Thursday, October 31, 2013

The very smallest Manhattan Project improved the lives of ten billion people

That is an awful lot of us , being positively affected by so few of them.

Many people today would like to do something to make our world a better place but are overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible odds against having any visible effect.

Take heart !

There was never more than three other people at a time involved with Dr Martin Henry Dawson in his five year long quest to bring forth  'penicillin for all'.

His tiny project had no government grants grants nor much enthusiastic institutional support from his own university.

 Even Dawson's immediate bosses opposed his efforts - but this was nothing to the resistance he got from the Anglo-American medical establishment.

That medical establishment was firmly enmeshed within the wartime governments of "win the war at all costs (to human rights)" FDR and Churchill.

Dawson himself was dying the whole time of his quest.

Dying of a particularly debilitating disease (Myasthenia Gravis , MG) , well before the days when patients with it could expect to make their way through semi-normal days.

Remember this was during a war that saw both sides mentally dividing the world into those worthy and those unworthy of life-saving food and medicine.

"Penicillin for all" fitted into neither side's plans.

Yet this dying doctor and his ragtag team , dismissed as '4Fs,Women and the Grace of God', took on the war's two biggest wartime governments - and won.

How ?

Well for a start, but only for a start, while Dawson was very quiet man (he oozed non-charisma in the land of the alpha male scientist !) he was also equally very stubborn.

Very,very, stubborn in a quiet 'head down' sort of way.

But in the end, he indeed proved that we individuals can even reverse course of the biggest stars in the human heavens .... if only we're stubborn enough.

Leni and Adolf won't have approved of his ends, but Dawson's enduring legacy of "inexpensive penicillin for all" was a signal triumph, indeed, of sheer human willpower......

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