Poster Session - History of Microbiology



The Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA) sponsored the inaugural History of Microbiology Poster Session at the American Society for Microbiology 2014 General Meeting (asm2014).  Since then, History Poster Sessions have been held at each successive annual meeting (meeting name changed to ASM Microbe in 2016).    


List of History of Microbiology Posters - 2017

List of History of Microbiology Posters - 2016 

List of History of Microbiology Posters - 2015

List of History of Microbiology Posters - 2014






(note - read "Guidelines for History Abstracts and Posters" below before proceeding to the abstract submission site)


Submission Category:

History abstracts will be accepted through Profession of Microbiology (POM) Track  


Criteria for Judging Abstract Submissions:

The CHOMA Abstract Review Sub-Committee will use a score sheet that emphasizes:

  • Consistency with the ASM poster guidelines (outlined on Microbe Meeting abstract submission website)
  • Relevance of topic to history of microbiology
  • Clarity and focus of topic
  • Richness, complexity and depth of analysis
  • Appropriateness of sources regarding interpretations
  • Originality of idea


Guidelines for ASM History of Microbiology Abstracts and Posters (POM Track):

History, like science, is neither a list nor a time-line. Instead, it is query-based analysis of a specific narrow event, discovery or technique. History of science is much the same as laboratory research:  it is testable and subject to revision and reanalysis. A History of Microbiology poster should be critical and inform us how knowledge was created using scientists, locations, benefactors, microbes or methods as agents to narrate a question or argument.


An effective History of Microbiology poster can present proprietary advances (techniques, tools, pharmaceuticals) or fundamental scientific advances. The specific contributions to government, industry, or academia must be presented as a balanced critique and analysis. In each instance, scientists will find it most helpful to query an on-site historian or special collections archivist, who will be aware of the rich resources associated with corporate, academic, or government institutions.


For example, a study of a view of an historical advance in developing a new anti-microbial product would be contextualized around a question or argument. Such a study can focus on an individual, a product, or a technique while addressing alternative points-of-view and breaking new ground in our understanding of an event. History of microbiology, however, is not a summary of known events, a rehashing of accumulated information (e. g., the number of influenza cases in 2010 vs. 1960), or a dogmatic approach to discovery-based outcomes.


An effective history of microbiology research poster will attract and keep an audience's attention by being intriguing and straightforward with a mix of text and images.*  For this, as is also the case for science posters, an effective history of science poster is**: 

  • Focused on a single message.
  • Graphic: let the graphs and images tell the story, reduce the text as much as possible.
  • Ordered: keep the sequence or narrative well-ordered and obvious.


An acceptable abstract for the History of Microbiology poster session will meet one of more of the following expectations:  

  • address a specific problem or correct a misconception  
  • have a stated hypothesis, appropriate historical data, and an original analysis  
  • present new biographical information with a fresh, compelling analysis


******Please note that literature reviews without specific analysis will NOT be accepted******


*   Portions of the above text are from "Research Posters" from the University Writing Center at Texas A&M University (, with permission of Prof. Valerie Balester.

** These points emphasized by George Hess in his YouTube video and the associated web-site by Hess, Tosney, and Liegel (2014). This information can be accessed from the following links:; and, the accompanying web site on creating effective poster presentations,


Additional Resources:


Topic Area: 

When submitting an abstract, you will be asked to indicate a general topic area – choose “Profession of Microbiology (POM)" or "History of Microbiology.” 


Abstract Submission:

General ASM guidelines on posters and abstract submission available on the 2016 Microbe Meeting website:  Coming Soon



Abstract Submission Site: 


(note - read "Guidelines for History Abstracts and Posters" above before proceeding to the abstract submission site)


Any Questions? 

Contact Jeff Karr, ASM Archivist at   or