8 min

Antibiotics 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

    • Business

In 1928 a young bacteriologist named Alexander Fleming failed to tidy up his petri dishes before going home to Scotland on holiday. On his return, he famously noticed that one dish had become mouldy in his absence, and the mould was killing the bacteria he’d used the dish to cultivate. It’s hard to overstate the impact of antibiotics on medicine, farming and the way we live. But, as Tim Harford explains, the story of antibiotics is a cautionary one. And unhelpful economic incentives are in large part to blame.



Producer: Ben Crighton

Editors: Richard Knight and Richard Vadon



(Image: Penicillin Fungi, Credit: Science Photo/Shutterstock)

In 1928 a young bacteriologist named Alexander Fleming failed to tidy up his petri dishes before going home to Scotland on holiday. On his return, he famously noticed that one dish had become mouldy in his absence, and the mould was killing the bacteria he’d used the dish to cultivate. It’s hard to overstate the impact of antibiotics on medicine, farming and the way we live. But, as Tim Harford explains, the story of antibiotics is a cautionary one. And unhelpful economic incentives are in large part to blame.



Producer: Ben Crighton

Editors: Richard Knight and Richard Vadon



(Image: Penicillin Fungi, Credit: Science Photo/Shutterstock)

8 min

Top Podcasts In Business

More by BBC