The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat: The Story of the Penicillin Miracle
3 journalers for this copy...
Many things surprised me:
• The difficulty of extraction, requiring a lot of work to obtain miniscule quantities of the antibiotic
• The constraints (both financial and logistical) that WWII put on the work, particularly the dangers of international travel
• The fact that Florey and his colleagues really did most of the work to isolate and develop penicillin, while Fleming got almost all the credit (including the Nobel Prize) for having first observed its bacteria-killing properties
• The fact that most of today’s pharmaceutical companies already existed in the 1940’s
Most of the book describes in detail the science behind the production of penicillin. I liked that not only the professional lives of the people involved, but also their personal lives were discussed. Towards the end a good number of pages are devoted to the question of credit for the discovery. Fleming was happy to take full credit and it fell to others to advance the notion that it was Florey and his team at Oxford that did the hard work. I know this happens a lot in scientific research and it raises the question of Discovery vs. Development.
Released for 2019 Keep Them Moving Challenge hosted by booklady331.
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created on the same level,
but the unfairness doesn't end there.