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Science & Invention

Alexander Fleming

Alexander Fleming - Man of the Year 1943


This newspaper clipping heralds Fleming as Man of the Year for his discovery of penicillin. However, Fleming was very modest about his part in the development of penicillin, describing it as the 'Fleming Myth'. Indeed, after promising trials in the 1930s, he largely abandoned work on penicillin to scientists Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain at Oxford to research its mass-production, which was started in late 1941-early 1942. Nevertheless, without his groundbreaking work, none of the potential of penicillin in therapeutic use woud have been realised.

The Dick Institute
Digital Number:
East Ayrshire Council
Brown, Kevin (2004) Penicillin Man: Alexander Fleming and the Antibiotic Revolution. Stroud: Sutton.