Cover image for Pioneers of microbiology and the Nobel prize
Pioneers of microbiology and the Nobel prize
Lagerkvist, Ulf.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
River Edge, NJ : World Scientific Pub., [2003]

Physical Description:
ix, 178 pages : portraits ; 26 cm
Electronic Access:
Table of contents

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QR21 .L34 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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We are swamped with information and each day seems to bring new discoveries that must be considered. Never before in the history of science have so many scientists been as active as today. It has become a major problem for the expert just to keep up with the literature in his or her own field of research. Why, then, should experts and their poor students worry about the pioneers of microbiology, those half-forgotten scientists who a century ago devoted their lives to a new science that was on its way to revolutionizing medicine?With so many new facts and problems screaming for our attention, it is easy to lose sight of the long road that we have travelled in order to get to the point where we are now. Tracing the path of those who have gone before us will help us to see our own scientific goals and efforts in a more revealing perspective.The great figures who are at the center of interest in this book -- Robert Koch, Emil von Behring, Paul Ehrlich and Elie Metchnikoff -- were far from uncontroversial during their lifetimes. It is interesting to see how they were judged by their peers at the Karolinska Institutet when they were considered for the Nobel Prize.Pioneers of Microbiology and the Nobel Prize has been written in such a way that it can be enjoyed even without an extensive knowledge of microbiology and medicine. In fact, a considerable part of the book portrays the state of medicine during the middle of the 19th century, when bacteriology can be said to have made its debut on the medical scene.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Early advances in microbiology provided biologists with all the tools needed to pursue the leading-edge sciences of biochemistry, biotechnology, genetics, and pathology. It took these initial investigations into the microbial world to open the door for further inquiries into the molecular basis of life. Lagerkvist (Goteborg Univ., Sweden) celebrates four European microbiologists who paved the way for modern studies of the microbial world. Robert Koch, Emil von Behring, Paul Ehrlich, and Elie Metchnikoff were selected not only for the caliber of their research findings but for the paradigm shifts they introduced into scientific reasoning. Lagerkvist does not portray them as working in isolation; he describes their work as part of the achievements of many other scientists working on similar ideas. The book supplies superior details about the research and the social climate leading to the discoveries and provides good insight into the intellect and personalities that make extraordinary scientific discoveries. The rationale for awarding Nobel prizes in science is also thoroughly discussed. Lagerkvist addresses common misconceptions about the prize nomination process. For anybody interested in the history and process of science. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through professionals. B. R. Shmaefsky Kingwood College