Neal Stephenson’s Characters in the Real World

Fans of Neal Stephenson’s writings will be pleased to discover a “relative” of his fictional geek dynasty the Waterhouses represented on the faculty of Harvard Medical School in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries. Benjamin Waterhouse, known for his early adoption of the smallpox vaccine – he tested it on his family – was also on the faculty of Brown University. A reproduction of a portrait of Waterhouse can be found outside the entrance to the Center for the History of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.