When I use a word . . . . Medical blue plaques—penicillin

English Heritage has recently announced their decision to start putting up blue plaques in areas outside of London. The first plaque outside London, placed in 2024 in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, commemorates Daphne Steele, the first black nursing matron in the NHS. This move by English Heritage is to address the imbalance in the number of blue plaques dedicated to women. Other organizations, such as the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board, have been putting up plaques outside London for years, including ones related to the development of penicillin. The plaques in Oxford celebrate the work of key figures like Dorothy Hodgkin and Norman Heatley in the discovery and development of penicillin.

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