The NIH Record masthead graphic, part 1 of 3

April 17, 2001
Vol. LIII, No. 8

Contents graphic

Scientists Introduce Middle School Students to Research World

Maddox Stresses Listening To Staff, Responding

Earlier Interventions in Tooth Decay Seen

Anxiety Screening Day Set, May 2

NIH Celebrates 'Women of Courage and Vision'

NICHD Supports TV-Turnoff Week
2001 in April

Mercury Man Meets
the Mad Hatter

Premier Night at Circus Thrills Kids, Caregivers

News Briefs

New Appointments



Study Subjects Sought

U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services

National Institutes of Health

NIH Record Archives


The NIH Record masthead graphic, part 2 of 3
The NIH Record masthead graphic, part 2a of 3, long blue bar column separator


The NIH Record masthead graphic, part 3 of 3

Portrait of a 19th Century Physician-Writer
Women's History Month Lecture Offers View of Mary Putnam Jacobi

By Carla Garnett

In this era of so-called plain language, Dr. Mary Putnam probably would have been considered a terrible medical writer. Simple sentences were foreign to her. Multi-syllabic, highly technical words were her friends. Elaborate detail and redundancy, her trademarks. That could have been because she had her own ideas about communicating complex concepts. She understood what she was describing and she wanted her audience to know she understood. Often, Putnam — a young female physician in a male-dominated field in the 19th century — was writing chiefly for respect, legitimacy and acceptance by her colleagues. By the time her career would peak, however, she had honed her craft. Her later writing was so rich with description and vivid with insight that much of her prose could be called a "speaking picture."
M O R E . . .

Surgeon General Visits, Touts Oral Health

By Carla Garnett

Back in 1964, Dr. Luther Terry, then U.S. surgeon general, was understandably a bit nervous. He was about to release the first-ever Surgeon General's Report, which confirmed several long-suspected theories regarding the detrimental effect of smoking on health. As he was riding to the news conference, thinking about what he would say, he lit up a cigarette. Noting the cigarette, an adviser, who knew Terry was a chronic smoker, suggested that the surgeon general be prepared for the first question reporters were certain to ask: Do you smoke, Dr. Terry? Terry could not believe reporters would be interested in his personal habits. Sure enough, though, following Terry's announcement of the landmark SG report and his comments about the health dangers of smoking, a savvy reporter asked Terry if he smoked. "No," Terry replied. The reporter — convinced he had done his homework — double-checked his notes. Knowing Terry's history, the writer pressed further, "Dr. Terry, when did you quit?" A smiling Terry responded, "About 30 minutes ago." He never smoked again.
M O R E . . .