Professor Derek Linton of the HWS history faculty will deliver the annual Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecture at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 4 in Coxe 8. His topic will be “Diphtheria Serum and the Making of ‘Big Medicine’: Logic, Chance, Politics and Profit.” The public is invited.
Linton is the author of “Emil von Behring: Infectious Disease, Immunology, Serum Therapy,” the first major English-language biography of Behring, who won the first Nobel Prize in Medicine, in 1901 for diphtheria antitoxin serum. Linton received the John Frederick Lewis Award from the American Philosophical Society for his book.
In his lecture, Linton will deal with some broad issues raised in this book, including the complex relations that developed among the chemical industry, academic research institutes and government support and funding sources. Historical figures including Robert Koch, Paul Ehrlich and their rivals at the Pasteur Institute will figure in the talk as well.
Linton, who joined the HWS faculty in 1984, holds a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Princeton University.
The Geneva Chapter of Sigma Xi is made up of scientists from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and Hobart and William Smith Colleges, who seek to promote scientific discourse among themselves and among the public in the Finger Lakes communities, and engage in science outreach activities in the local school systems.