SOMETIMES, to achieve broad cultural immortality, it’s less what you made your name in — and much more what you put your name on.
That is why, in the wider world beyond the lab, Robert Bunsen’s name burns so bright. And if anyone understands the conditions for how our culture behaves (and mutates), it’s Julius Richard Petri.
For Petri, immortality is a dish best served with his invention.
As a man of science and bacteria and hygiene, Petri wrote nearly 150 papers, many emerging out of his work with tuberculosis patients. Yet the reason most of the planet knows his name nearly a century after his death is more shallow.
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