mercredi 12 février 2014

Se souvenir de la révolution bactériologique

Remembering the Bacteriological Revolution: Koch's Postulates and 20th Century Medicine

Dr. Christoph Gradmann (University of Oslo)

Tuesday 18 February, 16:00-17:30

Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM) University of Manchester
Seminar, Room 2.217, University Place, 178-186 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL

This lecture is on the historical origins and the popularity of 'Koch's Postulates'. In fact, it was his colleague Friedrich Löffler who in 1884 wrote down the well-known three steps of isolation, cultivation and inoculation as criteria for establishing a bacterial aetiology of an infectious disease. These postulates are a classic in medical history and they are frequently invoked in medical research papers. Yet, strict adherence to them is rarely to be found – not even in Koch himself. He produced numerous variations of the methodology that Löffler had credited him with and usually avoided discussing principal questions anyway. Given that, it is not surprising that references to Koch's postulates in the 20th century usually refer to the spirit rather than the literal meaning of the postulates. There are innumerable variations of those postulates. For example, proponents of virology or molecular medicine devised variations of Koch's postulates that serve to relate their own work to classical bacteriology. The nature of such references is anecdotal: referring to a historical event that has never happened in a strict sense, they produce ex traditione credentials for experimental medicine.

All are welcome and please feel free pass this list on to interested colleagues.

Event co-organized by Niki Vermeulen and Ray Macauley

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