The History of Leith

February 23, 2013

Joseph Bell

Joseph Bell, JP, DL, FRCS (2 December 1837 – 4 October 1911) was a famous Scottish lecturer at the medical school of the University of Edinburgh in the 19th century. He is perhaps best known as an inspiration for the literary character Sherlock Holmes. He was a great-grandson of Benjamin Bell, a forensic surgeon. In his instruction, Bell emphasized the importance of close observation in making a diagnosis. To illustrate this, he would often pick a stranger and, by observing him, deduce his occupation and recent activities. These skills caused him to be considered a pioneer in forensic science (forensic pathology in particular) at a time when science was not yet widely used in criminal investigations. for more click here

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