Oliver sacks, A famous neurologist and renowned author of books such as “The Man Who Mistaken His Wife for a Hat” or “Awakening”, died yesterdayAugust 30, 2015, at 82. Sacks had already announced in February of this year that he was terminally ill and had a few months to live. The world is thus losing one of the best scientific broadcasters.
A death announced but also mourned by the entire scientific community
Sacks leaves us with an invaluable legacy in the form of popular literature on the functioning of the organs to which we owe the possibility of thinking, seeing and feeling. His essays on what he was looking for are almost indistinguishable from the parts in which he recounts in situ experiences and reflections.
This is reflected in his way of writing, direct and accessible to all audiences, not exempt from philosophical questions which are sketched out for the reader to try to answer. But the quality of Oliver Sacks goes far beyond his knowledge of neurology and his fluency in easily communicating fascinating and complicated ideas and concepts, or his way of posing intellectual challenges to motivate the reader and him. make you want to know more.
The vocation for the study of the human being is not the only thing which is reflected in his writings: it is the same, in a slightly more veiled but just as obvious way, his humanist heart, a force that he moved to love and appreciate the subjective, private, emotional and phenomenological, which belongs to the people he studied and whom he could never have adhered to as a scientist.
Beyond the laws of science
Throughout his work, Oliver Sacks has given us many wonderful examples of how to talk about disorders and disease with full respect for the patient. In the literature of which he is the author, people who could be considered demented are represented with total humanity.
He didn’t write as if he was dissecting beings that were incomplete or absolutely different from others: eccentric men, women with unusual problems, but never people separated from humanity by an insurmountable gap. Oliver Sacks talks about these people to show how the human body works: what makes us equal, what also works in each of us, without looking away from the peculiarity of each human being but without emphasizing the differences.
This is why his books are perhaps the best way to learn more about psychiatric illness and the rules that govern our brains without looking away from what allows us to feel, love and experience. The human quality that emerges from the literature written by Oliver Sacks is hard to find in scientific scope, let alone in that which speaks of the engine of our emotions and thoughts.