Talk:Jonas Salk

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Live vs Inactivated[edit]

Updated this section a bit. Since polio has been eliminted in most of the world, and inactivated vaccine is recommended in countries without the disease, as there is a very low (but not zero) chance of causing polio with the live vaccine, particularly in children with HIV or other immune compromised states.Pustelnik 12:33, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Article too timid[edit]

So the section on "Controversy" includes the part about Julius Youngner and Roger Revelle. That's fine as far as it goes. There's always going to be professional jealousy. And someone who's exceptional on technical skills may be merely average on social skills, and may not do a very good job thanking people publically.

But, the real controversy might be the standards of the times for "informed consent" for the 1950s, and add to this that polio was a dread disease and people were afraid of it to a greater extent than the actual odds and the actual probability might indicate that they should be afraid of it. So it might be a role of a doctor, in real informed consent, to counsel caution with a new vaccine. Not that Jonas did anything different than any other doctor was doing, or that the medical establishment itself was doing. But he may not have done anything particularly better either. Medicine was still following the paternalistic, and at times the authoritarian model. It was still decades away from bringing the people in, calling upon the strength of the people and all that modern management stuff (which doesn't always work, nothing always works, and is often indifferently tried).

Okay, some numbers: "The worst polio epidemic year in America, 1952, saw 57,000 cases with 3,145 deaths and roughly 20,000 cases of permanent paralysis that could be mild to severe. That same year, by comparison, 24,000 people died of tuberculosis and 46,000 died of pneumonia and flu. In single years earlier in the century, diphtheria, whooping cough, scarlet fever, and even measles had each caused more death and disability." VACCINE: THE CONTROVERSIAL STORY OF MEDICINE'S GREATEST LIFESAVER, Arthur Allen, Norton, 2007, p. 169.

Please understand, I am not saying we should only work on the worst problem of the moment and abandon everything else. You can actually accomplish a lot by pursuing what's genuinely interesting to you. What I am arguing is that each of us, and all of us together can accomplish more, in the long run, and in the short term, if we practice an I-Thou ethics, and get good at leveling with people, at telling them truth in a measured dose that they can understand, at engaging them in a conversation, and so on. Or perhaps not. Some people seem to believe that we could not have made the progress in vaccines that we made if we had practiced anything like modern ethics in the early days. Maybe. I would say that this is a very good topic for inclusion in the article's "Controversy" section.

Also, polio was a "blameless" disease. It struck with frightening unpredictability rich and poor alike. Something like tuberculosis back then might have been viewed the way we view AIDS today. Some people really hung up on blame, other people with a nagging suspicion that the victim had taken too many risks or had not taken good enough care of their health, maybe only a third of people able to practice real 'buddhist'-like compassion. I'm 44 years old. What I can remember very well myself is the 1970s. I can go back and read about the '60s and understand. With the 50s less of this sense of feel. So I don't know for sure how things were perceived in the 1950s. And regarding people who get AIDS, people who get it through sex are doing what are of us do, which is to pursue sexual partners and sexual activities interesting to us (maybe I should put an (s) after partner, I tend to be naturally monogomous, but not everyone is). Sex is part of being human. (And real sex ed, I wish it helped high school kids recognize positive energy, and negative energy, and if it's positive energy, you might want to go with it. If you can say 'Yes' in a meaningful way, you can also say 'No' and vice-versa.)

In fact, the book VACCINE, like many writers have done, attributes a lot of FDR's resiliency and optimism and connection to the common citizen to his struggles with polio. The book quotes one of his sons, "Then he got polio and he was determined to defeat it, and he worked 7 years and he never defeated it! That was a great lesson. It made him far more sympathetic to other people's problems." (p. 164)

Well, it seems like there's a lot of other ways of developing sympathy besides getting so severely sick!

So, I think some of this would make for interesting addition to the main article. FriendlyRiverOtter 00:10, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree, much of it reads like a promotional brochure and relies too heavily on quotes from the same biography. One of the most pointed examples is the section stating "Who would take the risk?" author Dennis Denenberg asked. "Dr. Jonas Salk did ... along with his wife and children, who also allowed themselves to be human guinea pigs." Yet there was no mention of the dozens of uninformed children Salk chose to test the vaccine on before he administered it to his own family. I have added this information, but still find a neutrality problem with the wording of the section. (talk) 17:22, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Your phrasing in the article is somewhat misleading, I think. You added, "Prior to Salk's family receiving the vaccine it was tested on several children without their implicit consent." However, children in general in 1952, especially if mentally handicapped, hospitalized, or had parents, would not have been asked for their consent. The phrasing implies that such consent was possibly the norm, but the source you added implies the opposite. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 22:30, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
No more so than the previous sentences that imply that Salk & his family risked their lives taking a vaccine previously untested on humans. I suppose a sentence could be added noting that the lack of consent was normal for the time, but it does not change the validity of the original statement. My issue is with over glorifying the risk he took and under representing the people who took the more substantial risk. Salk made a choice to test the vaccine, these children did not. The fawning tone of the entire article is misleading in itself. (talk) 15:38, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Roger Revelle[edit]

