Pauls Stradins Museum for history of medicine

The International Exhibition "Guarding the Woman"

The annals of human history contain many dramatic stories about outstanding individuals who were not understood and appreciated during the course of their lives.  In some cases their discoveries and courageous ideas led to disfavour because of public obscurantism, biases or bans.

The international exhibition "Guarding the Woman" relates one such story.

As we approach the bicentennial of the popular Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis, the museum is offering a look at the dramatic life story of a man who was mocked, criticised, sacked from his job and driven into lunacy during the course of his life.  The exhibition speaks to why his discoveries were so important, also allowing visitors to learn about the fate of a man who energetically supported new solutions, but never managed to convince other medics from his generation despite his good intentions, convincing evidence and good results.  Many years had to pass before Semmelweis' ideas were adapted and put to use.  This required a new and all-encompassing theory about the origins of disease, and only then could the genius of the man be universally recognised.

The museum is thankful to the Hungarian Embassy in Latvia for its support in organising the exhibition, which features exhibits from the Semmelweis Museum of the History of Medicine in Budapest and the Pauls Stradiņš Museum of the History of Medicine in Rīga

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