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Lot #229
Albert Sabin

“Science and the Future Direction of Humanity: An original manuscipt from pioneering polio reseacher Albert Sabin

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“Science and the Future Direction of Humanity: An original manuscipt from pioneering polio reseacher Albert Sabin

American medical researcher (1906–1993) best known for developing a practical oral polio vaccine. Handwritten manuscript (in pencil) for an address, “Science and the Future Direction of Humanity,” delivered by Sabin at George Washington University on February 12, 1986, approximately 12 lined pages, signed on the first page with his printed signature “Albert B. Sabin, M.D.” The address was presented as part of a panel on “Science, Technology, and the Humanities” at a symposium commemorating the 20th anniversary. of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Several of the pages bear emendations and additions, including a typed slip affixed to one page. A few excerpts: “During my entire lifetime I never asked myself if there was any purpose to my existence. The only thing that was certain as that like all other living beings, my destiny sooner or later was death—complete and final, back to the elements…. Human beings have been trying to bring their ‘God’-given animal behavior under control, and to create their own ‘Garden of Eden’ or paradise right here on earth—a paradise in which bliss is not based on ignorance but on knowledge of the laws of nature, which to me in the present era represent the only conceivable ‘will of God.’ If I ever needed a purpose for living out the limited life span of my species, that was it…. Historically the role of scientific research has been to provide us with ever-increasing understanding of the mysteries of the universe, of which the planet we inhabit is almost like a speck of dust floating on the ocean, of the miracle of life, and of that most complex and sophisticated example of the infinite variety of living beings that is a human being…. As more and more scientific advances were being translated into technologies that provided a better life for increasing numbers of people, society came to realize that science was an important humanist enterprise not only for its cultural contribution to a more intelligent understanding of homo sapiens and his world but also for its discovery of the knowledge needed to create a way of life in which back-breaking toil for mere subsistence and unbearable misery and pain resulting from poverty and disease need no longer be the inevitable lot of the vast majority of human beings who are still finding solace in their belief that a better, happier existence awaits them in heaven….” In fine condition. R&R COA.

Auction Info

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  • Dates: #331 - Ended March 12, 2008