Illustration of Antiseptic surgery

1865 Antiseptic surgery

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Joseph Lister medicine Illustration of Antiseptic surgery

Antiseptic surgery

Joseph Lister put two and two together realized Runge’s carbolic acid would kill Pasteur’s microorganisms and had surgeons for the first time wash their hands and clean their instruments to reduce post-surgical infections.


Television news; political horse-races. Advertisements, bluster, obfuscation. Obeying orders; doing what you’re told. Drinking too much, ____ing too much. Letting experts take care of things. Giving up after the first failure. Thinking it doesn’t matter.


Loose lips lose lives. Knowledge is power. What do you know?

Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge was the first to identify caffeine, coal-tar dyes, a precursor of quinine, and carbolic acid. Runge derived carbolic acid from coal tar, which was confused with creosote, known to protect wood from rotting. Therefore, Joseph Lister used carbolic acid to sterilize surgical gauze.

Listerine was named after Joseph Lister.

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