We are swamped with information and each day seems to bring new discoveries that must be considered. Never before in the history of science have so many scientists been as active as today. It has become a major problem for the expert just to keep up with the literature in his or her own field of research. Why, then, should experts and their poor students worry about the pioneers of microbiology, those half-forgotten scientists who a century ago devoted their lives to a new science that was on its way to revolutionizing medicine?
With so many new facts and problems screaming for our attention, it is easy to lose sight of the long road that we have travelled in order to get to the point where we are now. Tracing the path of those who have gone before us will help us to see our own scientific goals and efforts in a more revealing perspective.
The great figures who are at the center of interest in this book — Robert Koch, Emil von Behring, Paul Ehrlich and Elie Metchnikoff — were far from uncontroversial during their lifetimes. It is interesting to see how they were judged by their peers at the Karolinska Institutet when they were considered for the Nobel Prize.
Pioneers of Microbiology and the Nobel Prize has been written in such a way that it can be enjoyed even without an extensive knowledge of microbiology and medicine. In fact, a considerable part of the book portrays the state of medicine during the middle of the 19th century, when bacteriology can be said to have made its debut on the medical scene.
Contents:The Sites of DiseasesCellular PathologyThe New PhysiologyBankruptcy and a Gleam of HopeContagion Versus MiasmaThe Birth of MicrobiologyBacteriology and the Nemesis of SurgeryRobert KochEmil von BehringPaul EhrlichElie MetchnikoffNobel Prizes and Nobel Committees (1901, 1905 and 1908)In Defence of the Nobel PrizeReadership: Microbiologists; medical researchers, undergraduates and graduate students in microbiology and the life sciences; general readers.