My grandfather used to keep all sorts of things in the trunk of his car: Fishing gear, duct tape, aluminum foil, a large chain, a defused WWII hand grenade. When we asked why he squirreled away such a random assortment of items, he would shrug and say, "Just in case."
That, in a nutshell, is why we should never destroy the smallpox virus. Just in case we need it someday.
Dr. Alex B. Berezow is the editor of RealClearScience and co-host of the RealClearScience podcast. He is also the co-author of Science Left Behind. His articles have appeared in CNN, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New Scientist, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, and The Economist, among other publications.