that guy is pretty mean.

  • It appears that Revelle harbored some professional envy over the vast fame that Salk had. T.E. Goodwin 03:23, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

He is one of the person, whom I admire. I know nothing of his personality or character, but what he has achieved for the humanity is marvellous.

Humanist? Who decided to name his religion here?[edit]

Salk was born to Jewish parents. He should be considered Jewish. He may have harbored "humanist" philosophical ideas and concepts but his religion was Judaism by birthright. T.E. Goodwin 03:20, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

A person is whatever religion they self-identify with. Also, "Jewish" seems to be used interchangeably for "religion" and "ethnic group", e.g. it is possible for someone to be ethnically Jewish yet an atheist. As far as Salk is concerned, here's a ref that says he was a Humanist: [1] but another that says he was Jewish: [2] so I'm going to mark the article with a 'fact' tag. -- Limulus 00:30, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Why Russian-Jewish?[edit]

Why is Jonas Salk's religion mentioned? And where is the evidence for his theological beliefs?

It does not appear to be the norm (or in any way relevant) in Wikipedia to mention a scientist's religion in the introduction. James Clerk Maxwell for example is not listed as a British-Christian.

It would be nice to have some consistency. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:16, 5 May 2007 (UTC).

Judaism is a race as well as a religion -- even Jews themselves would confess. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

"Confess"??? Tvoz |talk 23:04, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Many of us from that background do not consider ourselves "Russian", especially as we were excluded from the mainstream of Russian life by the Tsars (see Pale of Settlement). "Russian-Jewish" is a descriptive explaining an origin in the Slavic subgroup of the Jewish cultural set. -- DrGaellon (talk | contribs) 21:54, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

This is a biographical piece, and biographies often, even usually, include the subject's religious background and/or ethnicity. Salk was Jewish, and we should say so. See Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and lots of others, for example. Tvoz |talk 23:04, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

All three of those individuals are Jewish... Henri Poincaré, Friedrich Engels, and Carl Jung do not receive the same treatment. This is common and can give the appearance of Jewish bias, though I suspect the matter is simply related to the ambiguity between Jewish as ethnicity vs Jewish as religion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:07, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Factual errors[edit]

I am Jonas Salk's eldest son, Peter. The article contains numerous small errors, which I have not turned attention towards correcting. However, on September 19, 2006, I edited the page to correct my mother's maiden name, which was not "Calfin" (I have no idea who might have entered that name, or where it came from). I have revisited the article for the first time since then, and found "Calfin" restored in the text, as well as several other new pieces of incorrect information. I have just now corrected two obvious ones: (1) my father's work with Tommy Francis in the 1930's and 1940's was on an influenza vaccine, not an AIDS vaccine; (2) my father did not inject me with an experimental AIDS vaccine, and I don't believe that Merck "purchased the experimental antibody" (there are better historical details that could be added on this subject). I have no experience with WikiPedia, so I don't know how to keep errors from being returned to the articles; and, for whatever reason, my 9/19/06 edits don't show up in the History section. Perhaps I will spend more time on another occasion to correct other errors in the text. 00:04, 10 May 2007 (UTC)Peter Salk

The whole point of a wiki is that it can be edited by anyone at any time. If a statement is not referenced, it is frequently subject to change by anyone who comes along. You can't prevent errors from being introduced, short of protecting the article, which is counter to Wikipedia's goal and purpose. I don't know why your earlier edits would be gone from the history. All I can suggest is that you mark the page for watching, and check it from time to time to ensure your corrections have not been erroneously reverted. --DrGaellon (talk | contribs) 22:05, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
The name "Calfin" was introduced on 14 February 2006 by an anonymous user at IP This same user made several vandalistic changes to the article that day - this one, being subtle, was not reverted and was perpetuated by later editors who didn't know any better. --DrGaellon (talk | contribs) 22:23, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Plasmid DNA?[edit]

