Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Rest in peace, Ronald Melzack

Last night I heard about this. Details are scant so far but Ronald Melzack has died, just a few days ago. Lars Avemarie, a very prolific writer, archiver. and Scandinavian physiotherapist wrote a comprehensive tribute immediately after. Here is his wonderful factual blogpost
These are sad sad days.

I first encountered his thinking sometime around 2000, when I started reading Topical Issues in Pain by Louis Gifford, 5 books in the series. Melzack had written an introduction in one of them that quickly entranced me, so much so that I have been a firm fan ever since.

In the early 2000's I agitated a few other physios I knew to band together and get a pain science special interest group together within the profession. Eventually, we succeeded. In 2010 I traveled to Montreal to the IASP congress there, mostly to attend a reception in Melzack's honour, fangirl that I was and still am. It was and still is the highlight of my life to have been in a photo with him. 

In 2013 I went a bit nutty; in an uncharacteristically ambitious state fueled by passion for his thinking I wrote a very long blog series based on a paper he wrote with Joel Katz, titled simply "Pain." 

Here is a link to a blogpost that contains all the links to all the various parts of my dogged intense study of this paper, sentence by sentence, if anyone cares to wade through them. I went through every single reference in the reference list too.  It took a number of months and I faithfully blogged almost every single day. It was quite the journey. (Alas, several of the images I posted were clawed back by google bots, but many remain.) 

Now that he is gone the world of pain science has a great big hole in it. I shall miss him as long as I remain alive.

Edit Jan 7, 2020:
Tributes pour in

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