Yesterday was the 130th anniversary of Louis Pasteur's rabies vaccination of Joseph Meister--a day that everyone should recognize and celebrate. Though Jenner's smallpox was the first vaccine and Pasteur's called his rabies version "vaccine" to honor Jenner, Pasteur--in my view--is on the highest echelon of our race.
Why I elevate Pasteur to that level has to do with the fact that not only did he discover the rabies vaccine but his contributions to the germ theory of disease (I'm not even counting his contributions to stereochemistry) gave the entire field a green light to hypothesize, innovate, and advance. Such an achievement's ramifications are incalculable.
To put it simply, I just would like to say thank you to Louis Pasteur for his recalcitrant, intransigent pursuit of the truth and that I am embarrassed that some members of our species have returned to the primitive status that humans have wallowed in for most of our history by shunning vaccination and pasteurization.
The debt we owe Pasteur is not something repayable.