Class Notes (806,815)
Canada (492,451)
Prof (14)
Lecture 11

Lecture 11 January 8, 2014.docx

9 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
History of Science
History of Science 2220

January 8, 2014 HIS 2220: Lecture 11 The “Germ” Theory - Many changing concepts of disease - Continuing in the 19 Cth - Today: belief in existence of germs = widely accepted, governs modern everyday life in Western society o all germs = capable of causing disease - “Germ” theory of disease – consider: o This phrase entered into common use in English language medical literature in 1870s o Also used as scientific shorthand to refer to group of people aka experimentalists – relevant between 1860 – 1910 - Germ theory essentially consists of two propositions: o Animal and human disease caused by microorganisms (can’t be seen with naked eye) o Germs do not generate spontaneously – don’t appear out of no where  Coming from previous case of exact same disease - Late 19 C: thinking of germ theory – those living in Western societies knew of certain diseases because they had experienced them in their everyday lives ex: Cholera, Tuberculosis, smallpox (occurring again and again) - Early 19 C: common wisdom was sick persons breath, skin, clothing, etc. could hold the seeds of disease and spread (contagionous idea) th - 19 C: people in Western society: showed little concern about casual contact with others, contamination of food or water o Ex: shared beds o Practiced Bundling – popular idea: young man and young woman who were courting at the time, they could sleep in the same bed but there would be a board creating a division o Also exchanged items like hair brushes, tooth brushes, etc. January 8, 2014 Etiquette Books - Counselled people against spitting in public, coughing etc. – advocated against this kind of behaviour - Advocated for cleanliness - Were created for Status – division between Rich and Poor o Victorian Age  girl = act in a certain manner, boy = hold self to certain standard o Gender codes - Fueled out of desire for politeness, not to avoid germs - People are changing habits but motivation is not for medical reasons - Those living in Urban Slums: disease was so common they viewed it as an inherit thing of live, many believed disease were constitutional in origin (hereditary) - Becoming increasingly clear that cities are unhealthy places to live, especially in urban slums - Statistics start to confirm, scientific community tries to understand it better (1850- 60’s) Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) - 1850’s, 1860’s - Figured out how to pasteurize milk - He was a chemist - Trained in Paris, by 1850: increasingly more interested in fermentation - Putrefaction – decomposition or decaying – notices that agents lead to fermentation and putrefaction were different species of living microorganisms - Using microscope to do this (important because you cannot see microorganisms with naked eye) - Found two microorganisms: o Aerobic (needing air to live) January 8, 2014 o Anaerobic (thrive in the absence of air)  By looking at these two = discovered pasteurization (boiling = killed bacteria) - When he found these microorganisms, he referred to them as ‘bacteria’ Antonie van Leeuwenhoek - 1676: he created a primitive microscope and observed microorganisms but doesn’t call it bacteria – called it animal cules - 1850s and 60s: Pasteur and those adopting Germ Theory start to use the word Bacteria - Pasteur recognized his discovery would have far reaching implications - Therefore began research on bacteria, trying to determine where they came from  proved they came from the environment he was in o Immediately it contested his idea, because most believed bacteria would spontaneously generate o 1864: French Academy of Sciences accept Pasteur’s results and this helps legitimize the science of bacteriology o 1880’s: bacteriology is widely accepted – helps place Germ Theory on very scientific footing - Once Germ Theory is accepted, they began looking at the world in a different way – realizing surfaces and environment around you, water has invisible life within Emergence of Germ Theory: - Shift from community and into the labs th - Late 19 C: see medicine adopt scientific explorations within the lab - Religious people were more likely to believe in Germ theory, even though it was very scientific - First challenge = to get people to believe in something they cannot see - Microscope is so important because it shows them Joseph Lister January 8, 2014 - Wondered if Germs in the air in operating rooms were contributing to post- surgical infections - First person to sterilize the operating room and reduced post-surgical infections o Contributes to acceptance of germ theory In the end: 1880-1895: - Germ theory triumphs - Gains respect for Bacteriology (study of bacteria) - End of the century: experimentalists turn germ theory from hypothesis to a scientific fact - After acceptance: germ theory used as guide to prevent disease – people began making modifications to their everyday lifestyles to avoid disease from spreading - Bacteriologists: able to track how bacteria are spreading from sick to healthy – drawing up road map of spread of disease – once recognized = better able to counsel health authorities in efforts to interrupt the spread of disease Tuberculosis - Aka consumption - early 19thC: most common cause of death - although many died, there were no social campaign created to fight it – just accepted that it was an early death - 1880s: this changes – recognized as communicable disease What causes TB? - Physicans now know that TB is a specific infectious disease - Caused by Tubercle Bacillus - Most people who contract TB – contract it from other human beings to have active pulmonary TB - An infected person: may cough, sneeze, talk – when they did, they would spray clouds of Tubercle bacillus droplets and these could be lethal - When the droplet contains less moisture it is considered Droplet Nuclei January 8, 2014 o Spread through the air and can reach 160+ feet o Float into the air, higher portions of nuclei are inhaled by others - Once enter new “host” and settle = how disease is contracted - TB  physicians believes nuclei droplets that are inhaled by another person = 1 to 3 TB causing bacteria are in the droplet - Complex series of reaction the body recognizes the foreign ent
More Less

Related notes for History of Science 2220

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.