Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station designated as a Milestones in Microbiology site

October 23, 2013

Washington, DC -- October 23, 2013 -- The Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station, site of Herbert William Conn's Research Laboratory at the Connecticut Agricultural College (later the University of Connecticut, Storrs) has been named a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). A dedication ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, 2013, at 4:30 pm EST in the University of Connecticut, Storrs Biology/Physics Building Foyer. The ASM Milestones in Microbiology program recognizes institutions and scientists that have made significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology.

A symposium, "H. W. Conn's Golden Age of Bacteriology Becomes the New Golden Age of Microbial Biology," precedes the dedication ceremony from 1:30 -- 4:30 pm. During the ceremony, Stanley Maloy, Past President of the ASM, will present an official Milestones in Microbiology plaque on behalf of the Society.

"Herbert Conn played a central role in our understanding of the importance of microbes in agriculture, and how they impact public health -- problems that remain as relevant today as when he worked on them over a hundred years ago," says Maloy. "And, he did not simply publish these discoveries in academic journals for other scientists, but he lucidly explained the importance of microbes to the public as well."

Herbert W. Conn's international fame in dairy bacteriology began during his tenure as the bacteriologist at the Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station on the campus of the Connecticut Agricultural College (1888-1906). His research on the formation of butter and the causes of milk spoilage led to advances in bacterial cultivation and dairy foodstuff production. His findings served as the basis for the "Butter Exhibition" at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, which allowed the public to taste flavors of butters made using different bacteria.

Starting in 1892, Conn served as "Lecturer on Dairy Bacteriology" at the Connecticut Agricultural College and so established the first formal instruction in Bacteriology at what was to become the University of Connecticut. After Conn stepped down from his instructional duties at the College in 1906, his laboratory assistant and former student William Esten continued in Conn's footsteps and became Professor of Dairy Bacteriology at the College.

Conn became a leading advocate for public health laws as a result of his work, and in 1905 was appointed Director of the new Connecticut State Board of Health Laboratory, one of the first such bodies in the United States. He founded the American Academy of Public Health, served on the New York Commission on Milk Standards, and was Director of the Cold Spring Harbor Biological Laboratory from 1889-1897. Conn was also an accomplished educator at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he founded the Biology Department and served as its head until his death in 1917.

While working at the Agricultural Station, Conn collaborated with Drs. A. C. Abbott (University of Pennsylvania) and E. O. Jordan (University of Chicago) to found the Society of American Bacteriologists (later the American Society for Microbiology). At the inaugural meeting of the Society held at Yale University in 1899, Conn presented research that reflected his achievements at the Station. His presentation, "Natural Varieties of Bacteria," included an exhibit of cultures of a highly variable Micrococcus which he had isolated from milk.

Conn wrote many important papers for professional scientific publications, and also wrote and lectured extensively for the general public about microbes, evolution and public health. His popular 1897 book The Story of Germ Life inspired Mark Twain's unfinished story, 3,000 Years Among the Microbes.
-end-
Previously designated Milestones in Microbiology sites include the Waksman Laboratory at Rutgers University; Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, California; the site of the University of Pennsylvania Laboratory of Hygiene; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; and the Microbial Diversity Course at Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole. For more information on these sites, visit http://www.asm.org/choma.

The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide. More information is available at http://www.asm.org.

American Society for Microbiology

Related Public Health Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 and the decolonization of Indigenous public health
Indigenous self-determination, leadership and knowledge have helped protect Indigenous communities in Canada during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and these principles should be incorporated into public health in future, argue the authors of a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.200852.

Public health consequences of policing homelessness
In a new study examining homelessness, researchers find that policy such a lifestyle has massive public health implications, making sleeping on the street even MORE unhealthy.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic likely to cause long-term health problems, Yale School of Public Health finds
The coronavirus pandemic's life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for many people--particularly those from vulnerable populations--a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

The Lancet Public Health: US modelling study estimates impact of school closures for COVID-19 on US health-care workforce and associated mortality
US policymakers considering physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 face a difficult trade-off between closing schools to reduce transmission and new cases, and potential health-care worker absenteeism due to additional childcare needs that could ultimately increase mortality from COVID-19, according to new modelling research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Access to identification documents reflecting gender identity may improve trans mental health
Results from a survey of over 20,000 American trans adults suggest that having access to identification documents which reflect their identified gender helps to improve their mental health and may reduce suicidal thoughts, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Study estimates mental health impact of welfare reform, Universal Credit, in Great Britain
The 2013 Universal Credit welfare reform appears to have led to an increase in the prevalence of psychological distress among unemployed recipients, according to a nationally representative study following more than 52,000 working-age individuals from England, Wales, and Scotland over nine years between 2009-2018, published as part of an issue of The Lancet Public Health journal on income and health.

BU researchers: Pornography is not a 'public health crisis'
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have written an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health special February issue arguing against the claim that pornography is a public health crisis, and explaining why such a claim actually endangers the health of the public.

The Lancet Public Health: Ageism linked to poorer health in older people in England
Ageism may be linked with poorer health in older people in England, according to an observational study of over 7,500 people aged over 50 published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Study: Public transportation use linked to better public health
Promoting robust public transportation systems may come with a bonus for public health -- lower obesity rates.

Read More: Public Health News and Public Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.