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Dr. Gu Nianmao (East China Normal University): Robert Koch and the Dissemination of Bacteria Knowledge in Elementary and Middle School Health Textbooks in the Republic of China

Wednesday, February 7, 2024, 14 Uhr c.t. at China Centre Tübingen (CCT)

Abstract Since the end of the Qing Dynasty, educational reforms have given rise to new health curricula. Primary and secondary school health curricula have been popular in China for more than thirty years, witnessing the rapid rise of the health textbook publishing market and the widespread dissemination of modern Western medical knowledge in China. Health textbooks have followed the Western medical knowledge system, adopted a categorical and reductive knowledge structure, and reprinted a large number of homogenized textbooks, which means that the market for new health textbooks is ripe. The chapters on bacteria and infectious diseases in health textbooks featured the image of Robert Koch as a health hero, the visualization of bacteria and the microscopes and medical laboratories behind them, which had a significant impact on the dissemination of knowledge about bacteria. Increased awareness of the importance of health, school health campaigns and health curricula led to the creation of a wide range of health books during the Republican period, further expanding the market for health education materials. With the convergence of the print market, school education, and the social hygiene movement, modern Western medical knowledge, represented by the knowledge of bacteria, achieved an unprecedented penetration into the daily lives of Chinese people, and Robert Koch became a famous medical scientist and a role model in the hearts of a generation of primary and secondary school students.

Hybrid event:

China Centre Tübingen (CCT), Hintere Grabenstr. 26, 72070 Tübingen
Zoom Meeting, ID: 944 2415 3682, Passcode: 908228