Asking around, it's quite staggering how few people can recall why Joseph Lister was famous. That guy out of Red Dwarf? Country singer? For some reason, the pioneer of antiseptic and sometime Londoner seems to be fading into obscurity among the populous, while fellow medical heroes such as Fleming, Nightingale and Pasteur remain household names. Or maybe that's just among the kind of friends we keep. We're not really being scientific about this. Anyhow, it's about time we put Lister back in the listings.
A couple of events this week celebrate the life and work of the big man, revealing an eminent surgeon with a flair for the artistic. On Wednesday night, head to the Hunterian Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields for a lecture entitled Joseph Lister, surgeon and microscopist. Professor Harold Ellis will walk us through Lister's life, showing off rarely seen archive material including watercolour sketches and 10-feet long drawings of microbes. Prebook tickets for £5. The following day, art historian Caroline Babcock will talk visitors through Lister's anatomical drawings at the Strang Print Collection in UCL. To book a place on that, call the Hunterian Museum on 020 7869 6560 or email Caroline. For a hat-trick of Listerian fun, pop along to Portland Place any day of the week to find a bust of the mutton-chopped microbe masher.