The professional correspondence relating to neurophysiology (principally between 1950-1970) and organizational work, professional
associations & publishing material, photographs, reprints, and research notes form the collection known as the Cornelis Wiersma
in the Archives of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Born and educated in the Netherlands, Wiersma came to the Biology Department at the California Institute of Technology in
1934 at the invitation of Thomas Hunt Morgan. He represented the field of comparative physiology and his scientific career
focused first on the neuromuscular system, then the central nervous system and finally on the visual system. From 1943 to
1950, he studied the myography and treatment of poliomyelitis and the treatment of schizophrenia with electronarcosis while
on the attending staff of the L. A. County General Hospital. Wiersma was also a member of the Los Angeles County Smog Control
Commission, which studied the effects of pollution on humans in the Los Angeles area.
In 1976, he was honored by a symposium given by his former coworkers when he retired after forty-five years, and was given
the title Professor Emeritus. Wiersma maintained an active interest in his research until he died.
Wiersma was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physiological Society, the
Society for Neuroscience and Sigma Xi. He was a correspondent of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and a
foreign associate of the National Academy of Science.
Copyright may not have been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish
or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on
behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include
or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
The collection is open for research. Researchers must apply in writing for access.