Magazine
Latest Issue

The origin of Aids

Was Aids naturally transferred from primates to human beings? Or was it caused by a live polio vaccine given to thousands of Africans in the 1950s?

By Matt Ridley   June 2000

The death of William Donald Hamilton on 7th March 2000 reverberated through biology like a thunderclap. Hamilton was probably the most famous evolutionary biologist in the world; a man whose bold theories had given birth to fruitful fields of inquiry not once but three times.

It was not the manner of his death which shook his colleagues so much. He died of malaria contracted in the Congo rain forest, where he had been looking for chimpanzee faeces-a tragic but not unsuitable death for a great naturalist whose curiosity about the animals of the tropical forest was an abiding theme of…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect