Category Archives: George W. Pickering

The Best Hospitals Are Not Those Which Merely Use Knowledge But Those Which Create It

George W. Pickering? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: A thoughtful quotation about the connection between medical research and medical care has been credited to Sir George W. Pickering:

Medicine is an advancing science and the best hospitals are not those which merely use knowledge but those which create it.

Pickering was a professor of medicine at Oxford University. I haven’t been able to find a solid citation online for this statement, and would be grateful if you would explore this.

Quote Investigator: The earliest evidence QI has found appeared in the 1964 book “The Advancement of Child Health” by Albert V. Neale. The text discussed the intellectual ferment of the seventeenth century and then stated: 1

Sir George Pickering (1960), three centuries later, has an apt follow-up: ‘Medicine is an advancing science and the best hospitals in the world are not those which merely use new knowledge, but those which create it.’

This version of the quotation was a bit longer because it included the phrase “in the world” and the word “new”. The parenthetical date of 1960 suggested that the author planned to include a precise reference, but a careful examination of the book revealed no further information. The bibliography and notes sections contained no citations for Pickering in 1960.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

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Notes:

  1. 1964, The Advancement of Child Health by A. V. Neale [Albert Victor Neale], Quote Page 35, University of London, Athlone Press, London. (Verified on paper; Great thanks to Skylar and the Florida State University library)