When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer, … But I guess that was exactly what I did.
It is the lone worker who makes the first advance in a subject: the details may be worked out by a team, but the prime idea is due to the enterprise, thought, and perception of an individual.
One sometimes finds what one is not looking for.
I have been trying to point out that in our lives chance may have an astonishing influence and, if I may offer advice to the young laboratory worker, it would be this—never neglect an extraordinary appearance or happening. It may be—usually is, in fact—a false alarm that leads to nothing, but may on the other hand be the clue provided by fate to lead you to some important advance.
If penicillin can cure those that are ill, Spanish sherry can bring the dead back to life.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- B. H. Liddell Hart English Military Journalist, Historian
- Arthur Eddington English Astronomer
- Winston Churchill British Head of State
- Peter Medawar British Immunologist, Writer
- Alexis Carrel American Surgeon
- Alfred North Whitehead English Mathematician, Philosopher
- Thomas Henry Huxley English Biologist
- Ernest Rutherford New Zealand-born Physicist
- J. B. Priestley British Novelist, Playwright, Essayist
- Raymond Chandler American Novelist