Auguste-Henri Forel towards the end of his life
|Born||September 1, 1848
|Died||July 27, 1931
|Known for||contributions to sexology and myrmecology|
Auguste-Henri Forel (September 1, 1848 – July 27, 1931) was a Swiss myrmecologist, neuroanatomist and psychiatrist, notable for his investigations into the structure of the human brain and that of ants. For example, he is considered a co-founder of the neuron theory. Forel is also known for his early contributions to sexology and psychology.
From 1978 until 2000 Forel’s image appeared on the 1000 Swiss franc banknote.
Born in villa La Gracieuse, Morges, Switzerland, Forel had a diverse and mixed career as a thinker on many subjects. He was appointed professor of psychiatry in 1879 at the University of Zurich Medical School. He not only ran the Burghölzli asylum there, but continued to publish papers on insanity, prison reform, and social morality. Forel named his home as La Fourmilière —the Ant Colony. Around 1900 Forel was a eugenicist. Forel suffered a stroke that paralyzed his right side in 1912, but he taught himself to write with his left hand and was able to continue his studies. By 1914 he was a good friend of the eminent British entomologist Horace Donisthorpe, with whom he stayed in Switzerland; his ardent socialist views frequently caused political arguments between the two. After hearing of the religion from his son in law, in 1920 he became a member of the Bahá'í Faith, abandoning his earlier racist and socialist views saying,
This is the true religion of human social good, without dogmas or priests, uniting all men on this small terrestrial globe of ours. I have become a Bahá’í. May this religion live and prosper for the good of mankind; this is my most ardent wish—Auguste Forel, 
He died in Yvorne at age 82.
Forel's prize essay on the ants of Switzerland was published in three parts in a Swiss scientific journal, beginning in 1874. The work was reissued as a single volume in 1900, at which time it was also translated into English. His myrmecological five-volume magnum opus, Le Monde Social des Fourmis, was published in 1923.
Forel's predilection for finding in ants the analogs of human social and political behaviors was always controversial. In the foreword to his 1927 edition of British Ants: their life history and classification, Donisthorpe opined, "I should wish ... to protest against the ants being employed as a supposed weapon in political controversy. In my opinion an entomological work is not the appropriate means for the introduction of political theories of any kind, still less for their glaring advertisement. But in 1937, the work was excerpted in Sir J.A. Hammerton's Outline of Great Books with praise for its relevance to the study of human psychology and as "the most important contribution to insect psychology ever made by a single student."
Forel International School is named after him.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- Les Fourmis de la Suisse, Systématique, notices anatomiques et physiologiques, architecture, distribution géographique, nouvelles expériences et observations de moeurs. Bale, Genève, Lyon, H. Georg. (1874).
- Ameisen aus Sumatra, Java, Malacca und Ceylon. Gesammelt V.Prof. Dr. V. Buttel Reepen in den Jahren, 1911-1912. Zool. Jahrd.Jena Abt. F.Syst. 36: 1-148.(1913).
- Fourmis de Rhodesia, etc. recoltees par M. Arnold, le Dr. H. Brauns et K. Fikendey. Annales de la Societe Entomologique de Belgique. 57: 108-147.(1913).
- Le monde social des fourmis du globe comparé à celui de l’homme.Genève, Kundig, 1921-1923, 5 volumes (1921-1923).
- 'Neuron theory, the cornerstone of neuroscience, on the centenary of the Nobel Prize award to Santiago Ram´on y Cajal' Francisco L´opez-Mu˜noz, Jes´us Boya, Cecilio Alamoa. Brain Research Bulletin 70 (2006) doi:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2006.07.010 391–405
- "Auguste Forel - The First Swiss Sexologist". Archived from the original on 13 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- Sleigh, Charlotte (2007) Six legs better : a cultural history of myrmecology. The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-8445-4
- The Survival of the Fittest, Chapter II
- The Entomologist's Record, vol XXV, Nos 1-2 (1915)
- "Miss Martha Root". Bahá'í News (32): p. 8. June 1929.
- "Swiss Baha'is Celebrate 100 Years of Contributing to World Civilization". Baha'i Switzerland. National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Switzerland. 2003. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
- Effendi, Shoghi (1944). God Passes By. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0-87743-020-9.p.375
- Vader, John Paul (1984). For the Good of Mankind - August Forel and the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. pp. 17–24, 70–80. ISBN 0-85398-172-8.
- "‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Tablet to Dr. Forel". reference.bahai.org.
- British Ants: their life history and classification, 2nd Edition (1927)
- J.A. Hammerton, Outline of Great Books, New York, Wise & Co. (1937), p. 470
- Forel, A. (1877). "Untersuchungen über die Haubenregion und ihre oberen Verknüpfungen im Gehirne des Menschen und einiger Säugethiere, mit Beiträgen zu den Methoden der Gehirnuntersuchung". Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten 7 (3): 393–495. doi:10.1007/BF02041873.
- Bernhard Kuechenhoff, "The psychiatrist Auguste Forel and his attitude to eugenics," History of Psychiatry, 19,2 (2008), 215-223.