Talk:Maurice Hilleman

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Former featured article candidate Maurice Hilleman is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
May 21, 2005 Featured article candidate Not promoted


I just want to say that we should congratulate ourselves on having taken this article from a substub to a full biography in less than three days. We rock. DS 12:44, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC) Nice work!...He was the greatest virologist of the 20th Century, and it is sad that very few people recognize how much this one man contributed to the average life expectancy increasing.Biotechscientist (talk) 04:16, 20 November 2010 (UTC)


RIP Dr. Hilleman. Probably the greatest American most of us have never heard of. Missi

More lives?[edit]

It has been estimated that his work has saved more individual lives than that of any other scientist.

Cough cough Norman Borlaug cough cough... Tualha (Talk) 23:24, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 14:35, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

HIV AIDS and Cancer and non detectable viruses[edit]

The back slapping here is all very well, but there are interviews with this man stating he introduced the AIDS virus to the west, when he especially imported African Green Monkeys used in his research. He is hear saying many early vaccines contained "non detectable viruses" which causes cancer, which were not thoroughly inactivated by formaldehyde. Was the Polio vaccine the real way HIV AIDS spread in Africa? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:59, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

One of the best and most difficult protein purification strategies I ever heard of was from Hilleman. Before rDNA technology, he purified the Hepatitis B vaccine from gay mens blood in the late 70's, and his strategy took the care to completely destroy every possible living virus through 3 chemical treatment steps. If you can find a scientist who will say after treatment of any feed stream with urea, formaldehyde, and pepsin will yield an infective virus...let me know.Biotechscientist (talk) 04:40, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Anon edit[edit]

Undid anonymous edit that had no source. --Magabund (talk) 19:42, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Fringe theories[edit]

I've removed the "Controversy" section, which was based on the claim that "in an interview Hilleman stated that it was his imported African Green monkeys that first introduced the AIDS virus to the western science". The only source for this claim was a dubious YouTube clip. If the claim is anything other than a crazy conspiracy theory, we should be able to cite a reliable, published source that mentions it. If the controversy is real, we should have no problem finding a reliable, published source that discusses it. If we can't find a reliable source that takes it seriously, the "controversy" does not belong on Wikipedia, per WP:FRINGE.

(Please note that YouTube is not a reliable, published source.)

      • If you dig a bit deeper, you could see that the interviewer is Dr. Robert Shorter, Medical Historian at university of Toronto.
      • Your bias is showing Sideshow. If the youtube video was false, it would be claimed slanderous by Merck would have been removed a long time ago!
      • I believe the controversy section should be included, as it is a counterpoint to conventional thinking. A world that erases dissent is in The Dark Ages.
      • Your illogical bias about "youtube videos" should not afford you the rights to preclude anyone's access to view it and make up their own mind. The real source of the video is PBS> if you can disprove that claim, then remove it. otherwise, you should not try to censor the world, based on your biases.
      • And this is what is wrong with Wikipedia. Unreliable info moderated by buffoons who decide what is 'credible' and what is not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:28, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Try2think4yourself (talkcontribs) 20:11, 27 October 2012 (UTC) 

Regards, Sideshow Bob Roberts (talk) 14:35, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

If he says it himself in an interview, is it a fringe theory?[edit]

The controversy section is not "based on a claim". If you go watch the interview, you see that Hilleman is saying himself that he imported all kinds of wild viruses into the country via the monkeys he was using to produce vaccines. The video clip is a part of a PBS documentary that was cut. The documentary is an interview with Hilleman. So unless you want to make out that Hilleman is crazy, which might itself be a relevant point to make in his biography, then you have to accept his concerns about his vaccines spreading disease to the human population.

I think this should go back in not as a "controversy" section, but with some information about his involvement in the SV40 affair and his late life concerns that he may have been in part responsible for the creation of even more serious illnesses.

