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NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lord Joseph Lister (1827-1912) the English surgeon who pioneered the use of antiseptic conditions in surgery. He knew of Pasteur's research into diseases caused by microorganisms and it occurred to him to attempt to prevent post-operative infection, which frequently killed patients who underwent surgery, by treating wounds with carbolic acid (phenol) and thereby killing any germs present. The results were excellent and despite initial resistance the practice of antiseptic surgery soon became accepted. In 1885 he became president of the Royal Society.
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