first years of the clinic, such follow-up did not directly benefit the patient and was done mainly to improve methods of differential diagnosis.
Although having patients to follow was vital, Addis believed that "Clinical experience is the final arbiter, not the original source of knowledge. Clinical work is not enough. The all-important thing is to start the derivation of first approximation answers to clinical questions through experimental work on animals" (1939, 1). But it could also not stop there. "[T]he doctor is not a [scientific] positivist"; all the studies of renal function are just "means to his end, which is action, not knowledge." He is, in fact, "obliged to be more than scientific": while the scientist is always attempting to generalize his or her understanding, the clinician must individualize his or her understanding to each particular patient.
Although Addis could be found in his laboratory any day of the week during an experiment, life in the barnlike lab retained a pleasant and cultured atmosphere. Addis was a great lover of classical music, and during clinic days some Beethoven or Brahms chamber music might be playing on the phonograph in his office. Traditional teatime was also observed in the renal lab, attended by a variety of colleagues (such as Bloomfield and Dock) as well as laboratory personnel. Topics of discussion during these sessions could be the arts or history (Addis was an admirer of R. G. Collingwood), although through the course of the 1930s the discussions turned increasingly often to political and social problems, such as the international rise of fascism.
Addis was an advocate of the civil rights of blacks, Jews, and the politically oppressed. In 1941 he interceded to try to get a teaching position for his friend Dr. Alfred Mirsky (because, he wrote to a friend, "It is true that it is hard for Jews to get teaching positions"). His political involvement