For the full appreciation of any scientific discipline, it is important that the student knows something of the historic development of the basic ideas as well as of the struggle and tribulations of the creators of those ideas. Many educators feel that one of the best ways of achieving this is by studying the papers of our predecessors. Isaac Newton once said that if he had seen farther than others "it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Similar views have been expressed by other scientists. For example, Louis Pasteur felt that "It is by reading what discoverers have done that we lift and maintain the sacred flame of discovery."
In their book Readings in Pharmacology Holmstedt and Liljestrand have brought together selections from the original publications of a wide range of pharmacologists and physiologists, past and present. Many of these quotations have not been included in previous works