I just read this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9508895/A-virus-that-kills-cancer-the-cure-thats-waiting-in-the-coldc.html
After going through it, I thought to myself that the only problem here is a single million euros, what exactly is the problem? We could probably fund this stuff using tools like kickstarter or perhaps even looking at this link:
there are ways to put money directly in the hands of the people who will use it without giving it to the charity middlemen who slice and dice that money with a thousand tiny cuts until it’s a fraction of what it was.
if we started to fund directly things like this, instead of relying on middlemen, we’d probably be able to russle up many times that million of currency that he was asking for, are you telling me that a cancer sufferer wouldn’t stump up 10 quid/euros/dollars to a charity which has a seemingly workable solution.
combine that with peer review and a proper scientific process that simply put up a shopping list of items they need and the results as soon as they are acquired and I’m sure there are millions of people who could find a single unit of currency, multiply that by the actual value they give….
the link I gave you above, he raised that for a bloody museum for a guy who is dead for 50 years and he raised 1 million dollars in NINE DAYS!
if you can do that, you can do anything….we just need to start using the tools correctly, it’s 2012 and we can do these things, we just need to get people onboard the train!
The actual plan might go like this, a scientific community could produce a list of reasonable treatments that need funding and things they need in order to go forward, the scientists involved would peer review each others work without question since they already want to do that, but if resources are needed to fund peer review (the experiment for example) then it could be on the list of things they need to purchase.
This list of items can be directly funded by people using those donation websites and the money directly into the account of those who will spend the money on the actual work, no more middlemen! no more wastage at the middle.
Once results are back, they are owned by the scientists AND the people who funded the work, so the results are published in order for more peer review to take place. Selection of new directions and possibilities are created by that peer review and of course, if the people consisting of the millions of internet users collaborating can fund even more development.
Bogus results would be exposed, research would be optimised and the scientists combined with the more intelligent of the community around would effectively balance the system so it can’t be abused by the guys pulling on strings to get things done which aren’t actually effective.
So it’s a self-balancing system, if done correctly, would provide MILLIONS, not a single million of euros to the people who actually need it.
With a feature like this, I can’t see anybody with a viable cancer or any illness being underfunded for long. Obviously the more dangerous comes first on the list cause it affects more people, but over time it could be expanded and hopefully not abused to geniunely push research forward ON A SCIENTIFIC BASIS ALONE.