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Posts tagged ‘World War II’

Behind the picture: Sneezing for Britain

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.

(Image credit: MRC NIMR)

(Image copyright: MRC NIMR)

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