Article ID: CBB000932414

Merlin Pryce (1902--1976) and Penicillin: An Abiding Mystery (2002)


Wyn Jones, Emyr (Author)
Wyn Jones, Gareth (Author)

Volume: 8, no. 2
Issue: 2
Pages: 6-25

In the scientific and medical pantheon few have received more adulation and honour than Sir Alexander Fleming. Even so it is abundantly clear that his triumphant discovery of penicillin owed much to the work of others, especially Florey and Chain, who accomplished the difficult task of taking penicillin from the test tube to patient.This essay does not attempt a detailed re-examination of that discovery. Rather the present study suggests that even the initial observation on that critical day in September 1928 and its subsequent ramifications were even more complex and perplexing than the accepted version. It is likely that Professor Daniel Merlin Pryce, a somewhat unconventional but gifted son of the Welsh mining valleys played an important, quite possibly a crucial, role in that original observation. However one which, except for a very few occasions, he himself sought to downplay, even virtually to deny.

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Authors & Contributors
Shama, Gilbert
Bud, Robert
Copeland, Samantha Marie
Gershon, Ariel
Wainwright, Milton
Tillman, Caitlin
History and Technology
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Perspectives on Science
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Palgrave Macmillan
Oxford University Press
Imperial College Press
Greenwood Publishing Group
Discovery in medicine
Narcotics and drugs
Fleming, Alexander
Falk, Leslie A. (Epstein)
Waksman, Selman Abraham
Rous, Fancis Peyton
Noble, Edward Clark
Florey, Howard
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century
United States
Baltimore (Maryland, U.S.)
United Nations relief and rehabilitation administration (UNRRA)
St. John's University (New York)
World Health Organization (WHO)
Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research
Oxford University

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