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Edgar Morin Receives the Jonas Salk Prize from the Human Futures Foundation on Anniversary of the Salk Polio Vaccine

Edgar Morin

Edgar Morin; Image Copyright: Terence Ward

Human Futures Foundation

Human Futures Foundation

Headline announcing success of Salk polio vaccine

The Human Futures Foundation's JONAS SALK PRIZE recognises individuals who exemplify being a 'good ancestor' through 'wisdom in action.'

NEW YORK, NY, USA, April 12, 2024 / -- The Human Futures Foundation is honored to award today, April 12, 2024, anniversary of the announcement of Dr. Jonas Salk’s successful poliomyelitis vaccine, the JONAS SALK PRIZE to Edgar Morin, philosopher and sociologist, in the face of our amidst dramatic global crises, offers a perspective of a new planetary humanism. Emeritus Director at CNRS (French National Research Center), Morin stands out as both a world-renowned philosopher and sociologist and as a public intellectual of major importance for his pioneering theory on complex thinking - la pensée complex – that bridges science and the humanities – in a transdisciplinary and holistic vision of the realities of the physical, biological and human world.

In 1969, Morin spent a year with Dr. Jonas Salk at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. Dr. Salk had founded this research center as a “crucible for creativity” where biological sciences and the humanities would meet and mutually enrich each other. At the heart of this “breeding ground for Nobel Prizes”, Morin met eminent thinkers and scientists: Jacob Bronowski, Francis Crick, Gregory Bateson, Jacques Monod, Leo Szilard, and many others.

This experience marked a turning point in Morin’s work, as he sought a method for understanding the complexity of human beings and the natural world, and gave rise to his major and revolutionary six-volume work, La Méthode, and to a new field of study - Complexity Theory.

The JONAS SALK PRIZE, established by the Human Futures Foundation, which was founded in 1995 by Dr. Salk and his collaborator, Carol Anne Bundy, the current director, aims to recognize individuals who have exemplified, in Dr. Salk’s words, “wisdom in action,” who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of humanity.

The inaugural prize was awarded in 2009 to President Nelson Mandela, who stepped out of his retirement to receive it, in recognition of his lifelong quest for freedom from oppression - a crippling of the spirit.

For Dr. Salk, health more than freedom from disease, just as peace is not simply the absence of war. The awarding of the JONAS SALK PRIZE to Edgar Morin is a tribute to a thinker who has devoted his life to promoting and defending the “freedom of the mind’, and recognizing the common destiny of humanity, which is all the more relevant today given that one of the greatest threats before humanity is the “oppression of the mind” and the degradation of human relations into misunderstanding and conflict at a time when we should be fighting against fear and hatred, war that threatens to become global, economic inequality and destruction of our living planet.

Dr. Salk often raised the question, “Are we being good ancestors?” In asking this question, he envisioned an evolution of human thinking beyond the Darwinian “survival of the fittest” towards a “survival of the wisest.” The International Selection Committee of the JONAS SALK PRIZE considers Edgar Morin, at the age of 102, to be the quintessential ‘good ancestor.’

The Human Futures Foundation is also honored to also announce the publication of Morin’s essay, L’Humanism Régénéré, into English, entitled Renewing Humanism: for our Shared Home on Earth. Dr. Salk viewed the development of the human mind as central to humanity’s future, and Edgar Morin’s spirit and his vast body of work brilliantly epitomizes this.

In accepting the JONAS SALK PRIZE, Edgar Morin writes, “Jonas Salk’s humanism, insight and generosity shone through every day. He was one of the first to understand the importance of the ecological threat to the planet. I am proud to receive an award that bears his name and, encouraged by this award, I shall continue the mission I have set myself, which is part of the great Mission of Jonas Salk.’

Carol Anne Bundy
Human Futures Foundation, Inc.
+1 9179158701

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