Parallel path: Poliovirus research in the vaccine era

Michele S. Garfinkel, Daniel Sarewitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


One goal of the scientific research enterprise is to improve the lives of individuals and the overall health of societies. This goal is achieved through a combination of factors, including the composition of research portfolios. In turn, this composition is determined by a variety of scientific and societal needs. The recent history of polio research highlights the complex relations between research policy, scientific progress and societal benefits. Here, we briefly review the circumstances leading to the possibility of eradication of poliovirus, evaluate the research environment that emerged following the introduction of a vaccine, and compare and contrast the current research framework with that for other infectious diseases. From this analysis, policy lessons with general applicability to scientific research are identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-338
Number of pages20
JournalScience and engineering ethics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Research policy
  • Scientific responsibility
  • Societal outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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