2. Edward Jenner saved countless lives, leading to the eradication of smallpox
In the late 18th century no disease was as feared as was smallpox, and physicians had no effective means of treating the highly contagious disease. Edward Jenner discovered that victims of a less dangerous disease – cowpox – developed an immunity to smallpox. Jenner created the practice of immunization through vaccination, developing the world’s first vaccine and the means of applying it. By the end of the 20th century smallpox was declared to have been eradicated worldwide. Jenner was both the father of vaccination and immunology, and has been credited with saving more lives than any other human being in the history of the world.