The recent article on Antibiotic Resistance by Richard Stein in ABT (August 2011) attributes a rather astounding achievement to Louis Pasteur—the discovery of penicillin in 1928. This achievement is all the more significant considering it occurred over three decades after Pasteur's death in 1895. Although Pasteur left an impressive legacy of scientific contributions in several fields—crystallography, bacteriology, germ theory, and vaccination—his work in posthumous discovery science is not well documented.

A more conventional account would credit the discovery of penicillin ("mould juice") to Sir Alexander Fleming and his untidy lab work. Interestingly enough, Pasteur's passing and Fleming's accidental discovery occurred on the same date—September 28th; two events separated by exactly 33 years.