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Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station designated as a Milestones in Microbiology site
Date:10/23/2013

on Dairy Bacteriology" at the Connecticut Agricultural College and so established the first formal instruction in Bacteriology at what was to become the University of Connecticut. After Conn stepped down from his instructional duties at the College in 1906, his laboratory assistant and former student William Esten continued in Conn's footsteps and became Professor of Dairy Bacteriology at the College.

Conn became a leading advocate for public health laws as a result of his work, and in 1905 was appointed Director of the new Connecticut State Board of Health Laboratory, one of the first such bodies in the United States. He founded the American Academy of Public Health, served on the New York Commission on Milk Standards, and was Director of the Cold Spring Harbor Biological Laboratory from 1889-1897. Conn was also an accomplished educator at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he founded the Biology Department and served as its head until his death in 1917.

While working at the Agricultural Station, Conn collaborated with Drs. A. C. Abbott (University of Pennsylvania) and E. O. Jordan (University of Chicago) to found the Society of American Bacteriologists (later the American Society for Microbiology). At the inaugural meeting of the Society held at Yale University in 1899, Conn presented research that reflected his achievements at the Station. His presentation, "Natural Varieties of Bacteria," included an exhibit of cultures of a highly variable Micrococcus which he had isolated from milk.

Conn wrote many important papers for professional scientific publications, and also wrote and lectured extensively for the general public about microbes, evolution and public health. His popular 1897 book The Story of Germ Life inspired Mark Twain's unfinished story, 3,000 Years Among the Microbes.


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Contact: Garth Hogan
ghogan@asmusa.org
202-942-9389
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert  

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