Seminar Abstract

DATE:  Friday, May 03, 2019
TIME:  2:30 pm (refreshments at 2:15 pm)
PLACE: ENR building, room 223
       14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ

Craig Phelps
Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University

Sophronia's Gardens: Teaching Microbiology in the Progressive Age

Microbiology was just coming of age as a science at the turn of the last century. At the same time, a progressive social and political movement was trying to improve the daily lives of the general public. The new discipline of Home Economics was one way that the two came together. I will be discussing how one author, S. Maria Elliott, showed how the important aspects of germ theory, public health, and environmental microbiology could be taught to the general public. Her book, "Household Bacteriology" (1904), contained "hands-on" activities such as growing "Dust Gardens" that made this new science accessible to some of the people who could most benefit from it.