The article states "The Salk vaccine was based upon plasmid DNA. " While plasmid DNA may be present. the vaccine in no causal way involved DNA. Rather the vaccine relied on triggering a human immunoresponse to viral proteins while simultaneously not infecting the human based on the attenuated state of the virus. I have added a 'citation needed' pending any welcome discussion on this issue.-- (talk) 16:18, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

level of protection[edit]

The Albert Sabin article states that the Salk vaccine prevented the neurological complications but not the initial intestinal infection (which presumably means that someone who received the Salk vaccine could still transmit the disease). Is this correct? If so it should be mentioned in this article, and if not it should be fixed in the other. KarlM 06:09, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Which Medical School?[edit]

He received a medical degree from the College of Medicine at New York University in June 1939.

While attending NY Medical College, he shot two lectures that would change his life forever.

Did he attend the New York University School of Medicine, or New York Medical College? They are not the same! --DrGaellon (talk | contribs) 22:05, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Other web sources indicate it was NYU; I have corrected the article to reflect this. --DrGaellon (talk | contribs) 22:16, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Is all the talk about anti-jewish bias really important in this section? There are likely countless reasons that any individual may or may not attend a given school, unless it is something significant and unique to them (like explicitly being denied access on account of being Jewish), it doesn't seem important to include. Also, behind the conclusions about the Yale numbers is flawed. Maybe the majority of the students were legacies and the reminder was evenly divided? Maybe Jewish family place more emphasis on education, resulting in a less qualified candidates overreaching? There are many explanations and none of them have anything to do with Salk. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:14, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Nobel Prize of Physiolgy and Medicine Question[edit]

I think the article should also mention that he never won the Nobel Prize of Physiology and Medicine, despite being nominated and one of the great physicians of the 20 th century. (talk) 17:54, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

This article adresses the issue of why he never won the Nobel Prize of Physiology and Medicine. [3] (talk) 23:48, 29 July 2009 (UTC)


I've edited this section to mention that despite what the historian might have stated, it was Isabel Morgan who first proved a killed or inactive virus could prevent polio. Her bust is rightly one of the 15 at the Polio Hall of Fame. This does not detract from the work of Salk, it merely states the factual. I've left the previous statements and references intact and added a single sentence with a link to the Wiki page about Isabel Morgan. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:32, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

The "Biography" section has the following: "Salk developed, tested and refined the first successful killed-virus polio vaccine, using inactive (dead) poliovirus cells that were injected into the body." This may be misleading. A virus is not alive. Therefore, it cannot be killed or be dead.Lestrade (talk) 00:35, 22 November 2008 (UTC)Lestrade

I'm afraid that's a matter of opinion. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 00:41, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

We can put a man on the moon but we can't tell whether a virus is alive?Lestrade (talk) 00:44, 22 November 2008 (UTC)Lestrade

It's a question of definition, rather than of technology. I notice that our article, virus, makes no comment as to whether viruses (virii?) are alive. Our article virus notes: Opinions differ on whether viruses are a form of life, or organic structures that interact with living organisms. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:01, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

This is science? It is 2008 and we can't make up our minds whether a virus is a form of life or a mere mechanism. People who are looking for information in a Wikipedia article may be somewhat disappointed. It's no small matter. If a virus is alive, it can be killed. If it is a mere mechanism, it can be dealt with accordingly and all attempts to kill it would be futile.Lestrade (talk) 01:12, 22 November 2008 (UTC)Lestrade

Please note that this topic is related to the turning–point of Salk's life. We read, in the article: "In the first lecture, we were told that it was possible to immunize against diphtheria and tetanus by the use of a chemically treated toxin [to kill it]... In the very next lecture, we were told that in order to immunize against a virus disease it was necessary to go through the experience of infection. It was not possible to kill the virus." Salk was told that the virus must be killed in order for it to be used as a vaccine. Then he was told, contradictorily, that the virus must be alive in order to be used as a vaccine. When presented with a virus, he was not told that opinions vary as to whether it is alive or dead. Can anyone tell the difference between a dead organic virus and an unmoving inorganic mechanism? This issue is one of the most important in the article.Lestrade (talk) 01:22, 23 November 2008 (UTC)Lestrade


An IP added the unsourced "honor" that the Weezer song My Name is Jonas was written about Jonas Salk and also added this to the song's article. I see absolutely no evidence that this is true, nor does it make any sense when you read the lyrics, so I have deleted it. If anyone finds a legitimate source, please post it here on Talk. Tvoz/talk 03:20, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Academy of Achievements Source[edit]

