hemodynamics research will be discussed.



Gottfried Vesper (Leipzig)

Famous German Writers, Painters and Scientists with Vision Aids on German Silver Coins: Eduard Mörike (1804–1875), Carl Spitzweg (1808–1885), Max Planck (1858–1947), Konrad Zuse (1910–1995)

Sometimes celebrities are honored by the State by imaging them on special coins. Special focus is put on visual aids that are represented on such coins. A analysis of the last decade will be presented



Gregor Wollensak (Berlin)

Bishop Niels Stensen – Explorer of the Lacrimal Gland

Niels Stensen was born in Copenhagen in 1638 as the son of a goldsmith and baptized as a Lutheran. Starting in 1656 he studied medicine in Copenhagen for three years. From 1660 to 1665 he travelled through northern Europe continuing his studies in Rostock, Amsterdam and finally Leiden, where in 1661 he published his thesis on the ductus parotideus („Stensen-duct“) of the auricular salivary gland in sheep. In 1662, he described the lacrimal system of calves including the lacrimal gland, the lacrimal points and the lacrimal ducts in „De glandulis oculorum novisque earundem vasis observationes anatomicae“. In 1664 he returned to Copenhagen , where he published his works „Nova musculorum & cordis fabrica“ and „De musculis & glandulis observationum specimen“ in which he recognized the heart as a muscular system. In 1665, Stensen delivered the remarkable speech „Discours sur l´anatomie du cerveau“ in Paris. In 1666, he was called to the Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinand II. de Medici in Florence and became his personal doctor. In 1667, he published his myology in „Elementorum myologiae specimen“ and his important work on the explanation of the so-called “tongue stones” as fossilized shark teeth. In 1669, his geological book „De solido intra solidum naturaliter contento dissertationis prodromus“ appeared in which he formulated the strata law according to which geological strata in greater depth are older than the layers above these. In addition, he described the law of the constant angles in crystals. Overall, Stensen has performed manifold successful fundamental research in anatomy, paleontology, geology  and crystallography establishing his high scientific reputation. In 1667, Stensen converted to the catholic faith. In 1675,  he was ordained as a catholic priest in Florence. In 1677, he was appointed bishop in Rome and sent to Hanover in northern Germany. From 1680 to 1683 he worked at the church parish in Münster and in 1684 in the catholic community in Hamburg. Finally, in 1685 he became priest in Schwerin where Stensen died from a gall bladder affection in 1686. His friend, the anatomist Kerckring , had his body transferred by ship to Livorno and finally buried in the Basilica San Lorenzo in Florence.




Poster Session


Mohamed Shafik Shaheen, Ahmed Assaf, Sibylle Scholtz and Gerd U. Auffarth
(Alexandria, Cairo and Heidelberg):

2400 BC in Egypt: Iry, the first ophthalmologist

The first ophthalmologist known to have existed seems to be Iry, a Royal Oculist who lived during the 6th Egyptian Dynasty (ca. 2400 BC). This poster will briefly reflect the information available about Iry and his achievements. Not only were there many physicians in the Pyramid Age, but there were also very specialized ones. The 6th-dynasty court physician and high priest Iry, was not only “doctor to the king’s belly”, “shepherd of the king’s anus” but also ‘the king’s eye-doctor” which was specifically mentioned. His stele was discovered in a tomb near the Great Pyramid of Cheops. Iry described several eye diseases, but did not offer remedies. Interestingly to note: “irty” was the ancient word for “eyes” or “to see”. Doctors who specialized in ophthalmology were regarded extremely high in Egyptian society and were the pride of many Pharaohs. Today, very little is known about Iry, the first ophthalmologist. Many of scientific traditions of the Greeks were probably derived from the cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia, much has been attributed to Greek scientists because they were the first who left records of their achievements.



Sibylle Scholtz, Christine Kobelt, Andreas Schmelt, Florian T. Kretz & Gerd U. Auffarth
(Heidelberg and Karlsruhe):

A cold nose will show you the way: On the history of guide dogs for the blind.

Their job is not at all limited to a schedule from 9 to 5, but they don’t receive any salary. They can distinguish between right and left, are intelligent with high work ethics, socially competent, highly able to withstand stress but they get castrated and microchips-implanted. This poster will briefly reflect the major steps of the history of guide dogs for the blind. First ideas using dogs for guiding blind people arose in Europe in Paris (1780) and in Vienna (1788), first instructions for dogs have been established in Vienna (1819). Due to the high number of war-blind persons after WWI the interest in guide dogs was high. The first school for the dogs worldwide was founded in 1916 in Oldenburg (Germany). Dorothy Harrison Eustis, American, founded a school for trainers of guide dogs in Switzerland (1927). The same year she published an article on this topic in an American journal. Her article led to the international breakthrough of using guide dogs for the blind. Today guide dogs for the blind are widely accepted as therapeutic means for blind people and are mostly supported by the local Government and/or health insurances. They offer a great source of independence to their users. Above that dogs are one of life´s noble gifts, they are companions and a wet-nosed protection shield – they make life´s journey not only possible but also more worthwhile.


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