Re: Histology as a science not an art.

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From:Sarah Christo <>,
Date:Tue, 13 Apr 1999 08:58:53 -0500
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Dear Rob,
   I consider histology both art and science.  I think if it didn't have some "art" in it I would have been bored to tears and found another profession long ago. 
The "art" parts of histology:
1.  The beauty of a magnificently stained slide under the microscope (reminds me of stained glass).
2.  The special hand/eye coordination needed to embed, section, stain, coverslip are akin to an artists needs.
3.  The colors of the dye solutions we use are like an artist's palate.
3.  Attention to detail.
4.  Then would come the tweeking of procedures, etc.
If any monkey could do it, we wouldn't need the Histonet now would we.
No offence taken by your comments.  But why is art so looked down upon in the field of science, like it was some sort of evil.    
Off my soapbox and back to the bench.  Sarah

Sarah Christo, HT (ASCP)
Texas A&M University
College of Veterinary Medicine
Dept. of Vet. Anatomy & Public Health
College Station, TX  77868-4458

>>> "R.Wadley" <> 04/13 1:41 AM >>>
	Dear All,

	I would like to comment on the statement "Histology is an art and
everybody has their own way of making things work for them."  Please be
assured that this not a personal attack on the writer, it is a comment on
how histology is regarded by many of my peers.

"Histology is an art and everybody has their own way of making things work
for them."

	This is the justification used to downgrade the teaching of histology
everywhere.  I was lucky I did A Bachelor of Applied Science in Medical
Laboratory Science, I got to major in Histopathology & Haematology, the
histo major was 3 units, it included all the basic routines, special stains
plus cytology, karyotyping, electron microscopy, museum techniques and
autoradiography.  This degree has now reduced the histology component
severely.  I have since completed a Graduate Diploma in Microscopy &
Microanalysis, which attempted to squeeze histology into 4 days.  It is
commonly held in some circles that histology can be done by any monkey,
trained staff are not necessarily required.

	I consider histology to be a science, just like haematology, microbiology
& clinical chemistry.  I agree that particular talents are required by
histologists to get the most out of this field.  But to write histology off
as an art form, something akin to voodoo & black magic belittles everyone
who works in the field.  We may all have our own little variations, but let
us understand that these differences are based on scientific preference not

	I think I shall now pull my head in, before someone cuts it off.

	Rob W.

R. Wadley, B.App.Sc, M.L.S
Laboratory Manager
Cellular Analysis Facility
School of Microbiology & Immunology
UNSW, New South Wales, Australia, 2052
Ph (BH) 	+61 (2) 9385 3517
Ph (AH)	+61 (2) 9555 1239
Fax 	+61 (2) 9385 1591
	(Under development)

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