The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat: The Story of the Penicillin Miracle
--Simon Winchester, The New York Times
Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin in his London laboratory in 1928 and its eventual development as the first antibiotic by a team at Oxford University headed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain in 1942 led t ...more
Thus I was drawn to this book - by Eric Lax, a fascinating true tale of the discovery of this wonder antibiotic. I'm always fascinating with books about the discovery of something - and this book rewards the reader with a marvelous story ...more
I am now a huge Florey fan as well ;-) what an interesting portrait of a little-known man of science.
Eric Lax, biographer of Woody Allen and Paul Newman, tells a riveting tale of the uncelebrated in The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat. Critics generally praise his focus on the personalities behind the science, especially his treatment of Heatley, a heretofore-anonymous chemist who was passed over for the 1945 Nobel Prize won by Fleming, Florey, and Ernst Chain. Reviewers disagree about Lax's balance between hard scientific information and personal history; a few critics wished for more science at the...more
Intriguing story, that give due to those scientists whose invaluable work transformed penicillin into a usable antibiotic. History has credited Alexander Fleming with the discovery, but has neglected to elevate those scientists who actually figured out the secrets of how to turn the antibiotic properties of the mold into a usable drug.
The story's dram ...more
Bottom line, my boss gave it to me ...more
I picked this up because I was interested in the science. I had to wade through a lot of passages about Alexander Fleming's athletic prowess, Howard Florey's marriage problems and Ernst Chains' personality issues.
Still, a very well researched book on a critical human discovery.