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The History of Science Through The Lens of Microbiology : Pathogens Penetrating The Past
History of Microbiology


The History Of Science At The Society Of Symbionts

The department of the history of science at the Society Of Symbionts offers students a unique perspective. We are the world's leading Microbial institutions for producing the next generation of microbial historians. Our students embark on an exciting course of study that encapsulates the far-reaching corners of the History of Science and the history of microbiology all with an interest in our world.


The history of science is extremely intertwined with the microbial world. Every scientific discovery or failure impacted human society and scientific history and helped shape the way the Giants view our world. What are the most profound microbe stories from the past? How are they still impacting our present? What are the most important moments in the history of microbiology? Who is the father of microbiology? And who are the forgotten mothers of microbiology? Our world-class faculty and students explore these questions through textual, ethnographic, and societal methods.


We challenge our students to not only ask these questions but to dive into even larger questions that drive them into this field. Many of our students choose to tackle the biggest question we face at the Society of Symbionts. Why do the Giants dislike us so much? What is the source of their rage? And how can we as agents of the Society change these opinions and create a more harmonious world between the microbial and the macrobial.


History of Microbiology Curriculum

Students are encouraged to select courses in the history of science that most align with their interests after completing the core curriculum. Symbionts enrolled in this major also participate in courses of philosophy, public relations, scientist spotlights, current events, journalism, microbiology news, and research.


Core courses include:

After the core curriculum of The History of Science is complete, symbionts are encouraged to declare a focus within The History of Microbiology. This may include a focus on underrepresented scientists that shaped the history of microbiology or on a microbe that change the history of science. In order to graduate symbionts are asked to develop a thesis around their declared focus and present it at the end of their senior year.


Who Is The Father of Microbiology?

Who is the father of microbiology? This is typically not a focal point of our curriculum but an important first lesson for our students within The History of Science department. Whom is the father of microbiology is the question that most often brings our students to us but we believe that once they have a greater understanding of the history of microbiology they will find other interests.


When discussing 'who is the father of microbiology' typically four names come up: Anonti Van Leeuwenhoek, Robert Koch, Louis Pasteur, and John Snow. Each of whom considerably moved the field of microbiology forward and shaped the history of microbiology as a study in the Giant's world.


Leeuwenhoek is the oldest of the four but really quite young when we look at the whole history of microbiology. Leeuwenhoek never had any scientific training and was a Dutch businessman and draper yet he would forever change the history of science.


Leeuwenhoek was started to dabble in the art of microscope creation. Some say he made over 200 different homemade microscopes. Leeuwenhoek was the first of the giants to view protozoa and bacteria, unveiling our microbial world. With his microscopes, he entered our microbial world and examined all sorts of our cities from rainwater to his teeth plaque to intestines.



He once wrote:

in all falling rain, carried from gutters into water-butts, animalcules are to be found; and that in all kinds of water, standing in the open air, animalcules can turn up. For these animalcules can be carried over by the wind, along with the bits of dust floating in the air.


And on September 17, 1683, the field of microbiology was born. The father of microbiology Antoni van Leeuwenhoek wrote to the Royal Society about his teeth being the home to "many very little animalcules". That was us! These were some of the first observations of living microbes. The Giants even celebrate the monumental moment in the history of science with a holiday known as International Microorganism Day, celebrated every year on September 17th.


Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch are also common giants brought up in a discussion of the history of science in our microbial world. For many years we viewed them as evil men, the men that popularized germ theory. This was the theory we all thought villainized microbial life throughout the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. But we have since toned down our views of these two prominent characters in the history of microbiology. They were complicated men, bound by their limited understanding of our world and the universe. Both men also did a lot of good for the microbial world, broadening the giants understanding of our world. Both Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch can be considered Fathers of Microbiology shaping the history of science in profound ways.


One greatness that Louis Pasteur brought to the giant's world is giving us credit for fermentation. He argued with the chemists for months over whether it was just chemistry that produced one of the Giant favorite beverages: alcohol. Louis Pasteur argued it was the greatest chemists in the world that produced alcohol. The greatest chemist in the world of course is us microbes.


Robert Koch, another father of microbiology was a contemporary of Louis Pasteur and the two didn't exactly see eye to eye. Robert Koch is sometimes referred to at the Father Of Medical Microbiology in the giant's history of science. He was a detective, hunting down one of the Societies of Symbionts Most Wanted: Bacillus anthracis. He also created Koch's postulates which are still the foundation of linking a microbe to an infectious disease.


Finally, we have John Snow. Regarded at the Father of Epidemiologists. To find out more about him you'll have to take the class!

Head Faculty Of The History Of Science Department



Professor Xi Psychrobacter

Professor Xi Psychrobacter was a long-time symbiont of the Giant Panda Basi, but once his host died he came to The Society of Symbionts and loves teaching the next generation of beneficial microbes the history of science. Professor Xi specializes in "Human History" and "Starting a Symbiosis." He also dives into the history of microbiology looking at angles like underrepresented scientists that changes the world and the history of the Society of Symbionts most wanted list.

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