Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Home Innovation Edward Jenner: The father of immunology

Edward Jenner: The father of immunology

Edward Jenner, creator of the world’s first vaccine, is said to have saved more lives through his work than anyone else. In the 18th century smallpox was widespread, killing eight out of ten children who caught the disease.

In 1796, testing the countryside folklore that milkmaids never caught smallpox, Jenner injected pus from the blisters on a milkmaid’s hand into the arm of eight-year-old James Phipps. This proved that contracting the relatively harmless cowpox provided immunity against the killer disease.

Jenner quickly saw that vaccination could annihilate smallpox, which he called “the most dreadful scourge of the human species”.

It was another 44 years before the UK Government provided free vaccination,  and a further century passed before Jenner’s solution was taken up worldwide.

This is one of a series of stories about the impact of new thinkers, installed on the walls of the Islington head office of Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network.

Kasper de Graaf
Kasper de Graaf
Kasper is a writer and producer with wide experience of innovation in cities, industry and institutions. He has delivered innovation schemes in Vancouver, Istanbul, London, Manchester, Glasgow and numerous other cities. Kasper led the South Bank IQ research study about innovation in South London and co-authored the study ‘Creating a Manchester Design Manifesto’ with Lou Cordwell. He is a director of the design group Images&Co and the arts and culture organisation 2NQ, a steering board Member of the UK Design Action Plan ( and vice-chair of the Finsbury Park Trust. He has produced Design Manchester’s annual public debate about design and society since 2014 and chaired it since 2018. [Photo: Jake Bernard]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Finsbury Park heritage programme concludes

In 2019-20, 2NQ – the community non-profit co-directed by Kasper de Graaf and Malcolm Garrett – delivered People + Heritage, a programme...

XR to creatives: “Stop toxic!”

We’ve been mesmerized by the COVID-19 pandemic for months. New problems have become apparent, but the old ones have not gone...

Safe Space: art for vulnerable adults in lockdown

Safe Space, a new art workshop programme for older or vulnerable adults and carers designed “for lockdown and beyond” is launching...

Observations in paint: “What procedures?”

Let's get this done Copyright © 2020 Simon Poulter What procedures? July 7, 2020

Recent Comments