Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/126

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.
118
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

the act of Congress of March 3, 1887, to make investigations in Brazil, Mexico, and Cuba relating to the etiology and prevention of yellow fever; by special request of the health officer of the port of New York and the advisory committee of the New York Chamber of Commerce as consulting bacteriologist to the health officer of the port of New York in 1892; and he was a delegate to the International Medical Congress in Moscow in 1897.

Dr. Sternberg has contributed largely to the literature of scientific medicine from the results of his observations and experiments which he has made in these various spheres of duty.

His most fruitful researches have been made in the field of bacteriology and infectious diseases. He has enjoyed the rare advantage in pursuing these studies of having the material for his experiments close at hand in the course of his regular work, and of watching, we might say habitually, the progress of such diseases as yellow fever as it normally went on in the course of Nature. Of the quality of his bacteriological work, the writer of a biography in Red Cross Notes, reprinted in the North American Medical Review, goes so far as to say that "when the overzeal of enthusiasts shall have passed away, and the story of bacteriology in the nineteenth century is written up, it will probably be found that the chief who brought light out of darkness was George M. Sternberg. He was noted not so much for his brilliant discoveries, but rather for his exact methods of investigation, for his clear statements of the results of experimental data, for his enormous labors toward the perfection and simplification of technique, and finally for his services in the practical application of the truths taught by the science. His early labors in bacteriology were made with apparatus and under conditions that were crude enough." His work in this department is certainly among the most important that has been done. Its value has been freely acknowledged everywhere, it has given him a world-wide fame, and it has added to the credit of American science. The reviewer in Nature (June 22, 1893) of his Manual of Bacteriology, which was published in 1892, while a little disposed to criticise the fullness and large size of the book, describes it as "the latest, the largest, and, let us add, the most complete manual of bacteriology which has yet appeared in the English language. The volume combines in itself not only an account of such facts as are already established in the science from a morphological, chemical, and pathological point of view, discussions on such abstruse subjects as susceptibility and immunity, and also full details of the means by which these results have been obtained, and practical directions for the carrying on of laboratory