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Franz Joseph Gall
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Doctor
    (March 9, 1758-August 22, 1828)
    Born in Baden, Germany
    Neurologist
    Naturalized citizen of France (1819)
    Wrote 'The Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System in General and of the Brain in Particular, with Observations upon the Possibility of Ascertaining the Several Intellectual and Moral Dispositions of Man and Animal, by the Configuration of Their Heads' (1819)
    Founded the pseudoscience of phrenology in which personality could be assessed based on the shape of the skull
    The key assumption of phrenology, that the contours of the skull follow the underlying shape of the brain, was wrong.
    He was rejected for the French Academy of Sciences multiple times.
    Phrenology was used to demonstrate the superiority of Europeans over 'lesser' races. (Such as one of Gall's disciples proclaiming that Maori and Australian aborigines could never be civilized since they lacked the bump produced by the cerebral organ for creating art.)
    At his autopsy, his skull was reportedly found to be twice as thick as normal.
    He rejected an offer to become personal physician to Emperor Francis II in order to preserve his independence.
    He was exiled from Vienna, not for practicing pseudoscience but because his belief that there was an organ for religiosity was considered atheistic.
    It also landed his publications on the Catholic Church's Index of Forbidden Books (1802).
    Although he was wrong about the importance of bumps on the head, his belief that different mental abilities were located in different parts of the brain was correct.

Credit: C. Fishel


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