– William Stewart, 1967
Plenty of bystanders on the fringe of science and technology have uttered nonsense, but this quote is particularly notable because the man who delivered it, William Stewart, was the Surgeon General of the United States. Since he made his prediction in the late 60s, we’ve experienced HIV/AIDS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, just to name a few. And let’s not forget the dangers lurking offshore – wicked stuff like Ebola, which just this summer killed several people in Uganda – and the potentially more concerning threats of bioterrorism.
William Stewart did a ton of great work during his tenure as Surgeon General, and before and after. He was responsible for the first health warnings on cigarette packages. He pushed for equal health care for everyone – regardless of income levels. He fought against racial discrimination both within the field of health care and for the patients that benefit from it. But he got it wrong this time.
Click through the different predictions below: