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Chapter 50 : Musings: The Guild
The dictionary defines a guild as “an association of craftsmen in a particular trade.” Let’s extend this term a bit and apply it to the community of microbiologists. I make this point because I am intensely aware that I belong to a group of people united by their particular professional interests. Whenever I meet another microbiologist for the first time, I feel a high degree of affinity with him or her. We can immediately converse about common interests, and especially about people we both know. There is usually only one “degree of separation,” two at most, depending in part on generational differences. How different this is from my encounters with members of other guilds, e.g., lawyers, carpenters, policemen, engineers.