In the wikipedia article, Jonas Salk is quoted to have said, in the Academy of Achievements article (, "As a child I was not interested in human anatomy." But in the actual Academy of Achievements website that the quote is sourced from, he actually says, "As a child I was not interested in science." I changed, "human anatomy" to "science", but it was reverted back. Am I missing something? Where does the "human anatomy" part come from, when the source clearly says "science"? -Danny —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:29, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I have to agree with Danny here - read the source and watch the accompanying video clip. He clearly says "science" not "human anatomy". If someone has a better source, please post it here on Talk. Tvoz/talk 00:48, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Filling in the gaps[edit]

The bio seems to have a lot of gaps that I might try to fill in with sourced information. I don't think I'll need to remove much except for some redundant facts. Any suggestions on my edits are welcome. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 02:19, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I think, there are a number of redundant facts - for an article on Jonas Salk. All the information on the history of polio can be fund in the main article poliomyelitis, there is also a List of polio survivors on en Wiki. I recommend shortening the article and use links to these main articles. For Salk's bio the information contained in Oshinsky is quite sufficient.--Hans (talk) 07:27, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes I agree the article is needlessly bloated. Wikifan12345 (talk) 07:29, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Suggest posting specific sections or paragraphs before replacing with links. IMO, the polio-related material is of a general historical nature, and is a reasonable intro to the disease for the bio. As a percentage of the bio, the material about polio and the vaccine are still a small ratio of the full article and allows a typical reader to read the article without being forced to other articles to makes sense of the topics. Having to read the article about poliomyelitis and polio vaccine, both being very technical, will not add to readability, IMO.
Sources that seem unnecessary or redundant should be posted before deleting as different sources can give a better perspective. Some authors, for instance, write from the perspective of the disease while others write about the vaccine discovery; others focus on the vaccine's effect on society. One source will write about Salk and his early life, and later news sources take the perspective of the general public. Obviously they all overlap to some degree and redundancy is unavoidable, but if the redundancy is mostly due to a different perspective, it may still be beneficial to average readers. But editing for clarity is always useful. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 19:12, 20 July 2009 (UTC)


It is not clear to me what the dates mean: Jonas Salk (October 28, 1914 – June 23, 1928)???!!! Zghajos (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 03:18, 15 May 2009 (UTC).

It means someone had nothing better to do that to vandalize the page. Salk's date of death is June 23, 1995. Thank you for pointing out the vandalism. Tvoz/talk 03:21, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Feedback welcome[edit]

There's an ongoing discussion here about whether the image of Salk on a commemorative stamp can be kept in the article. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 18:23, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

More Edits by Family[edit]

Please see "Factual errors" section above for background, which I initiated on 10 May 2007. I am continuing with some further edits.

My father's mother, Dora, immigrated to the U.S. from Minsk (then in Russia, now in Belarus) along with her parents and 6 siblings. My father's father, Daniel, was born in the U.S. His parents immigrated to the U.S. from Vilkomir, Lithuania (which I believe at that time was part of Russia). Daniel had 5 siblings. I have made several changes accordingly.

The current version of the article says "Annual epidemics were increasingly devastating, and by 1952 it was killing more juveniles than any other communicable disease, with over 300,000 cases and 58,000 deaths, most of them children, reported that year." The Wikipedia article on Polio says "In the United States, the 1952 polio epidemic became the worst outbreak in the nation's history. Of nearly 58,000 cases reported that year 3,145 died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis.[82]" The citation ("[82]") is "Zamula E (1991). 'A New Challenge for Former Polio Patients'. FDA Consumer 25 (5): 21–5." I have not gone back to other sources, but my memory is that other infectious diseases were responsible for more deaths than was polio. I have made changes accordingly.

My father had no interest in pursuing a patent on the vaccine, although the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis had initially and routinely explored the feasibility of patenting one or more of the production processes. I have modified the text to conform to my understanding of that history.

I have deleted the reference to an uncle named "Bruno", as that name is unknown to me. My father had 11 aunts and uncles, which I'm not sure it is important to mention.

Queens was not the "final stop" for the family in New York. I have not yet determined whether the family spent several years in Far Rockaway or Rockaway Beach, or whether they only spent time there during the summers.

