For about 1500 years, bloodletting was like aspirin—a treatment administered by doctors for just about every medical trouble. Prevailing wisdom was that your body was filed with fluids called humors, and draining them was the best way to cure what ailed you. It took a 16th-century physician armed with curiosity and a stomach for human dissection to at last disprove that notion, and he was thanked for it with a big dose of public outrage.
This video produced by the World Science Festival tells the story of William Harvey, the once misunderstood genius who literally re-wrote the book on human anatomy in 1628. Find out how he got his start, and how he managed to "ignore the haters" to become one of the biggest influences on modern medicine.
Note: This text has been updated to reflect the fact that William Harvey was a 16th-century physician.