In 1847 Ignaz Semmelweis showed that the washing of hands in a chlorinated lime solution reduced the incidences of death in surgery.
It conflicted with the established orthodoxy at the time and he was ridiculed for it. It took over 25 years before Surgeons started to wash their hands before Surgery. In the meantime countless unlamented people died at the hands of dirty Surgeons who thought they knew better.
It led rise to a term – the ‘Semmelweis reflex’ – a metaphor for a certain type of human behaviour characterized by reflex-like rejection of new knowledge because it contradicts entrenched norms, beliefs or paradigms.
How many unlamented individuals are to die due to the Semmelweis Reflex in economics?