Howard Florey

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Sir Alexander Fleming,  discoverer of penicillin, studying  mould cultures at  his laboratory  in London. Photograph:   Peter Purdy/BIPs/Getty Images

Serendipity is unplanned fortunate discovery and occurs commonly in scientific discovery and product invention. It has played a prominent part in the (...)

The British microbiologist Alexander Fleming, who received the Nobel Prize in 1945 for his  discovery of penicillin in 1928. Photograph: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

The discovery of penicillin instigated one of history’s greatest medical advances, and our archives reveal that Irish scientists, seaweed harvesters, (...)