JEWS LISTED AMONG THE CREATORS OF THE GREATEST
LIFESAVING MEDICAL & SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES IN HISTORY
 

(25% of listees, accounting for at least 50% of an estimated total of 5.6 billion lives saved)

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The following data is based on the ScienceHeroes.com website,1 which attempts to estimate the number of human lives saved by the most important lifesaving advances in the history of science, medicine, and technology, and to identify the individuals most responsible for those advances.  The website appears to be the most comprehensive and well-researched work of its kind.  Listed below are the twenty-six Jewish scientists, physicians, and engineers who are listed among the 105 principal developers of the roughly forty-three lifesaving breakthroughs that are identified.  (The bracketed number preceding each name below is the position of that individual on the overall list, which is rank-ordered according to the estimated number of lives saved per advance, beginning with those advances credited with the greatest number of lives saved.) 

If we enumerate the total number of lives saved by the twenty-six Jewish individuals listed below using a pro rata scheme according to which each of the individuals associated with a given development is credited with an equal share of the total lives saved by that development (see computations below), then the resulting number comes to about 2.8 billion lives, which is 50% of the estimated total of about 5.6 billion lives saved by all 105 individuals listed.  If, on the other hand, we simply enumerate the total number of lives saved by advances for which at least 50%
of the principal developers were Jewish, the number comes to about 4.3 billion lives, or roughly 77% of the total number of lives saved.2
  • [1] Fritz Haber, Synthetic Fertilizer (Haber-Bosch process): (1/2) x 2.72 Billion = 1.36 Billion Lives Saved
  • [3] Karl Landsteiner, Blood Transfusions (identification of blood groups): (1/2) x 1.16 Billion = 580 Million Lives Saved
  • [4] Richard Lewisohn, Blood Transfusions (sodium citrate blood preservation method): (1/2) x 1.16 Billion = 580 Million Lives Saved
  • [8] Abel Wolman, Chlorination of Drinking Water: (1/2) x 182 Million = 91 Million Lives Saved
  • [11] Benjamin Rubin, Smallpox Eradication (bifurcated inoculation needle): (1/4) x 142 Million = 35.5 Million Lives Saved
  • [12] Aaron Ismach, Smallpox Eradication (jet injector gun): (1/4) x 142 Million = 35.5 Million Lives Saved
  • [16] Samuel Katz, Measles Vaccine: (1/8) x 124 Million = 15.5 Million Lives Saved
  • [22] Sir Ernst Chain, Penicillin: (1/4) x 86 Million = 21.5 Million Lives Saved
  • [26] David Nalin, Oral Rehydration Therapy for Cholera: (1/5) x 59 Million = 11.8 Million Lives Saved
  • [28] Norbert Hirschhorn, Oral Rehydration Therapy for Cholera: (1/5) x 59 Million = 11.8 Million Lives Saved
  • [30] David Sachar, Oral Rehydration Therapy for Cholera: (1/5) x 59 Million = 11.8 Million Lives Saved
  • [32] Paul Ehrlich, Diphtheria and Tetanus Antitoxin: (1/3) x 42 Million = 14 Million Lives Saved
  • [47] Alfred Sommer, Vitamin A Therapy: 8.5 Million Lives Saved
  • [48] Baruch Blumberg, Hepatitis B Vaccine: (1/3) x 6.7 Million = 2.2 Million Lives Saved
  • [49] Irving Millman, Hepatitis B Vaccine: (1/3) x 6.7 Million = 2.2 Million Lives Saved
  • [55] Gertrude Elion, Rational Drug Design: (1/2) x 5.5 Million = 2.8 Million Lives Saved
  • [73] Jacob Gershon-Cohen, Mammogram: (1/6) x 1.7 Million = 0.3 Million Lives Saved
  • [77] Albert Salomon, Mammogram: (1/6) x 1.7 Million = 0.3 Million Lives Saved
  • [83] Jonas Salk, Polio Vaccine: (1/4) x 1.1 Million = 0.3 Million Lives Saved
  • [84] Albert Sabin, Polio Vaccine: (1/4) x 1.1 Million = 0.3 Million Lives Saved
  • [93] John Robbins, Hib Vaccine for Bacterial Meningitis(1/4) x 0.74 Million = 0.2 Million Lives Saved
  • [94] Rachel Schneerson, Hib Vaccine for Bacterial Meningitis: (1/4) x 0.74 Million = 0.2 Million Lives Saved
  • [95] Alexander Wiener, Rh Factor Discovery and Infant Exchange Transfusion for Rh Haemolytic Disease: (1/2) x 0.55 Million = 0.3 Million Lives Saved
  • [96] Ronald Finn, Serum for Prevention of Rh Haemolytic Disease: (1/2) x 0.55 Million = 0.3 Million Lives Saved
  • [101] Brian Druker, Gleevec Anti-Leukemia Drug: (1/2) x 0.18 Million = 0.1 Million Lives Saved
  • [103] Henry Heimlich, Heimlich Maneuver: (1/2) x 0.05 Million = 0.03 Million Lives Saved
NOTES
1. Material used with the permission of ScienceHeroes.com.  There is also a book associated with the website entitled Scientists Greater than Einstein: The Biggest Lifesavers of the Twentieth Century, by Billy Woodward et al. (Linden, Chicago, 2009), which profiles ten of the "lifesavers," who are collectively credited with having saved nearly 1.7 billion lives.   Of these, three were, or are, Jews: Karl Landsteiner, David Nalin, and Alfred Sommer, whose advances together account for nearly three-fourths of the roughly 1.7 billion lives saved.
2. In formulating this analysis, we have used the continuously updated figures on lives saved that appear on the ScienceHeroes.com webpages profiling the individual scientists involved.  These are generally somewhat higher than the figures appearing on the website's homepage.  The figures used were those given in January 2014.  


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