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A great discovery, great in the sense of discovering a fundamental principle or a fact profoundly modifying existing theories or hypotheses, is not infrequently found to be of most value, from the purely utilitarian standpoint, in some branch of science, or some art, other than that in which it was primarily made. One of the most striking examples of this statement is to be found in the history of what has become bacteriology. Pasteur was seeking for the cause of fermentation, and more particularly the fermentation of grape juice; yet his discovery has revolutionized the practice of surgery and almost transformed the practice of medicine.
Admitting that science and many of the useful arts have profited largely by the discovery of Pasteur and the researches of subsequent investigators the fact remains, and I think will not be disputed, that society has been most benefited through the influence of the discovery
JONES PM. X-RAYS AND X-RAY DIAGNOSIS. JAMA. 1897;XXIX(19):945–949. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440450017002b
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