Lister’s great contribution to medicine was the concept of antisepsis. Inspired by Pasteur’s recommendations for combating bacterial invasion (by heating, filtering and treating with chemicals), Lister experimented with carbolic acid and published his results in 1967. He next demonstrated that wound suppuration could be prevented or reduced by the use of antiseptics, emphasizing the importance of operating in a clean environment with clean hands and surgical instruments. His persistent efforts to control surgical infection made him one of the great surgeons in history.