The number of cases of polio and the number of deaths cited in the "Joining fight against polio" section seem way off: "According to historian James Olson, 'during the 1950s, polio reached epidemic proportions. More than 150,000 cases were reported in 1950, and that number jumped to nearly 300,000 in 1952,' with 58,000 deaths." I have therefore deleted that part of the text and have substituted the data cited in the Wikipedia article on polio previously referenced.

Basil O'Connor was President of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis from 1938-1972 (information obtained from David Rose, the archivist at the March of Dimes). I have therefore deleted the word "acting" from "acting president" in the section on Basil O'Connor.

I have edited the section on the AIDS vaccine work based on my personal knowledge of that project. More could be said, but this edit should suffice for now.

I have twice previously removed the erroneous surname "Calfin" in the Personal life section (in 2006 and 2007: see the "Factual errors" section, above). My mother's name was Donna Lindsay until she married my father. If someone genuinely believes that her name was "Calfin", I would be grateful to hear from that person.

There are other relatively minor edits that I have made but not flagged here.

--PLS (talk) 22:28, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for updating and correcting details. It looks like there were some overlapping total counts referring to U.S. cases and estimated cases worldwide. The figures you changed for the U.S. match the sources, but because polio is still a global problem, especially in less-developed countries which have current epidemics (i.e. Pakistan and India), global estimates are also good to have. One source, "A Summer Plague: Polio and Its Survivors" by Tony Gould, p. 224, estimated 300,000 cases per year just in India, 10 years ago, for example. I think the 300,000 total that was in the lead was a global estimate but seemed to refer to U.S. cases.
P.S. If you have any work-related photos you can upload to Wikipedia Commons as public domain, that would be helpful. BTW, is that photo of you getting a shot? --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 23:46, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments. I can't put further time into this now, but please feel free to make whatever changes in the article are necessary to reflect the global impact of the disease.

I'll keep in mind looking for suitable photos for the Commons, though I'm not sure what there might be that is not protected by institutional ownership.

The person getting a shot is the second son, Darrell. I'm not sure what the long-term fate of that photo will be, as it belongs to the March of Dimes and I don't believe it is in the public domain (the March of Dimes is and was not a U.S. Government entity). I would be saddened by the additional loss of photos in the article (I know that there has been some attrition of late), but that may be the way of the world just now.

--PLS (talk) 00:19, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Almost all of press-related news photos, organization photos, etc. might fit one of the below categories so they could still be public domain. Rarely were these types of news and publicity photos renewed. Photos taken from 1950 on can even be checked for renewal online, since they would've needed to have a renewal filed 28 years later, and the online search covers back to 1978: copyright search.
    • {{PD-Pre1978}} — for images published in the United States prior to 1978 without explicit notice of "copyright, year, owner" or "©" attached.
    • {{PD-Pre1964}} — for images published in the United States prior to 1964 for which copyright was not renewed within 28 years of the date of publication.

--Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 02:15, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the information and the further edits you have done (which I've only skimmed). I notice that the hyperlink for "Queens" is no longer displayed in the first paragraph of the "Early Life" section. I tried entering a space before the double brackets (which may have been lost in my earlier edit), but that didn't seem to restore the link. I don't know what is involved in fixing things, so I thought I would just bring this to your attention.

PLS (talk) 16:11, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Easy repair for Queens as it's the default location. If you see any other areas that need improvement, let us know. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 21:26, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the repair. Here's a question about photos. I have a photographer friend who has taken a photo of the bust of my father in the Polio Hall of Fame that I think might look better on the site than the existing one. (Among other things, I believe that the busts were cleaned up not long before the newer photo was taken.) If she is willing either to release the photo into the public domain or to release a reduced size image (suitable for use on your site) (however the mechanics of such things work), how would she get the photo to you? She could (if she were willing) send a file to you and you could use your judgement as to whether it would be a suitable replacement for the existing photo. --PLS (talk) 05:47, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Adding photos[edit]

Hi Peter. The Wiki Commons, where public domain images get uploaded, doesn't have an easy way to handle the legality for third party uploads so it would need to be uploaded by the photographer, with assistance if needed. Resolution size is up to her and there's no size limit. A photo of around 600 pixels wide is fine - it's too small to print from but large on the screen. Here's a quick walk through to upload:

Go to the main Commons page:

The person owning the photos would need to register with a User name and password.

1. Click on "Upload file" along left side

2. Click "It is entirely my own work"

A fill-in form window will then open:

3. Local filename: find the file in your computer

4. Destination filename: this will automatically duplicate the file name above, but you can rename the file to something descriptive.

