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Chapter 21 : The World Tour: Koch in America and Japan
This chapter talks about Koch’s trip to America and Japan. A celebration was held in honor o f the 25th anniversary of the announcement o f Koch's discovery of the tubercle bacillus. This inspired the establishment o f the Robert Koch Foundation for the Conquest o f Tuberculosis. A commission of noted German health officers and doctors was established, and a goal was set to collect a large sum of money. An international fund-raising drive was initiated, the prospectus noting how appropriate it was that the fund was to be named in honor of Robert Koch, "one of the greatest researchers of all times." Robert Koch’s goal in the United States was primarily to visit his brothers who had left Germany years earlier and settled in the Midwest, and then continue across the country to San Francisco, where he could get a steamer to Japan. After Japan, his original intention was to return home to Europe by way of China, thus having travelled completely around the world. Koch was naturally interested in the manner of operation of the New York City Department of Health. He had told the New York Times reporter, perhaps tactlessly, that his main scientific interest was Japan rather than the United States. Koch's influence in America was virtually eliminated, as the U.S. medical and public health establishment proceeded to solidify their agenda for the control of infectious disease. One of the bulwarks of this agenda was the universal pasteurization of milk.