John Severinghaus

Eight sages over five centuries shared oxygen’s discovery: The story of the discovery of oxygen as revealed in the lives and ideas of eight sages, from a 13th century Syrian scientist to Carl Scheele and Antoine Lavoisier. 

John W. Severinghaus is Professor Emeritus of Anesthesiology at UCSF. After training in physics during World War II, he spent 2 years designing radar at MIT and then switched to biophysics. After medical school and a residency, he was doctor-drafted to the National Institutes of Health, where he developed the first electrode that measured CO2 in the bloodstream, as well as a blood gas analyzer.  He moved to Marin with his family in 1958 to join the new anesthesia department at UCSF. He is the author of over 500 papers, including histories of blood gases and oxygen. He has been a member of UUCM since 1960.

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