Past Event

Charlotte Jacobs - Jonas Salk: A Life

May 5, 2016
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Event time is displayed in your time zone.
Benjamin Franklin Hall, American Philosophical Society, 427 Chestnut St, Philadelphia

Dr. Charlotte Jacobs (Stanford University) will speak about Jonas Salk’s life and achievements on May 5th with the American Philosophical Society. 

Jonas Salk was born on October 28, 1914, in East Harlem. He was just a child when poliomyelitis and then influenza devastated New York. Spared, he would one day play a major role in the prevention of both. Salk’s work on the influenza vaccine would go largely unrecognized. His polio vaccine, however, would catapult him into a world of celebrity from which he could never extricate himself. When a waiting world learned on April 12, 1955 that his vaccine could prevent poliomyelitis, Jonas Salk became a hero overnight. Born in a New York tenement, humble in manner, he had all the makings of a twentieth-century icon—a white knight in a white coat. Beloved by the public, he was shunned by the scientific community, the one group whose adulation he craved. A brilliant success at age forty, Jonas Salk had half a lifetime to prove himself.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required; please visit the event website for details.

Dr. Charlotte Jacobs is the Ben and A. Jess Shenson Professor of Medicine (Emerita) at Stanford University. A native of Kingsport, Tennessee, she graduated from the University of Rochester and studied medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. As a professor at Stanford University, she engaged in teaching, cancer research, and patient care. She has published ninety scientific articles and three books which reflect her cancer and medical education research. Her first biography, Henry Kaplan and the Story of Hodgkin’s Disease, was published by Stanford University Press in 2010. Her new biography, Jonas Salk: A Life, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015.

Co-sponsored by the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Consortium for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, and the American Philosophical Society.