Regards DiagonalArg (talk) 09:16, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm certainly not saying Hilleman was crazy. What I'm saying is that if we want an honest, accurate picture of his vaccine concerns, we should be looking at what he said in the peer-reviewed literature or in interviews published by reliable, published sources, not dodgy video clips posted on the internet. That YouTube clip clearly fails WP:Verifiability: we have no way of knowing that it was edited accurately. It seems pretty dubious to me. (If we can find unedited video footage of the interview, however, it might be appropriate to use it as a source.)
Per WP:V and WP:OR, this stuff has no place in the article unless we can find a reliable, published source that discusses it. As far as I can tell, this stuff has been completely ignored by the peer-reviewed literature and the mainstream media, so it's a fringe theory.
Feel free to add "information about his involvement in the SV40 affair" though, as long as you can base it on reliable sources. Regards, Sideshow Bob Roberts (talk) 17:43, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, there are certainly reliable public sources discussing his involvement in the identification of simian viruses on vaccines, in particular SV40, one of which I footnoted. That would certainly be a relevant issue to discuss in his biography as the recall of the Salk vaccine was certainly a noteworthy affair. Therefore, the only issue that we seem to have a conflict over, is his reference to SIV in the film and footnoting the film. My impression is that we are in agreement here, so I will return the paragraph, less the SIV reference and the footnoting of the film - an issue that may perhaps be returned to; in particular, if an unedited version of the film can be found. DiagonalArg (talk) 11:13, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
Hi again, thanks for being so co-operative. As I said, I have no problem in principle with discussing Hilleman's work on Simian viruses. However, I'm not comfortable with the source we're using at the moment. St Martin's Press is not an academic publisher with a reputation as a reliable authority on medical topics. (Have a look at their website and Wikipedia entry.) Moreover, as best I can tell, the authors of that book are non-scientists with no expertise in the field.
From Wikipedia:Verifiability:
"In general, the most reliable sources are peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers. As a rule of thumb, the greater the degree of scrutiny involved in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the evidence and arguments of a particular work, the more reliable it is.
Academic and peer-reviewed publications are highly valued and usually the most reliable sources in areas where they are available, such as history, medicine and science. Material from reliable non-academic sources may also be used in these areas, particularly if they are respected mainstream publications. The appropriateness of any source always depends on the context."
As you say, there are lots of reliable, published sources that discuss SV40, so there's no excuse for us to rely on a fringe publication by a non-academic source.
I'm not inclined to delete this discussion right now but if you really want this stuff to remain in the article I suggest you dig out a reliable source. Meanwhile, I've deleted the heading "Work on and Concerns about Viral Contamination of Vaccines", which I think gave undue prominence to this over Hilleman's other work. I think the article flows better if this is discussed in the same section as his other vaccine work. Regards, Sideshow Bob Roberts (talk) 18:52, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

How about [Unreliable fringe source?] as a source with a full transcript of the interview ? (talk) 11:57, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Natural News?? are kidding right? Next up a citation from about flying dolphins. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:44, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Here is some reliable peer-reviewed literature on the SV-40 issue: Included in that are the articles:

  1. "Some oral poliovirus vaccines were contaminated with infectious SV40 after 1961." - PMID 16288015
  2. "Identification of the oncogenic substance in rhesus monkey kidney cell culture as simian virus 40." - PMID 13889129

And other articles on the role of SV-40 in contributing to tumors.Pottinger's cats (talk) 07:42, 4 April 2013 (UTC)


Youtube video of Dr. Hilleman being interviewed by Dr. Shorter for a PBS show, speaking of the perils and limitations of vaccines. Watch it for yourself and make up your own mind. Do not let censors on Wikipedia remove your rights to discern for yourself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Try2think4yourself (talkcontribs) 20:18, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

NY Times article 2013-05-06[edit]

Those interested in this subject may want to consider adding content from this NY Times article: "A Forgotten Pioneer of Vaccines". RCraig09 (talk) 16:36, 13 July 2013 (UTC)