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"Alexander Fleming"
Alexander Fleming
Amy Hetzel
Who in your opinion was the most important individual in the 20th Century?

Throughout the 20th Century there have been a number of significant personalities who with their attributes have changed the course of history for the benefit or destruction of humankind. Prominent individuals have significantly contributed to society through many fields, ranging from science and technology to politics and human rights. Alexander Fleming was one of the most important scientists in the medical world whose actions changed the course of history through his scientific breakthrough. Through years of sacrificial work, Fleming discovered Penicillin - the first antibiotic in medical history that has saved millions of lives worldwide.

Alexander Fleming's extraordinary medical voyage commenced in 1901, when his uncle died leaving him an inheritance of £250. This inheritance enabled him to receive medical education and training at St Mary's hospital. Great interest had not led him to the medical field but rather his brother's persuasion to become a doctor as well as an opportunity to leave his tedious job "...he had no burning enthusiasm for medicine but it offered an escape..."1. In 1906, after graduating from St Mary's hospital he was greatly influenced by John Freeman to continue and work as an bacteriological research assistant. Initially, Fleming intended to succeed as a surgeon qualifying in 1909, however he was extremely committed to research and therefore pursued a career in bacteriology.

The experience of WWI compelled Fleming's continued dedication and pursuit of a miracle drug that would prove essential, in the combat of infectious diseases. He served in France as a Captain in the Army Medical Corps, primarily treating wounded soldiers. Fleming's battlefront experience had proven to him that simple infections were deadly, and soon he realised that there had to be an antibacterial substance that would kill harmful bacteria without harming human tissues....

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