5. Author: this will automatically fill in the user name

6. Date: date photo taken (or if already published, that date (approximate)

7. Description: brief description of who, what, and where. Adding personal names is optional but this form can be revised at any time.

8. Licensing: select from the drop-down list - choose "CC-BY-SA-3.0 and GFDL (recommended)"

The other form spaces are optional

9. Final step: Click "Upload file" (or "Preview" first)

To place the file in the article you'll need to see how some others are done. In any case, I'd be happy to review and add the image.

Speaking of photos, if you have ownership of any of the Salk Institute, including outdoor, indoor lab shots, people at work, father at work, etc. a photo might go well in the Insitute section of the article. Let me know if you run into any problems. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 08:35, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Response to "Adding photos"[edit]

Thanks for the information. I've made the suggestion that my friend consider the use of her photo in the article; I will let you know what I hear back.

Some questions:

1. The photograph is of a bust created by someone else. Would such a photograph therefore be a "derivative work" and not elible for upload (as per the instructions in Step 1 on the "Upload your own work" page)? How would such a situation be handled? I don't know if the copyright to the original work (the bust) is held by the artist or by the institution where the work is displayed (the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation).

2. What does "CC-BY-SA-3.0 and GFDL" mean? The term may be defined somewhere on the Wikimedia site, but I didn't come across it on a quick (and perhaps not very careful) skim.

I don't think that I have any personal photos of the Institute that would work for the site (at least that immediately come to mind). At some point along the way I might check with the Institute to see if there is a photo they would be willing to share.

--PLS (talk) 23:38, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

My understanding is that all "original" photographs are protected under copyright to the photographer. The copyright only extends to the photo, not the object photographed. The copyright holder of the sculpture only has rights to the sculpture, not any photos, drawings, paintings, etc. So any photo of almost anything, except maybe another photo, is "original." And in the case of a photo of a sculpture, you're creating a 2D image from a 3D object so it's not even considered "derivative," but automatically 100% original.
As for the abbreviations, I'll point you to some explanations. I always focused on the word "recommended" for my uploads and never went into depth about the differences. That could be more for professionals than casual photographers.
Detailed explanations are below:
Hope that helps a bit. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 00:47, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Photo Research[edit]

I've been working on tracking down the original source of the "Thank you, Dr. Salk," photo. If I can find the source and it is in the public domain, or if not, the copyright holder is willing to allow it, can we keep the photo on the page?Malke 2010 (talk) 19:42, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Cutter Incident[edit]

Shouldn't the Cutter Incident be included here? It seems so obvious that I'm wondering if the issue has already been discussed and archived. Bruce Swanson 16:22, 6 April 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by BruceSwanson (talkcontribs)

Too much detail on CCNY and on the Polio Vaccine in general[edit]

There is way too much detail on CCNY, with numerous quotes from Oshinsky. It is important to remember that this is not the article on CCNY or on the Polio Vaccine. There are other articles for that. This is the article on Jonas Salk. I will edit this article to fit its subject unless people object. --Crunch (talk) 03:11, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

I would also add that too much reliance is placed on a single source, the book by Oshinsky. While this book contains some useful information, it also has many flaws, for example, the age of Salk at his death is mis-stated. Also, the line about "Queens being the final stop" was taken directly from the Olshinky book. This article needs a complete rewrite with more emphasis on the life of Jonas Salk, less on peripheral institutions and less emphasis on one reference. --Crunch (talk) 15:39, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Shunning of Colleagues[edit]

Why is there no mention in this article of Salk's failure to acknowledge the contributions of the other members of the polio vaccine team at Pitt when he announced the vaccine's success at Michigan on April 12, 1955? This is a significant part of the story of Salk's involvement in the polio vaccine. It is well-documented and should be included. --Crunch (talk) 04:18, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Russian Inventor?[edit]

Why is Salk listed in the category Russian inventors? His parents were Russian immigrants. He was born in America. He was not Russian. --Crunch (talk) 15:35, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

No replies? I've deleted it. --Crunch (talk) 13:27, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I have also replaced the Russian inventors category with the category American inventors. --Crunch (talk) 13:30, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect name/Poorly Written[edit]

I think someone edited this:

David Oshinsky writes that her father, Elmer Lindsay, "a wealthy Manhattan dentist, viewed Salk as a social inferior, several cuts below Donna's former suitors." Eventually, her father agreed to the marriage on two conditions: first, Salk must wait until he could be listed as an official M.D. on the wedding invitations, and second, he must improve his "rather pedestrian status" by giving himself a middle name."[5]

