History KS3 / GCSE: Fleming, Florey and Chain

An engaging animated summary of the work of medical pioneers Alexander Fleming, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain.

Using authentic archival photographs and illustrations this summary immerses pupils into accounts of pioneering experimentation.

Outlining key events that lead to the discovery and later mass production of penicillin; revisiting Pasteur's germ theory, we see a progression of medical understanding through overcoming specific problems such as the resistance of staphylococcus to magic bullet cures.

Seen alongside scientist’s current battle with the resilience of MRSA against modern antibiotic treatments, this process of scientific discovery is linked to the present.

It also encourages pupils to pick out key factors which led to the mass production of antibiotics; such as chance, individual brilliance and advancements in technology.

Narrated by actor and impressionist Duncan Wisbey, the pace is quick, humourous and tone irreverent.

This is from the series: Medicine through time

Teacher Notes

This could be used to discuss what key elements were in place to allow the spread of penicillin use across the wider population, and why were they important.

Pupils could consider the influence of war, increased government spending, chance, individual brilliance and huge advancements in technology.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching KS3 and KS4/GCSE History in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4 History in Scotland.

This topic appears in OCR, AQA, WJEC in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA Scotland.

More from Medicine Through Time:

History KS3 / GCSE: Lister and Simpson
History KS3 / GCSE: Vesalius, Paré and Harvey
History KS3 / GCSE: 19th Century Medicine
History KS3 / GCSE: Chadwick and Snow
History KS3 / GCSE: 18th Century Medicine
History KS3 / GCSE: Medieval Medicine
History KS3 / GCSE: 16th and 17th Century Medicine
History KS3 / GCSE: Pasteur and Koch
History KS3 / GCSE: Modern Medicine