Saturday, February 27, 2021

Saturday, February 27, 2021 Virologist Maurice Hilleman and His Vaccines

I recently listened to the Radio Lab podcast below about Maurice Hilleman.  If you don't recognize the name, he was credited with creating vaccines for 9 diseases and saving around 8 million people EVERY YEAR, enough to actually add TEN years to Human life expectancy globally, one science writer said.  Many think he was the most important scientist in medicine in the 20th Century.  And behind his achievements is an interesting character, a personal story.

What caught my attention was the gap between his accomplishments, the impact and relevance of his work, and his apparent lack of prominence in public memory.  I had never even heard of him.  I thought that was kind of amazing, especially with recent attention on virology and vaccines.   Was I just ignorant (a real possibility)?  Or is he relatively unknown?