Lind is rightly recognised for having taken care to ‘compare like with like’, and the design of his trial may have inspired Thomas Trotter to use a similar approach ( Trotter 1792 ). Even if Lind’s report of a controlled trial may be a fabrication, as some have alleged because his patients did not appear on the ship’s sick list (Baron 2009), his account nevertheless illustrates a way of thinking about how to compare treatments, and this is of historical interest in its own right ( Chalmers et al. 2011 ). In a personal communication to the author, the late Sir James Watt suggested that Lind had reported the trial to the Association of Naval Surgeons. Unfortunately this report cannot currently be referenced, but investigation of James Watt’s papers archived at the Royal Society of Medicine may contain the answer. Lind is less well known for the systematic approach that he adopted when assessing the reports and opinions of earlier writers (Milne and Chalmers 2004). And it should not be forgotten that he reported his experiments to the Royal Society showing how 18 th century technology could be used to distil fresh water from sea water ( Lind 1761 ), a matter of enduring concern to mariners on long sea voyages, even today; or that his essay on the most effectual means of preserving the health of seamen was one of the first monographs devoted to occupational health.