Article ID: CBB001420904

Wie die Mikroben nach Warschau kamen (2012)


The pathogenic microbe came to be a widely acknowledged scientific fact by the end of the 19th century. Taking the transfer of bacteriological knowledge to Warsaw as an example, this article contributes to understanding the question of how knowledge of bacteria was stabilized outside of its original place of production. Conceiving bacteriological knowledge as a laboratory practice it describes the techniques of mobilizing the laboratory network this practice depended on. The case of the Polish medical student Odo Bujwid transporting Robert Koch's and Louis Pasteur's laboratory networks to Warsaw will be analyzed. Bujwid used literary and visual inscriptions to make these laboratory networks immutably mobile in Bruno Latour's sense. But he also had to transport three-dimensional objects central to the networks' functioning back to Warsaw. Personal exchange was, furthermore, essential to their successful transportation to the Polish kingdom. Next to Bujwid's efforts to transform the laboratory networks into immutable mobiles, the analysis will extend the focus to mutable mobiles as well and will thus show that the successful stabilization of bacteriological knowledge in Warsaw was due not only to the immutability of its laboratory network but to its flexibility and elasticity as well.

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Authors & Contributors
Gradmann, Christoph
Schlich, Thomas
Cadeddu, Antonio
Dolman, Claude E.
Gachelin, Gabriel
Gossel, Patricia Peck
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Acta Historica Leopoldina
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Dynamis: Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam
Medical History
University of Toronto
Boston Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine
Gotham Books
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of Exeter
Disease and diseases
Infectious diseases
Koch, Robert
Pasteur, Louis
Smith, Theobald
Burnet, Frank Macfarlane
D'Herelle, Félix
Doyle, Arthur Conan
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
United States
Berlin (Germany)
Institut Pasteur, Paris

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