Monday, September 6, 2010

Milton Wainwright's thesis on whining Oxford postdocs

Mea Culpa.

I admit it, I originally dissed Dr Wainwright's theory that much of the anti-Fleming abuse really came from a small group of Florey's Oxford post-docs, unable to accept that the world did not rise and set in Oxford.

But I have changed.

As I followed the letters of  Florey and Heatley vetching for four years that all penicillin - to be worthy of the name penicillin - must measure up to the OXFORD STANDARD, my Canadian hackles rose.

My grandmother came from the suburbs of Manchester Lancashire and my granddad from Petley Bridge in Yorkshire -- they never spoke OXFORD ENGLISH and they promptly moved to a country where that sort of nonsense never mattered.

To read Florey telling A.N. Richards to keep secret any differences between Oxford and American penicillin - as if strep bacteria cared a toss - is to see a citizen of a nation who has lost the financial war  still acting like they ruled the world, that George Washington had never won, and that they could still lay down the rules on how everyone was to speak and assay penicillin.

Read Milton Wainwright , particularly on Fleming - he says a lot of interesting things and raises a lot of interesting points...

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