Seventy years ago this Fall, they did some of their best life-saving work, while sitting on their buns and probably nodding off !
It happened this way:
Dr Dawson's Manhattan Pilot project to grow 700 2-litre flasks worth of penicillium medium required a lot of permanent space; permanent space his practical and commonsensical bosses were unwilling to allocate to him.
Eventually he found if he put the flasks under the seats at Columbia P&S's famous teaching amphitheatre , the butts of the (mostly male) med students would provide enough heat to allow the penicillium mold to "hatch".
The thought of all those highly competitive, testosterone-driven studmuffins acting as brood hens , to birth the Era of Antibiotics seems an unlikely tale - but as in much of the Dawson saga, its all true....
"PHOTO OF MARTIN HENRY DAWSON"