The Microbiology Society, previously named the Society for General Microbiology, was formally established in February 1945, with Sir Alexander Fleming elected as its first President. Find out more about our history using the timeline below, reading Fifty Years On by John Postgate or viewing the profiles on current and previous Presidents of the Society.
Celebrating 75 years
A history of the Microbiology Society
The Microbiology Society, previously named the Society for General Microbiology, was formally established in February 1945, with Sir Alexander Fleming becoming its first President. Now in our 75th anniversary year, we look back on how the Society was formed and other milestones that have led us to become one of the largest microbiology societies in Europe with a worldwide membership based in universities, industry, hospitals, research institutes and schools.
Find out about the many eminent presidents throughout the Society's history.
The foundation of the Microbiology Society was laid in 1943 at the Annual General Meeting at the Society for Applied Microbiology. It was decided that the time had come to promote the advancement of microbiology by forming a Society that would provide common meeting ground for those working in the various specialised fields. Learn more about the key individuals who helped to shape its foundation here.
Fifty Years On
Find out more about the history of the Microbiology Society from Fifty Years On, by John Postgate.
Microbiology 75: Celebrate our past, influence our future
In 2022, Microbiology, our founding journal, will celebrate 75 years since publishing its first articles. We are excited to mark this milestone with a series of activities throughout the anniversary year which celebrate our past and look forward to our future.
75th anniversary: Fleming Showcase Archive Exhibition
Explore a unique selection of archive items in our Fleming Exhibition, put together in collaboration with Public Health England’s National Collection of Type Cultures team.
75th Anniversary: Microbiology Images
We welcome images of your science, of nature, of people, places and events that will inspire, inform and demonstrate how the study of microbes helps us to understand our world and our place within it.
75th Anniversary: A Sustainable Future
Our ‘A Sustainable Future’ project aimed to demonstrate how microbiology can help to achieve the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.
75th anniversary: Microbiology Book Club
Inspired by Professor Jo Verran's Bad Bugs Book Club the Society has launched a project to encourage the microbiology community to get together and discuss microbiology in literature.