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January 18, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(3):180. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480030038008

One of Pasteur's principles was never to state or publish as a definite scientific fact any proposition not absolutely proven. Such a principle is worthy of adoption by all, but especially by those who assume to be, or are recognized as, authorities on some particular subject. In his address before the London Congress on Tuberculosis, Prof. Koch took exactly opposite views as regards transmissibility of bovine tuberculosis to man from what he was supposed to have held previously. This supposition he claimed was not true and said: "Even in my first circumstantial publication on the etiology of tuberculosis I expressed myself regarding the identity of human tuberculosis and bovine tuberculosis with reserve. Proved facts, which would have enabled me to sharply distinguish these two forms of the disease, were not then at my disposal, but sure proofs of their absolute identity were equally undiscoverable, and I therefore had to leave