Who was Alexander Fleming?
Alexander Fleming was a Scottish physician and microbiologist who is best known for the discovery of the antibiotic, Penicillin. This discovery in 1928 kickstarted the revolution in antibiotics, resulting in penicillin coming into use during World War Two, saving thousands of people’s lives.
Fleming’s achievement was recognised in 1944 when he was knighted and also in 1945 when he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, along with the Australian pathologist Howard Florey and German-born British biochemist Ernst Chain, both of whom isolated and purified penicillin.
For the last decade of his life, Fleming was respected universally for his discovery of penicillin and acted as a world ambassador for medicine and science. Initially a shy uncommunicative man and a poor lecturer, he blossomed under the attention he received, becoming one of the world’s best-known scientists.