The Jonas Salk Prize
Dr. Jonas Salk
Photo credit: Yosef Karsh
President Nelson Mandela
Photo credit: Mathew Wilman
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The Jonas Salk Prize, as set out by Dr. Jonas Salk during his lifetime, brings together two ideas that were central to his life of service - that the path to a more hopeful future begins through the initiatives of individuals and that it is in our mutual self-interest to become more altruistic.
A humanitarian award, as much for a way of being as for a body of significant accomplishment. Dr. Salk hoped that the Jonas Salk Prize would recognize an individual who exemplified "wisdom in action."
In February, 2009, former South African President Nelson Mandela stepped out of retirement to graciously accept the inaugural Jonas Salk Prize.
Together these two individuals set forth a legacy of freedom: Dr. Jonas Salk - freedom form disease, a polio of the body; and President Nelson Mandela - freedom from oppression, a polio of the mind.
In this centennial year of Dr. Salk's birth, Human Futures continues to focus on freedom of the mind, turning attention to the importance of freedom from resentment and from a sense of entitlement.