Short Stories: Rejecting the Fathers of Hand Washing and Rocketry (Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis & Dr. Robert Goddard)

Did you know in the late 1800s, doctors didn’t wash their hands between procedures? When Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis – an obstetrician in Vienna – realized women in his hospital were dying at staggering rates, he implemented staff-wide mandatory hand washing. Maternal death rates dropped by 90%. But doctors weren’t happy. Semmelweis was called "crazy," told his idea was superstitious, not scientific.

75 years later, Dr. Robert Goddard – an American professor of physics – published a report via the Smithsonian theorizing that, one day, a rocket could reach the moon. A New York Times editorial was published the very next morning slamming Dr. Goddard – writing that the professor lacked the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.

Join us this week for an unusual one: Rejecting two pioneers in science – the fathers of hand washing and rocketry – Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis and Dr. Robert Goddard.

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