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Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science

Stashed in: Science!, Wealth!, Brain, Awesome, America!, The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of..., nyt, Rich people get richer.

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“For better or worse,” said Steven A. Edwards, a policy analyst at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “the practice of science in the 21st century is becoming shaped less by national priorities or by peer-review groups and more by the particular preferences of individuals with huge amounts of money.”

Europe, China and India are resisting to this movement. We will compare what happened in 50 years. : )

Oce any thoughts on how it will go?

Enter Paul Allen:

But his interests and investments go far beyond software. Under his umbrella company, Vulcan Inc., Allen has pursued his varied interests, investing in real estate, brain science, space exploration, artificial intelligence and film. He has founded museums and collections that celebrate music and computers and vintage military aircraft. He plays in a country-rock band and is also the author of a best-selling memoir. As a philanthropist, he has given away more than $1.5 billion. He even has a fruit fly named after him.


Forbes: Your Brain Institute announced late last year that it would begin a major traumatic brain injury study. Have you worked with the NFL on brain injuries at all?

Allen: We’ve talked extensively with the league about the kind of research that should be done and that we want to do. We’ve specialized until now on the genetic characteristics of brains and how cells are affected by different conditions. Now we’re going to get some brain tissue from a bunch of different sources. You can have concussion trauma from all sorts of things, like IEDs in Iraq and motorcycle accidents. We’re going to look at some of this tissue and see how it differs from some of the tissue we’ve already scanned and have in our data banks to see how genetic characteristics have changed. But it’s going to take us a few years to get a better handle scientifically, at a very detailed level, what happens when you get a concussion. We’re cooperating with some of the same scientists that the league is working with. We’ve talked about everything from helmets to measuring impacts in real-time on the field.

Sounds like his Brain Institute has a lot of potential.

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