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Sherrlngton, Sir Charles Scott (1861-1931)
"If you will, man's situation is left bleaker.... Compared with a situation where the human mind ... had higher mind and higher personality ... to lean on and to take counsel from, this other situation where it has no appeal and no resort for help beyond itself, has ... an element of tragedy and pathos. To set against that , it is a situation which transforms the human ... task ... to one of loftier responsibility.... We have, because human, an inalienable prerogative of responsibility which we cannot devolve, no, not as once was thought, even upon the stars. We can share it only with each other."

-- Sir Charles Sherrington

Sir Charles Scott Sherrington was a British scientist known for his contributions to physiology and neuroscience. He shared the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Edgar Douglas Adrian for their work with neurons.

Sherrington used reflexes in the spinal cord as a way of investigating the general properties of neurons and the nervous system. These experiments led him to postulate "Sherrington's law of reciprocal innervation," which states that for every neural activation of a muscle, there is a corresponding inhibition of the opposing muscle.

Sherrington is also known for his study of the synapse, a word which he coined for the then-theoretical connecting point of neurons. One of Sherrington's students, John Carew Eccles later won the Nobel Prize in 1963 for his work on the synapse. Other neuroscience research done by Sherrington investigated proprioception and the neural control of posture.

In addition to the nervous system, Sherrington studied a number of pressing medical issues of his time. In 1885 he went to Spain to investigate an outbreak of cholera and met Santiago Ramon y Cajal there. He also learned techniques in bacteriology from Robert Koch while studying an outbreak of cholera in Berlin.

Sherrington was born in London, England. He studied physiology under Sir Michael Foster at Cambridge University. In 1887 Sherrington joined the faculty of St Thomas's medical school. In 1895, he became a professor at the University of Liverpool. He took over the Waynflete Professorship in Physiology at Oxford University in 1913. He served as president of the Royal Society from 1920 to 1925. Sherrington received the Knight Grand Cross of the British Empire in 1922 and the Order of Merit in 1924. Sherrington retired from Oxford in 1935, but continued to lecture and write. He died in Eastbourne, Sussex.

Sherrington crater was named after him by the IAU.

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