Jacobson, Ludvig Levin

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JACOBSON, LUDVIG LEVIN (1783–1843), Danish physician, anatomist, and naturalist. He began his career as an assistant at the Academy of Surgery in Copenhagen and was a lecturer in chemistry at the Veterinary College. He began his studies in comparative anatomy and in 1809 published his discovery in mammals of an organ in the nasal cavity that is largely responsible for the sense of smell. This was known as "Jacobson's organ." Three other anatomical discoveries are associated with his name. He invented an instrument for the crushing of calculi in the bladder, "Jacobson's lithoclast," which was of great importance to surgery. For this invention, the French Academy awarded him a Prix Monthyon. Jacobson was an outstanding scientist and an excellent physician. He had been offered the post of professor of anatomy in the University of Copenhagen on condition that he convert to Christianity. However, he refused to convert. In 1816 Jacobson was appointed professor honoris causa by King Frederik vi of Denmark. He also refused to participate in the Scandinavian Naturalists' Congress in Christiania in 1822 because Jews were not admitted into Norway at this time.


Bibliotek for Laeger (1892); Nordisk Medicin (1940); Dansk biografisk Leksikon (1937); S.R. Kagan, Jewish Medicine (1952), 146f.

[Julius Margolinsky]

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