Monday, January 6, 2014

World over Word : Penicillin's twelve lost years end with an (applied) ampoule , not an (theoretical) article ...

(Martin) Henry Dawson left no private papers, so his biography must be one of deeds not words.

It actually suits the man : he was a natural history type scientist, not a natural philosophy type.

He lived in the material world , not in the thrusting scientific elite's world of verbal jabs and written rhetorical skills.

No airey castles in Spain, only down to earth reality.

Dawson didn't earn our undying gratitude by writing academic papers about penicillin's potential, writing research grants about penicillin's potential or talking up penicillin's potential .

He merely, swiftly and silently,  stuck a needle full of the stuff he had made himself because Big Pharma won't , into a dying man and thereby ended penicillin's dozen years of drought.

No life has ever been saved by a peer-reviewed article alone - it takes hard work and real medicine at the end of a a real needle to do that.

Admire , if you must , Nobel Prize winning Alexander Fleming's verbal skills in publicly dismissing penicillin's use as a lifesaving agent for 14 wasted years.

But also  honour Dawson's silent skill in proving him wrong, by saving Charlie Aronson's life, 75 years ago next year ....

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