The Hidden Killers: Deadly Viruses
Jenner and Pasteur
Military Uses

Jenner and Pasteur

This section gives a brief and amazing idea of early biological experimentation. Two early researchers, Jenner and Pasteur, used young children to test their experimental vaccines. The readings are very short. There are reading comprehension questions here in ThinkLink. These are followed by an essay question which asks whether these scientists were morally right to experiment as they did. There are some guiding questions to help you deal with the essay topic. This is a GED activity.

You may prefer to print out the directions, questions, and essay topic to refer to while reading and writing. The directions would need to be printed out for you to follow while in The Hidden Killers site. Ask permission to print these things out.

The reading really is short. The topic is surprising. This is just the beginning to viruses - the problems they cause, how they work, and the uses they have in the military. Beware, you might catch something...


  1. Click on the link at the top of the page.
  2. Read the opening to this site.
  3. Scroll all the way down the page.
  4. Click on Enter.
  5. Click on Virus Basics.
  6. Click on Vaccines in the yellow print in the “Table of Contents” box, under History, on the right side of the screen.
  7. Read about Jenner
  8. Click on the yellow print at the bottom of the page reading, “next page”.
  9. Read the first paragraph of “Discovery of a Virus”. Just read about Pasteur.

  1. What did Jenner discover? ___________________________________

  2. When? __________________________________________________

  3. Did Jenner know how dangerous his experiment was? ______________

  4. What diseases did Jenner work with? ___________________________

  5. Who did Jenner experiment on first? ___________________________

  6. Who did Jenner experiment on second? Name? ___________________________________________

  7. What did Pasteur discover? __________________________________

  8. When? __________________________________________________

  9. Who did Pasteur use to experiment on? _________________________

  10. Did Pasteur know what he had discovered?______________________

Jenner and Pasteur both made valuable discoveries that helped science create life saving vaccines for people. In the process of developing their ideas, both used young boys, even a young son, to help them prove their ideas.

Jenner and Pasteur made discoveries that helped people in the future. They both used children for experimenting with their vaccines.

What do you think? Were Jenner and Pasteur morally right to use young boys in their experiments to save many lives? Were Jenner and Pasteur morally wrong to use young boys in their experiments? [Work toward using 200 words in your essay. You will need to be able to do this for your GED test.]

State the topic. Give your opinion.
Ask questions, in your essay, about the things you do not know, but would like to know in order to be more informed about this topic.


  • How would your feelings be different if you were a parent at that time?
  • In the present time?
  • How would your feelings be different if you lived at that time and had no idea how these experiments would end?
  • How would your feelings be different if you lived at that time and could look into the future and see how beneficial these experiments would be? Many things to think about and discuss. Stay steady in your opinion.
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