Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 45

Lawrence J(oseph) Henderson

harvard blood study pareto

Biochemist and physiologist, born in Lynn, Massachusetts, USA. He spent his career as a research physician at Harvard (1904–42). His quantitative measurements of bodily buffer systems (1907–10) were expanded logarithmically by Danish biochemist K A Hasselbach to produce the Henderson–Hasselbach equation describing acid-base equilibria. He founded the department of physical chemistry at Harvard (1920), and established Harvard's Fatigue Laboratory (1927) to study chemical changes due to environmentally induced stress. Further investigations of oxygen-carbon dioxide exchanges in blood led to his seminal book, Blood: A Study in General Physiology (1928). A philosopher and scholar with varied interests, he related Vilfredo Pareto's classic writings on sociology to his own homeostatic approach to the buffering capability of the blood, and his lectures on Pareto influenced numerous young sociologists.

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