My daughter Alice is a student in High School. One of the prescribed courses is General Science. The section on Bacteria left her with a vague impression of a world teeming with deadly germs awaiting an opportunity to infect mankind. It seems probable that this malignant conception of bacteria is very generally held. In reality civilization owes much to the microbe.
(Quoted in Albert J. Kluyver ' s article, Unity and diversity in the metabolism of micro-organisms, in 1924)