Jonas Salk on Humanity's Greatest Responsibility

"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors."

Jonas Salk on Humanity's Greatest Responsibility

Jonas Salk (1914-1995) was the American medical researcher who developed the first polio vaccine in the mid-1950s. Exceptional in his degree of altruism, Salk famously told journalist Edward Murrow that he sought no patent for the vaccine, equating the thought to patenting the sun. While polio was a devastating, worldwide affliction in the early 1950s, today there are only three countries in which the disease is endemic.


"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors."

-Jonas Salk, as quoted in Learning from the Future : Competitive Foresight Scenarios (1998) by Liam Fahey and Robert M. Randall, p. 332. (h/t Wikiquote)

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