Lennard Bickel


It wouldn't be for years after that fateful day when Alexander Fleming sneezed on a petri dish and stumbled upon Penicillin, that the almost miraculous power of this mould would transform the lives of every person on the planet. In Florey, The Man Who Made Penicillin we follow the life of Howard Walter Florey, who worked tirelessly for years with his dedicated team at Oxford to realise the potential of not only penicillin, but also the huge breadth of 'tailor made' antibiotics. Born in Australia, Florey left Adelaide for Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship after graduating in medicine, seeking a career in medical science. In a time when an infection from a thorn scratch could lead to a long and painful death, and meningitis, rheumatic fever, venereal disease and other bacterial infections had meant certain doom, the idea of an antibiotic that could treat all of these afflictions was almost unimaginable. In the aftermath of WW1, when septicaemia and gas gangrene had claimed the lives of so many young men, the need for antibiotics had never been keener. First published in 1972, Florey, the Man Who Made Penicillin tracks Florey's battle with funding, the many set-backs and limitations of his equipment and public opinion, and the fascinating journey that led humankind to Penicillin. Whist Fleming got the lion's share of the credit, it was Florey who truly gave the world Penicillin.
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