How Goes the War Link

Derek Lowe on the limits of cancer research:

To the extent, though, that people are told that “More Money” is the answer in this field, I think it’s good to make the point that it isn’t necessarily the limiting factor. Problem is, there’s no way to hold a charity insight-raiser, or to set up a box to Donate Good Ideas For the Cure. Medical research, whether industrial or academic, is a pretty esoteric field to most people. There’s not much way for an interested lay person to help out directly; the technical background is too much of a barrier. So people raise money, (while some just raise “awareness”, a particularly slippery term), because it’s the only way that they feel that they can make any difference.

I’m kind of a jerk about donating to “charities”. First, I always refer to Charity Navigator. Second, I avoid the word “awareness”. Want more future cancer treatments? Put some of those donations into early education to create more budding scientists. Teach kids to dream and think now. It pays dividends over a very long time.