Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and his ‘pediatrician wife’, Pricilla Chan have pledged $3bn to 'rid the world of all disease.'
Whilst this is a laudable and audacious attempt to ‘cure, prevent or manage all diseases by 2100’ or ‘by the time our children are old,’ it might not carry entire goodwill of all of us that work in hospitals or bioethics. A little like Turkeys voting for Christmas, do we really want to be all out of work soon!
Many related pieces have reflected on the progress made in healthcare and bioscience in the last 80 years, and several support this agenda. Whilst the funds offered are dwarfed by the overall US NIH spend, itself reduced by cuts, the flexibility of such smaller donations to take risks makes them invaluable additions to the global fight against disease. Hopefully this largesse, joining that of the Gates foundation, can lead to further philanthropic funding for bio-scientific endeavours as taxation source government funding diminishes.