The Roots of Progress

Germ Theory

Medical Pioneers in Infectious Diseases

Dr. Robert Gaynes

A history of the development of the germ theory in medicine. Covers the earliest “humoral” theories of Hippocrates and Galen, Avicenna and Fracastoro in the Middle Ages, Leeuwenhoek and his microscope, Jenner and his vaccine, Semmelweis and hand-washing, the amazing accomplishments of Pasteur and Koch, Lister and antiseptics, Erlich and antibiotics.

I thought this book was quite well-written and I learned a lot from it, about many innovations in medical history. It was packed with information about actual scientific developments, and didn’t go into too much needless detail about irrelevant topics.

Recommended for anyone interested in the history of science or medicine.

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