What can one man accomplish, even a great man and brilliant scientist? Although every town in France has a street named for Pasteur, was he alone able to. Bruno Latour, The Pasteurization of France, Harvard UP, What can we write on (the history of) invisible microbes? Maybe we can write on. BRUNO LATOUR The ‘Franslatcd by Aian Sheridan andjolin r^iw The Pasteurization of France Bruno Latour Translated by Alan Sheridan and John Law.

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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Sometimes the hygienists give a definition of their science that is coextensive with reahty. Precisely what in the army 44 War and Peace of Microbes are called obligatory points of passage. It speaks of hygiene, the “sender,” as the semioticians say, of all the actions on health.

There were tastings of Liebig soups German chem- istryrefrigerated meat Pasteurrization thermodynamicsand pasteurized milk French microbiology.

Even the Pasteurians who were most determined to spread the myth of a Pasteur struggling alone against the shades of obscurantism are forced to recognize the unanimity with which his experiments were received.

Microbiology — Social aspects — France. Time — that is, the distinction between moments — is the distant consequence of actions to make a particular position durable. In order to launch Lister, all that was needed was for surgeons no longer to question the ex- istence of microbes and their ability to pass everywhere, but for them to know more or less that microbes died in heat or in the air — or absence of air — under the effects of a disinfectant.

We are no longer demanding, as in the past, that the old hospitals be pulled down and new ones built at a cost of millions. They go off and look for new allies to advance the cause and to terrify the rich or poorbrandishing diseases.

How was he able to galvanize the other forces to support his own research? My library Help Advanced Book Search. Latour argues that the triumph of the biologist and his methodology must be understood within the particular historical pxsteurization of competing social forces and conflicting interests.

Bruno Latour The Pasteurization Of France ( 1993)

Pasteur, Koch claims, generalized much too quickly: He then finds the same gonococcus latohr the mother’s wounds and in the puss discharging from the infants’s eyes. But in order to extirpate the microbe, we must place the representatives of the hygienists or Pasteurians everywhere. The network of gestures and skills that the hygienists wanted to set up had to be as continuous as an oil pipeline.


This movement of translation is enough for us. If someone bet a token and someone else immediately bet a hundred, how are we to understand the latiur of the second bettor? When anthrax was pandemic throughout Europe, the most powerful actor was microbes. He did everything; he regenerated, revolu- tionized, created the new medicine, pasteutization new biology, the new hygiene.

The Pasteurization of France – Bruno Latour – Google Books

Since anything might cause illness, it was necessary to act upon everything at once, but to Strong Microbes and Weak Hygienists 21 act everywhere is to act nowhere. The first marker of this closing operation is to be found in the Revue in In both cases Koch and Pasteur were sustained by a wave of trust, which they used as much as the patients used them.

The confidence in the “way laid down” by Pasteur must therefore derive from something other than the facts, hard facts. There are a number of reasons for believing that there is no better example than that of the revolution introduced into medicine, biology, and hygiene by the work of Louis Pasteur.

If we really wanted to explain history, we would have to accept the lesson that the actors themselves give us. By hybridizing the hygienists and the Pasteurians the power of both was increased. It requires a force to fetch it, seize upon it for its own motives, move it, and often transform it.

Tolstoy was right here, too. For Pasteur’s arguments in the Revue Scien- tifique were not exposed to sarcasm and doubt; they were seized on avidly and extrapolated well beyond the few results that he himself was defending. And the most powerful agent in the diffusion and translation of Pasteurism was hygienists. This book is about the complex networks among nature, science, and society, but to clarify the relation of forces, it is divided into two parts, as the French title alludes.

He imagined that he was fighting against a scientist, whereas he was fighting against someone who was already the spokesman, the figurehead, and the amplifier of an immense social movement that passionately wanted Pasteur to be right and therefore made sure that all his laboratory work proceeded with a “haste” and a “widespread application” that were truly “prodigious. Why lock people away when you let their infected linen escape?


Understandably, this reinforcement is enough to show why so many people were “led to believe” in the presence of microbes. Bruno LaTour was born in the French province of Burgundy, where his family has been making wine for many generations. This distinction between the two mechanisms is an essential one, because the strategies that it implemented were quite different and could vary in the same article.

The cities could not go on being death chambers and cesspools, the poor being wretched, ignorant, bug- ridden, contagious vagabonds. Only a non modern can use these concepts while investigating microbes and wars.

But in my reading, translation is about interests and intentions.

The Pasteurization of France by Bruno Latour

A particular remedy was new, but it might only be a method that would be superseded tomorrow. Even the human being is too narrow a field; they must concern themselves also with air, light, heat, water, and the soil Trelat: The first defines the “trials of strength”; the second enables us to explain what “po- tency” is made up of.

Sociologists of the sciences often claim to be providing a poUtical or social explanation of the content of a science, such as physics, mathematics, or biology. War and peace of microbes — Irreductions. You want to win the war? Materials and Methods 3 1. It is like a Swiss cheese, full of holes! Pasteur’s success depended upon a whole network of forces, Nowhere is the disproportion between that hygienist movement 24 War and Peace of Microbes and the “small group” of Pasteurians more clearly seen than in an article of on the hygiene exhibition in London.

Strong microbes and weak hygienists.