History of Microbiology at the asm2013 General Meeting



2013 General Meeting Activities Sponsored by the Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA) Committee


113th ASM General Meeting
Denver, CO
May 18-21, 2013


2013 History of Microbiology Lecture: 

Accomplishments and Legacy of the Soviet Biological Weapons Program, 1928-1992  

Raymond A. Zilinskas
Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA


The session’s main objective is to describe and explain the Soviet Union’s biological warfare (BW) program as directed against humans, from its origins in the late 1920s to the USSR’s dissolution in December 1991, paying special attention to its accomplishments related to weaponized bacterial and viral pathogens. The session will also clarify the possible threats that the program’s remnants, as lodged in present day Russian Ministry of Defense’s secret biological research institutes, pose to world peace.



2013 CHOMA History Symposium: 

Early Microbe Hunters Overcoming Biases and Barriers  

The earliest microbiologists were nearly all men with roots in European culture. Nevertheless, from its earliest years, microbiology has attracted many remarkable women and minorities who had to overcome unusual hurdles in order to become professionals. Nowadays we work to attract and retain diverse populations into scientific careers. By studying the history of our profession and by examining the motivations, experiences and educational paths that allowed pioneer “outsider” microbiologists to overcome the biases and barriers inherent in the culture of microbiology, we can learn lessons that can be applied to contemporary recruitment and retention efforts. We can also learn the significance of diversity in advancing microbiology.



Joan W. Bennett, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Marian Johnson-Thompson, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC



Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology

Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities

Underrepresented Members Committee



1.  How Fungi Brought Me to a Brighter Future

Arturo Casadevall, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY



2.  Long Before a Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology, There Was A. C. Evans

Lorraine A. Findlay, Nassau County Community College and University Medical Center, Garden City, NY



3.  Putting a New Face on the ASM Presidency

Clifford W. Houston, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX



4.  Motivations and Mind Sets of “Model Minorities”  

Alice S. Huang, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA



5.  Role Models of the Past: William Hinton, Ruth Moore and Others

Marian Johnson-Thompson, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC




History of Microbiology Exhibit:

Alice Catherine Evans (1881-1975), the First Woman to Serve as President of the Society of American Bacteriologists (now ASM)

The Center for the History of Microbiology / ASM Archives (CHOMA) Exhibit explores the long, successful (and sometimes contentious) career of Alice Catherine Evans (1881-1975), the first woman to serve as President of the Society of American Bacteriologists (now ASM), who made substantial contributions to dairy and medical bacteriology.  For more information on this exhibit, contact the ASM Archivist at jkarr@asmusa.org

Click Here for Slide Show of Exhibit MaterialsAlice Evans - First Woman President of ASM (formerly SAB) - Slide Show




For questions about CHOMA activities or to suggest future Lecture and Symposia topics, contact ASM Archivist at jkarr@asmusa.org