Salk Institute celebrates founder’s birthday.


Jonas Salk, the founder of the Salk Institute and the celebrated scientist known for his groundbreaking development of the first safe and effective polio vaccine, once shared a simple yet profound statement: “Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.” This quote encapsulates a timeless truth that speaks to the core of humanity and the collective duty of future generations.

At the Institute, his quote has emboldened every generation of the Institute’s world-class researchers to pursue their wildest scientific hopes and dreams for the betterment of humanity.

For more than 60 years, Salk researchers have taken on Jonas Salk’s fearless, interdisciplinary science by tackling some of the biggest challenges facing humankind, including aging, cancer, climate change, infectious diseases, neurological diseases and more. All these years later, his words persist as an aspirational challenge for the current generation of bold researchers and the entire Salk community.

The Salk Institute is celebrated Jonas Salk’s birthday (October 28) by asking its employees, “How are you a good ancestor?” Salk is posting their answers on social media accounts with the hashtag #BeAGoodAncestor. Celebrate Jonas Salk’s birthday with Salk by following along – and feel free to comment and share.

In addition, you have the opportunity to embody this responsibility in a meaningful way. Your support, whether directed toward scientific research, education or community initiatives, has the power to shape a better tomorrow. Just as Jonas Salk’s dedication to eradicating polio has left a lasting legacy of health and wellbeing, your contributions can leave a positive imprint on the world for years to come. The only question to ask yourself is, how can I be a good ancestor?

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Esteban Villanueva