Article ID: CBB145068087

Semmelweis at 200: Creativity, Skepticism and Charm in Medicine (2018)


2018 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ignaz Semmelweis, the man who first intuited the iatrogenic and infectious causes of puerperal fever, then was violently opposed for questioning old dogmas, and ultimately died of sepsis in a mental asylum. The rejection he encountered is not unusual among innovators, as breakthroughs are often ridiculed before eventually being accepted as selfevident. In fact, automatic rejection of new ideas has even been dubbed “The Semmelweis Reflex”. Thus, the anniversary of his birth provides a timely opportunity for revisiting the risks and benefits of skepticism in the creative process.

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Authors & Contributors
Schlumbohm, Jürgen
Doby, T.
Rieder, Philip
Cody, Lisa Forman
McCalman, Janet
Morley, Ruth
Social History of Medicine
Medical History
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Central European University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Edizioni Osiride
Hospitals and clinics
Obstetrics and pregnancy
Nurse midwives
Semmelweis, Ignaz Philipp
Gross, Hans
Suess, Eduard
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century, early
17th century
Vienna (Austria)
Great Britain
Universität Göttingen
Habsburg, House of

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