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Chapter 16 : The Pasteur/Koch Controversy

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The Pasteur/Koch Controversy, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Throughout most of Koch's career, his relationships with Pasteur were very poor. The reasons for this are complex and difficult to unravel; however, it is clear that the Pasteur-Koch controversy not only influenced the lives of these two outstanding scientists, but also had implications for the development of the microbial sciences. The reasons for this are complex and difficult to unravel; however, it is clear that the Pasteur-Koch controversy not only influenced the lives of these two outstanding scientists, but also had implications for the development of the microbial sciences. Indeed, even the name for the discipline is linked to the controversy: the Pasteur school preferred "microbiology" whereas the Koch school preferred "bacteriology". Evidence for the Pasteur-Koch controversy can be found in the scientific writings of these two savants and in their correspondence. The whole controversy has been masterfully outlined by Mollaret in 1983 and this paper is summarized briefly here. As discussed, Pasteur and Koch first met at London in 1881 at the International Congress of Medicine. Most of Koch's attacks on Pasteur were gratuitous, and can only be explained as the young upstart resenting being ignored by the grand master. Koch's co-workers, Loeffler and Gaffky, were even less polite in their articles published in the same volume of the Mitteilungen. The basis of the controversy between Koch's group and Pasteur was over the validity of Pasteur's method of attentuation.

Citation: Brock T. 1999. The Pasteur/Koch Controversy, p 169-177. In Robert Koch. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818272.ch16

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Citation: Brock T. 1999. The Pasteur/Koch Controversy, p 169-177. In Robert Koch. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818272.ch16
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