Friday, January 4, 2013

Penicillin : a bunch of biologists who put all their faith in chemistry vs two chemists who put all their faith in biology

In the Alice Through the Looking Glass world of wartime penicillin it should hardly be surprising that about the only strong supporters of natural ,biological, penicillin in the upper echelons of the overall enterprise were two professional chemists : Larry Elder of the American Office for Production Research and Development (the OPRD) and Harry Jephcott of the British drug company, Glaxo.

Or that the group most strongly bewitched by the thought of synthetic penicillin were a bunch of medical doctors with Howard Florey and Alexander Fleming leading the charge (with the OSRD and MRC close behind): the sort of scientists who might have been thought would normally occupy a place at the biological end of  hard science.....

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