Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Irony : the smallest Manhattan Project has had the biggest impact in making our world better

If size truly mattered (the bigger the better), then the smallest of the wartime Manhattan projects wouldn't matter.

But it doesn't and so it did (matter).

The inclusive delivery of cheap, safe, non-patented natural penicillin was the biggest single improvement that the world saw in the 20th century.

Not primarily because of penicillin's life-saving abilities, awesome as they were and remain.

It is more from the fact that wartime penicillin was so successfully and so surprisingly converted from its intended use as a scarce, patented, expensive, exclusive-to-the-Allied-troops-only medicine by a tiny ragtag group of "acting-up" civilians and doctors.

Wartime penicillin was turned into something that was mass produced cheaply from non-patented natural penicillin for all the wartime world to benefit from : friend and foe, civilian and soldier, those judged 'worthy' and those judge  'unworthy' of life alike.

The 'inclusively of all life' was the finest legacy that the smallest Manhattan Project left for us.

Henry Dawson had intended it to combat wartime medical eugenics at home and in Germany.

But later his example was used time and again to combat any future possible attempts  to go down the deadly eugenic medical route.

The biggest Manhattan Project was all about exclusivity and secrecy - even claiming that mere unspoken thoughts about nuclear energy were born secret and were the exclusive property of the American government.

But what main stream politician today dares aim for majority government by running on a platform of race, gender, class and eugenic exclusivity ?

This then is Henry Dawson's true legacy and the tiny size of his project matters not a jot or tittle .....

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