The smallpox virus retention controversy:
The introductory paragraph for the Wikipedia article on smallpox currently begins:
The reason, as you may be aware, is due to the fact that it was the first infectious disease to have been eradicated by humanity as of 1979.
The trouble is this: two vials containing the final remnants of this terrible disease still remain in government laboratories in the US and Russia. Debate continues even now, 35 years after a smallpox-free world, as to whether or not we should extinguish this virus.
Of course, some argue for destruction of the vials on the basis that they may still pose a threat if security is compromised. Surely no valid reason exists for keeping them intact?
Those who oppose them assert that we can’t fully confirm smallpox as eradicated and the vials may one day prove crucial for research. Another possibility is the emergence of bioweaponry based on the virus, which may require this research to counteract.
Tumblr, what do you think?