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May 10, 1947

The Background of Infectious Diseases in Man

JAMA. 1947;134(2):216. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880190104035

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It is a pleasure to find a professional scientist who has a sense for the meaning of his science. It is an error to believe that this is common. Professor Burnet goes a long way toward conveying the conviction that he is one of them.

In a small volume containing lectures he gave in 1945 at the University of Sydney (Australia) he has ranged his way of looking at and of apprehending the problems to which understanding infectious diseases gives rise with men like Theobald Smith. For scientists of this rank it is important to become clear on the place which the agents of such diseases occupy in the scheme of natural things. Nor does he, or they, forget the significance of human physiology in conceptions of infection. It is refreshing furthermore to observe his management of the tools of his trade, as is indicated in his reference to statistics,

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