Do you ever think back to your school days, and the things you thought back then?
I can still see the blackboard and what was written on it, in a history class when we were studying World War I and II.
I can still hear the thoughts and questions in my brain, which went something like this: “If history is so cut and dried as our textbooks make out, why did the German soldiers relentlessly pursue the fight?” “What is it, that makes ‘two sides’ in a war?” “Why are history books mostly written by the victor?” “What is the story of the other side?” “What is the difference between what we now call a ‘freedom fighter’ and what was once considered ‘the enemy’?”
The various books by Reinhold Eggers provide a german glimpse into the other side.
There is no country on earth which doesn’t have history written by the victor, with only a passing thought being paid to the “other” story.
What relevance is this to science?
It’s often the untold story which is the most important one. Because of necessity, medical history is written by the victors to justify their own actions, and hide their sins from the view.
Medical History has an articulated truck full of it’s own skeletons, and what gets written is determined by them. While they scuttle past in a hurry, events like Semmelweis, (because it suits them to create the impression of some transparency) you will find it difficult to read the real stories behind Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Pillemer and Major Byron L. Bennett in any official medical history. But anyone who knows the real story of Major Byron L. Bennett, will know the answer to the question, “Why was Jonas Salk denied a place in the Academy of Science’s Hall of Fame?”
Yes, there is much they keep silent in the vault called “No Fishing”