With the hindsight of 75 years on, for the Modern Age 1945 turned out to be "the best of times and the worst of times" , its apogee and its nadir.
The triumph of the biggest Manhattan Project : America's exclusive patent on the ability to synthesize and destroy the atomic building blocks of reality, seemed to demonstrate how potentially profitable the total control of Nature could be.
By contrast, the smallest Manhattan Project seemed a throwback to an earlier age.
It went back to Nature and to the penicillium mold to provide a medical miracle and then compounded this affront to the modern ethos by inclusively and cheaply offering it to all : to the poor, to the tired and to the huddled.
But if exclusivity and the synthetic were the hallmark of the Modern Age, our present age always seeks the greatest possible inclusivity and much prefers the natural over the artificial.
Perhaps then, in one of history's frequent ironies, 1945's smallest Manhattan Project turned out to have had the biggest impact after all......
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