Albrecht von Haller is well known for his observations on the neurological system and respiratory process, among his many other contributions to the world. He did not come from a wealthy home and even lost his parents when he was young. He did, however, have an instinctive awareness of languages, and as a child, he compiled a collection of biographies. He eventually chose to pursue a career as a physician and traveled to multiple locations to learn about medicine from other practitioners. During his time at the university, he was guided by renowned physician Herman Boerhaave, who was one of his mentors. He also developed an interest in botany, and he progressed from collecting different varieties of flowers to becoming a renowned eighteenth-century botanist. He also had a gift for poetry, and even while working on his botany study, he wrote a lot of poems on a variety of topics. He was one of the world’s greatest anatomists, and he is recognized with ushering in the modern era of neurology and physiology. One of his most notable observations was the heart’s ability to work independently. Continue reading to learn about Haller’s other significant contributions to natural science.
Childhood and Adolescence
Albrecht von Haller was born on October 16, 1708, in Bern, Switzerland, to Niklaus Emanuel Haller and Anna Maria Engel. He had five siblings, and his father remarried Salome Neuhaus after his mother died.
He was taught by a former pastor at first, and then went to a school in Bern. Albrecht was prone to illness and could not participate in many outdoor activities as a result. He took an interest in languages and has natural skill in the field, dabbling in Hebrew, Greek, and Chaldee.
In his early infancy, he also compiled a collection of roughly two thousand biographies of significant historical figures.
He remained at his step-residence uncle’s in Beil from 1722 to 1723. Albrecht’s uncle, Johann Rudolf Neuhaus, was a physician who taught him philosophy and other disciplines. He, on the other hand, was uninterested in philosophy and was resolved to pursue a career as a physician. During this time, he also penned poems.
He entered at the ‘University of Tübingen’ in December 1723, where he studied medicine under Johann Duvernoy and Elias Rudolph Camerarius Jr.
In 1725, he enrolled at ‘Leiden University,’ where he studied under the tutelage of illustrious figures such as Boerhaave and Albinus.
In 1727, he received his bachelor’s degree from the university after successfully defending his thesis, which claimed that the salivary duct was nothing more than a blood channel.
He traveled to London, where he met a number of renowned physicians and scientists, including James Douglas, Sir Hans Sloane, John Prijgle, and William Chesselden.
He subsequently moved to Paris to study under Jacob Winslow and Henri François Le Dran, who were his tutors.
In 1728, he relocated to Basel, where he continued his mathematics studies under the guidance of John Bernoulli. During this time, Albrecht was drawn to the subject of botany, and while traveling through regions like Baden, Savoy, and other of Switzerland’s Cantons, he collected many plant species, which subsequently constituted the foundation of his study on the flora of Switzerland.
Career of Albrecht von Haller
Von Haller was also a poet at the time, and in 1729 he wrote the poem ‘Die Alpen,’ which was inspired by his travel through the hilly region of the Alps. In the same year, he returned to Bern and began working as a physician in the city.
His book ‘Gedichte’ was released in 1732, and it was in this book that the poem ‘Die Alpen’ was first printed.
In 1736, he returned to Germany and became the chairwoman of the botany, medicine, surgery, and anatomy department at the ‘University of Göttingen.’
This illustrious physician was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1743. During his time in Göttingen, he was elected to the Bern cantonal council.
Albrecht was admitted as a foreign member to the ‘Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ in 1747 and upgraded to a noble rank two years later.
In 1753, he resigned as chairman of the ‘University of Göttingen’ and moved back to Bern, his hometown. He was elected to the position of Rathausammann and became involved in regional politics. During this time, he continued his botanical research as well as writing poetry.
Johann Peter Eberhard co-wrote his book ‘Onomatologia medica completa’, which was released in 1755.
In 1768, he published his book ‘Historia stirpium indigenarum Helvetiae inchoata,’ which was followed by his book ‘Ode sur les Alpes.’
He wrote his botany work, Bibliotheca botanica, between 1771 and 1772, and his investigations and observations in this book are still valid today.
‘Usong, Alfred, and Fabius and Cato’ are philosophical works he published between 1771 and 1774, in which he examines tyranny, aristocratic republicanism, and limited monarchy.
Between 1774 and 1777, he published two volumes of his book ‘Bibliotheca anatomica qua scripta ad anatomen et physiologiam.’
Major Projects of Albrecht von Haller
This anatomist has made numerous contributions to the world, but one of his most notable works is his study of muscle and nerve system actions. These findings by this eminent physiologist laid the groundwork for modern neurology.
Haller is also credited with monitoring and comprehending the respiratory process as well as the heart’s autonomous activity.
Personal History and Legacy
He was the father of eight children and was married three times. Gottlieb Emanuel and Albrecht, two of his sons, also pursued a profession as botanists.
His health began to deteriorate in 1773, and he turned to opium to alleviate his agony. He appears to have died sooner as a result of his use of this medicine than as a result of his condition.
This remarkable anatomist died in Bern on the 12th of December, 1777. ‘Materia medica or Geschichte der Arzneyen des Pflanzenreichs’ and ‘Histoire des Plantes suisses ou Matiere médicale et de l’Usage économique des Plantes par M. Alb. de Haller… Traduit du Latin’ were both published after his death.
Estimated Net Worth
Albrecht is one of the wealthiest anatomists and one of the most well-known. Albrecht von Haller’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
In honor of Albrecht von Haller, the naturalist Carl Linnaeus called a plant ‘Halleria.’