The conclusion takes stock of the variety of scientific practices and
performances that animated the meetings of nineteenth-century medical
societies. It identifies a process of growing autonomy of the medical
sciences as a connecting thread. It also highlights how societies met a need
for deliberation and debate among physicians, and acted as spaces where
scientific standards could be set and imposed. This need for a broader basis
did not disappear with the advent of professionalized science, the book
concludes, but was articulated in new ways in the twentieth century.