Science is so high school.
Jonas Salk was suffering under fame’s heavy load.’His life did change immediately with the April announcement’ Darrell later said ‘but it just took him time to realize it’.The interruptions and obligations were overt – the altered relationships subtle. People looked at and treated Salk differently. He never knew whether they were interested in Jonas Salk the person or Jonas Salk the icon. Old classmates and friends didn’t hesitate to call upon him for favors. Every letter – no matter how pleasant – seemed to have some underlying agenda. To make matters worse one question always hovered: What great feat would he accomplish next?
If Salk submitted any new data – it made headlines – embarrassing him. At a meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences – when he mentioned the idea of a vaccine against a number of viruses that attack the nervous system – the press announced: ‘All Virus Vaccine Eyed by Dr. Salk’. When a reporter said ‘I hear you’re trying to find an anti-cold vaccine’ Salk replied ‘All I’m trying to do is keep my balance’.
‘Balance’ meant returning to his laboratory work uninterrupted.(cont..)