Or rather, most doctors dismissed him as a madman. At his own clinic, the students adopted the new handwashing regime. Maternal fatality rates dropped dramatically. Semmelweis presented this evidence to the world. Again, his findings were rejected. When his term as clinic director ended, he wasn’t re-hired. He returned to his native Budapest, where he had to ask around even for poorly paid work (he eventually became professor of obstetrics at the University of Pest). He wrote a book on his research, hoping that, with all the data and arguments assembled, others would see what he saw. The book received poor reviews. He was portrayed as a man in the grip of an obsession, a man who wouldn’t stop talking about dying women… More here.

Well worth reading. Thanks to Kirk.

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