Could You Patent the Sun?

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Dr. Jonas Salk, May 4, 1976.
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Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear this interview. 

Through short digital documentary storytelling, our friends at Retro Report look back at major news event that helped shape our world and find connections relevant to today.  

This week, Retro Report takes us back to Jonas Salk, the developer of the life saving polio vaccine. When asked in an interview by CBS's Edward R. Murrow if he owned the patent, he famously replied that the patent belonged to the people, asking "Could you patent the sun?"  

Today, pharmaceutical patents have caused the price of life-saving medications to skyrocket. What does that mean for the development of innovative drugs and for people whose lives depend on them? For answers, we turn to Clyde Haberman, a contributing writer to The New York Times and Retro Report. 

Check out Retro Report's full dispatch below.