James H. Schwartz 1933–2006
WE WISH TO DEDICATE THIS FIFTH EDITION of Principles of Neural Science to our friend and colleague, James H. Schwartz, one of the founding editors who died on March 13, 2006. Jimmy was an outstanding neuroscientist and scholar. His talent for science and his extraordinary erudition were evident from his days as a medical student at New York University. While at NYU he worked with Werner Maas in the microbiology department and carried out an important set of studies on feedback inhibition in bacterial metabolism. This work was so impressive that upon completing medical school, Jimmy was nominated for the highly selective graduate program in biology that had just been established at The Rockefeller University by Detlev Bronk. By the time Jimmy obtained his Ph.D. in Fritz Lippman's laboratory and graduated from Rockefeller in 1964, he had established himself as an outstanding biochemist. He was therefore eagerly recruited back to NYU in 1965 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology.
There Jimmy turned to studying the nerve cells of the snail Aplysia, which were so large and uniquely identifiable that they seemed likely candidates for a study of neuronal biochemical identity. The immediate success of his initial studies encouraged him to devote himself completely to the nervous system. He rapidly became one of the leading biochemists on the nervous system and one of the leading thinkers regarding the relationship of brain to behavior.
The idea of going from molecules to behavior was the organizing theme of the first edition of Principles of Neural Science, which Jimmy co-edited. He simply loved working on Principles. A superb writer, he demanded precision in language both in himself and in others. This made him an exceptional editor. He read and avidly edited every chapter. In addition, Jimmy contributed his sense of historical scholarship. It was his idea to open Principles with the images of hieroglyphics from the Egyptian papyrus, the earliest reference to the brain in human record, which we include as the opening images in this edition as well. But perhaps most importantly, Jimmy championed the idea that this book should delineate fundamental principles rather than serve as an encyclopedia of facts. Thus, Jimmy's vision and editorial skill greatly enriched each of the five editions. In his absence we have striven to make the final product an edition that will continue to meet the high standards of readability and scholarship he set for all of us.