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Title: Dr Fleck Fighting Fleck Typhus
Contributor(s): Weisz, George M  (author)
Publication Date: 2010
DOI: 10.1177/0306312709348569
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Abstract: These comments contribute to the debate on Dr Ludwik Fleck, published in this journal in 2008, regarding his identification of typhus antigen in urine and its use in the preparation of a vaccine (Amsterdamska et al., 2008; Hedfors, 2008). As I understand it, Dr Fleck was on one side dismissed with various epithets and his research considered as poorly done, meaningless and with doubtful ethical value (Hedfors, 2007, 2008). It was alleged that Fleck had not created a workable vaccine and that his work had not led to any lasting or future benefit or drawn any followers. It was also my impression that his defenders (Amsterdamska et al., 2008) have accused his detractor of numerous inexact statements, illustrating serious shortcoming of historical scholarship and unsubstantiated accusations of participation in Nazi experiments. The debate is unpleasant to read, sought no common ground and had no satisfactory resolution. It is my wish to throw light from another angle on this debate and demonstrate a very positive outcome for humanity. The present commentary focuses on Fleck's scientific contributions while in the ghetto rather than on his wartime activities in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Can this 'academic' debate be clarified after so many years? Can Fleck's name be cleared and his work accepted as developing a useful hypothesis? A brief overview of Fleck's career might benefit readers who are less familiar with the specifics of this debate.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Social Studies of Science, 40(1), p. 145-153
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
Place of Publication: London, United Kingdom
ISSN: 1460-3659
Field of Research (FOR): 220205 History and Philosophy of Medicine
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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