Rudolf Virchow Gives a Speech on the Occasion of his Eightieth Birthday (October 12, 1901)
Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) was one of the most famous German scientists of the Wilhelmine era. He is credited with discovering leukemia and formulating the theory that cells originate from other cells (Omnis cellula e cellula). He was one of the pioneers of social medicine, contending that individual health could only be improved through the advancement of the well-being of the entire population. As a leader of the left-liberal Progressive Party, he opposed many of Bismarck’s policies and became a critic of the Anti-Semitic right in the 1890s. Here, Virchow gives a speech to an audience of well-wishers who have assembled at Berlin University on the occasion of his 80th birthday.