aot20120068.inddIt was a scary time in America – commies under your bed and the McCarthy hearings, UFO sightings, the Cold War nuclear threat, and worst of all – the polio epidemic sweeping the country. Parents were terrified their kids would get it and end up in an Iron Lung. When Jonas Salk and his polio vaccine saved the day he was treated by a euphoric country almost like a god. But there is a largely unknown story behind this story that spoils this stirring narrative.   In the intense rivalry between Salk and Sabin, with different vaccines, Salk failed to properly credit his co-workers who did much of the work, a no-no in science.   Very few people ever got polio, despite the extreme media frenzy about it, and by the time the Salk vaccine was introduced the polio “epidemic” was largely over. Screw-ups like the Cutter Labs vaccine disaster actually gave people polio. 90 million Americans were given vaccine shots that contained a monkey virus that causes various cancers. And so on. This talk will explore this complex and messy picture and also address today’s vaccination controversies.

Dave Shafer has spent the last 49 years designing camera lenses, telescopes and microscopes and has had a one-man optical design and consulting company since 1980. The Cassini spacecraft took one of his unusual telescopes to Saturn a few years ago. Later a separate spacecraft took close-up photos of the asteroid Vesta and now a third spacecraft is using his telescope to help land on a comet. All of today’s state of the art computer chips for cell phones, tablets, and computers are made using a unique optical system that Dave invented about 10 years ago. He has over 125 patents for optical designs.   Dave once designed an unusual stereo viewing device for Salvador Dali.

Arranged by Andre Guilbert