While it should say Donna Lindsay, the part following that doesn't make much sense in the context it is written and might need to be cleaned up. view —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:52, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Can you be more specific about how it should be cleaned up? Or, you could just do it yourself. --Crunch (talk) 14:54, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

This is hagiography[edit]

The worshipful and uncritical tone of this piece, while entirely consistent with Salk's celebrity status during his lifetime, is inappropriate for Wikipedia. It is reminiscent of other Wikipedia pages where the only people who care about the subject are fans (or family members). A balanced treatment of Salk and his vaccine would not do his reputation any great harm, but it would give naive readers a more accurate picture of his standing in medicine and science (where he was definitely no superstar). Davidiank (talk) 19:19, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

You're speaking in very general terms. If there are specific areas where you think the article is unbalanced, please feel free to mention them or simply be bold and edit them (using reliable sources, of course). Rivertorch (talk) 04:17, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

It is necessary to speak in general terms, because the defect is general: throughout the piece the tone and the content are uncritical. But I decline to repair it, because that would require far too much work in proportion to the importance of the subject. At present it is the functional equivalent of a fan site, and I don't want to wrestle with the fans or the family. Davidiank (talk) 21:59, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Lobbing nonspecific accusations against both the article as a whole and and a vaguely defined group of people who may or may not be Wikipedia editors is going to get you nowhere. If you cannot cite even a single instance of important content missing from the article or existing content that distorts the subject in some way, then this discussion is pointless. Rivertorch (talk) 05:18, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

As I said, this is hagiography. It is not that I cannot cite important issues that are distorted: the whole thing is distorted, and that extends all the way to the worshipful tone. But yes, the discussion is pointless, because the topic is trivial. Davidiank (talk) 21:09, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

The topic is trivial? Please feel free, then, to stop wasting your time by reading it. And insulting the editors, you'll find, is really not a great strategy here. Rivertorch has it quite right. Tvoz/talk 21:40, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

I will cite an example. In the section titled The Fight Begins (which itself seems overly sensational) Salk is made to seem as if he took great risk to test the vaccine himself "After successful tests on laboratory animals, it next had to be tested on human beings. "Who would take the risk?" author Dennis Denenberg asked. "Dr. Jonas Salk did ... along with his wife and children, who also allowed themselves to be human guinea pigs."[24] In November, 1953, at a conference in New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, he said, "I will be personally responsible for the vaccine." He announced that his wife and three sons had been among the first volunteers to be inoculated with his vaccine.[25]". Previously the article omitted reference to the dozens of uninformed children he administered the vaccine to prior to giving it to his family. The "who would take the risk... Dr Jonas Salk did" is not only an unprofessional an non neutral statement, it is also factually misleading. (talk) 22:38, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

I agree, it does have sort of a heroic tone to it. But you're actually bringing up a number of subjects which should be separate. For one, the source that the quote came from was from Denenberg's 50 American Heroes Every Kid Should Meet. The book title alone implies heroism by the notables included. It's also written for a younger audience, not professionals, and many readers of Wikipedia are young.
Another point you mentioned was related to his announcement that he and his family would take the risk, which is accurate. The author didn't state they were the first people to be inoculated, although they may have been the first adults. Your note about the uninformed consent of children was covered in another section earlier.
The heading may be somewhat "sensational," as you mentioned, and would probably be out of place in a medical journal. But for the general reader the heading supports the material in the section. As for "seeming like he took a great risk," some others might feel that a volunteer testing a new vaccine by injecting themselves and their family with hopefully-dead virus cells from an incurable disease killing thousands each year, was a bit risky. Not us, of course, but maybe some less brave souls. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 00:22, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I think that some of your points verify the neutrality problem. Much of the information is taken from a biased source (50 heroes...) and thus affects the articles tone causing hagiography. Young readers do not need to be led to their conclusions, neutral facts work just as well on them as they do on adults. The wording of the section certainly makes it seem as if Salk & his family were the primary early testers, and if you take no offence to that I think you have no claim to complain that my statement about the lack of consent from the real early testers is misleading. (talk) 15:50, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

There is no straight chronogical order in this article, it's like time traveling, years into the future, then back, again into the future, then back again. As a result many statements are in the wrong place of the article and it is very difficult to read, no fun at all. Why not just begin at Salks birth and end when he dies? (talk) 09:22, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

File:Roosevelt OConnor.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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File:Salk Thank You.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Personal Life[edit]

