Lessons from Biomedical Innovation during World War II

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1 Scopus citations


The United States developed penicillin and vaccines during World War II. The partnership of government, industry, and academe was crucial. In an essay, Vannevar Bush credited that partnership with the technological achievements that led to winning the war. The policies used to address the Covid-19 pandemic closely resemble how penicillin was developed, and similarly produced spectacular success in the form of RNA-based vaccines. But will today's politics of hyperpartisan vitriol and credit-mongering that pit industry against government and academe prevent carrying that success into the postpandemic era?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3
Number of pages1
JournalThe Hastings Center report
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021


  • Covid-19 vaccines
  • World War II
  • cooperation
  • government-industry-academia partnership
  • partisan politics
  • penicillin
  • vaccine distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy


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