As it turns 100, the MRC National Institute for Medical Research has a lot to be proud of, not least some of its contributions to both World Wars. Here Julie Clayton, author of a new history of the institute, looks back on Tommy Work and the unusual role he played in preventing the spread of infectious disease in WWII.
It was the sneeze that was seen throughout the UK ― in a government poster campaign during World War II that warned against the spread of infectious organisms. The man whose nasal droplets dispersed so well was Tommy Work, a biochemist at the MRC’s National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), who found the whole episode highly embarrassing.
This photograph has come to light during a search of the NIMR’s archives for a celebration of the institute’s centenary in 2014, and is published in a book of the institute’s history, A Century of Science for Health. Read more