Should we really have a picture of his grave in the personal life section? It doesn't quite seem appropriate to me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:49, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Surname[edit]

Maybe the article should mention the pronunciation of "Salk" using IPA. I assume it is to be pronounced rhyming with "talk", but I am unsure since I am not a native speaker of English. It would certainly seem consistent with other biographical articles (see George Everest for instance). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:08, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

world polio day[edit]

24 October is celebrated as world polio day. however, it has been written that the day is commorated to celebrate Jonas Salk's birthday which is as per this wikipage is 28 october and not 24th.kindly clarify.

references in support:

21 Oct 2012 Calipergirl (talk) 13:31, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Seems to be a mystery or a mistake somewhere. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 19:04, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Here's a detailed take on the same mystery — Preceding unsigned comment added by Calipergirl (talkcontribs) 02:57, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Maybe it should become World Polio Week to take care of the issue ;) --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 06:46, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

There is a published work in the prestigious journal 'Vaccine' which raises the same concern and clarifies.[1] Calipergirl (talk) 03:37, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

COI concerns[edit]

Please note that a self-identified COI contributor to this article deleted a sentence contradicting his research here. I'm not sure that this deletion makes much difference one way or another, so I won't revert, but I wanted to bring it to the attention of neutral eyes. -- Khazar2 (talk) 17:04, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

You are aware that the edit you linked occurred six and a half years ago? Rivertorch (talk) 20:23, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Criminal records[edit]

I think the article is not neutral, Salk (corrected) was exposed as criminal-minded scientist and there is no mention of this in this artcle. Please refer here Lajpat (talk) 17:44, 14 January 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lajpatdhingra (talkcontribs) 17:40, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

His name was Salk, not Stak. If you can provide a reliable source and will temper your wording just a tad ("criminal-minded"?), you may be able to help correct a deficiency in the article. Rivertorch (talk) 20:52, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

I have corrected the name, it was spelling error. I had mentioned the source earlier.Lajpat (talk) 16:34, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Please read WP:RS and WP:NPOV. Rivertorch (talk) 18:38, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Quote about insects and humanity[edit]

I've been seeing a quote float around the internet, attributed to Jonas Salk “If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.” Not withstanding that neither statement is wholly true, it does not seem like the sort of quote a man who spent his whole life trying to protect humanity from virulence would say. Can anyone find any hard sources on this quote? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:58, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

I couldn't find a source for this quote attributed to Salk. A Google search returns some people repeating the quote without full attribution and some other people asking whether Salk ever really said this. However, today I happened to read a transcript of a speech given by E.O. Wilson in 1987 (The Little Things That Run the World (The Importance and Conservation of Invertebrates)) in which he makes the same statement, only in more detail: ″The truth is that we need invertebrates but they don't need us. If human beings were to disappear tomorrow, the world would go on with little change. Gaia, the totality of life on Earth, would set about healing itself and return to the rich environmental states of a few thousand years ago. But if invertebrates were to disappear, I doubt that the human species could last more than a few months. Most of the fishes, amphibians, birds, and mammals would crash to extinction about the same time. Next would go the flowering plants.... The earth would rot.″ [2] It seems possible that somebody trimmed and paraphrased the Wilson quote to make it fit on an inspirational photo or a t-shirt and then forgot who said it. Malapropism (talk) 03:01, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Celebrity vs. Privacy Edits Required[edit]

"It is estimated that if Salk had patented the vaccine, his personal net worth would have grown by US$7 billion.[62]"

Please note that at the end of the cited article the author states he miscalculated and it should be 2-2.5 billion (See citation [62]

You may also want to read the comment section, especially Caroline Schroder's, which seems to suggest that even if Salk wanted to patent the vaccine it would have been impossible to do so due to 'prior art' (prior art means that under the patent standards of the day the invention was not inventive enough to warrant patent protection). Thus any calculation of what Salk 'gave up' by not patenting the vaccine (something he may not have been able to do in the first place) has severe limitations.

Such calculations are also limited by the implications of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (the Foundation Salk worked for) considering patent protection and then abandoning the effort due to prior art. If Salk did not want to patent the vaccine but the Foundation went ahead and explored the option anyway, did Salk even have a say in the matter? All of these questions merit further thought and discussion before definitively citing this blogpost (this is not an academic paper that has benefited from peer review nor is the author an expert of the subject) as a source for the statement quoted above. (talk) 16:46, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Agree. Trimmed blog cite. --Light show (talk) 19:50, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).