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Från osynligt till synligt: Bakteriologins etablering i sekelskiftets svenska medicin
Linköping University, The Tema Institute. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
1997 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
From the invisible to the visible : The Establishment of Bacteriology in Sweden 1850-1910 (English)
Abstract [en]

The fundamental bacteriological research during the second half of the nineteenth century took place in France and Germany. This study investigates how bacteriology gradually became established in Sweden and how knowledge on the bacteriological discoveries were transferred to Sweden from Germany and France. The study also examines how the theory on microorganisms spread in the country within the medical corps and on to other circles. The expression "make visible" has been used to describe how the invisible bacteria became visible for Swedish physicians, nurses and the public as causes of earlier inexplicable infectious diseases. The significance and power of bacteria was visible later as special institutions were established to "fight" the bacteria. The microbes also became visible as the knowledge about them influenced medical science and other important areas in society. This was a fundamental process which led to changes in the content of several important concepts, the genesis ofnew terms and a new way of thinking within medicine.

Active measures to seek new knowledge were taken by sending pysicians on study visits to research centers in Germany and France. In this dissertation the professor of pathological anatomy and member of the Swedish Parliament, Curt Wallis, is characterized as the man who introduced bacteriology in Sweden. Wallis is the one who presents and introduces the new bacteriological findings. He was the person who earlygained knowledge of the contemporary bacteriological concept of causality. As a member of the parliament, popular educator and hygienist, Wallis for many years instructed his listeners and readers about bacteriology, its potential and its need for resources.

One result of the study is that bacteriology in Sweden grew slowly and did not have an immediate breakthrough. Bacteriology, as a medical science, was accepted by professional medical circles in Sweden towards the end of the 1890's. But the creation of institutions, laboratories and new professional categories did not mean that the Swedish medical corps accepted a fundamentally bacteriologial view. The study concludes thatthis kind of creations are not evidence that bacteriology had won general acceptance as a medical discipline.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Carlsson , 1997. , 328 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 163
Keyword [en]
bacteriology, hygiene, history of medicine, 19th century Sweden, public health, history of science, implementation of knowledge
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35354Local ID: 26400ISBN: 91-7203-280-4OAI: diva2:256202
Public defence
1997-09-12, Wallenbergssalen, Länsmuseet, Linköping, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2012-06-08Bibliographically approved

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