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Gates Foundation Vs. Openness In Research

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-far-from-the-tree dept.

The Almighty Buck 150

An anonymous reader writes "There have been complaints within the World Health Organization of some oddly familiar-sounding tactics and attitudes by the Gates Foundation. Scientists who were once open with their research are now 'locked up in a cartel' and are financially motivated to support other scientists backed by the Foundation. Diversity of views is 'stifled,' dominance is bought, and Foundation views are pushed with 'intense and aggressive opposition.'" The article tries hard for balance. It notes that the WHO official who raised the alarm on the Gates Foundation's unintended consequences on world health research is "an openly undiplomatic official who won admiration for reorganizing the world fight against tuberculosis but was ousted from that job partly because he offended donors like the Rockefeller Foundation."

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150 comments

Surprised? (2, Insightful)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471440)

Why is anyone surprised. These foundations are nothing but cash cows, money sinks and tax write-offs.

Very, very few rich people are genuine philanthropists.

Re:Surprised? (5, Interesting)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471660)

Please read TFA people...
Some quotes:

In a memorandum, the chief of the malaria program, Arata Kochi, complained to his boss, Margaret Chan, the director general of WHO, that the foundation's money, while crucial, could have "far-reaching, largely unintended consequences."

Many of the world's leading malaria scientists are now "locked up in a 'cartel' with their own research funding being linked to those of others within the group," Kochi wrote. Because "each has a vested interest to safeguard the work of the others," he wrote, getting independent reviews of research proposals "is becoming increasingly difficult."


They are pointing out a general fact about research funding, and then saying that there's a lack of diversity in Malaria research/funding, because most of it is coming from the Gates Foundation. Maybe if Sergei and Larry would stop buying 767s (and NASA airfield landing rights) they could fund competing research.

(just flamebait fun on the goog guys...could have easily used Michael Dell)

RTFA further: (0)

smurgy (1126401) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471800)

Kochi, an openly undiplomatic official who won admiration for reorganizing the world fight against tuberculosis but was ousted from that job partly because he offended donors like the Rockefeller Foundation
Translation: A guy with a history of shooting his mouth off about big money/big name charitable foundations shot his mouth off about a different big money/big name charitable foundation.

I'm going out on a limb and saying the dude has a chip on his shoulder. He'd like the people who fork over their money to do so and go away. Meanwhile they're in it to put their stamp on things. I'm not saying anybody's right and anybody's wrong. I have no experience on which to base an analysis of the ethics of the superrich. On the other hand I do have plenty of experience on which to base an analysis of the ethics of working in the public sector.

Rule one is don't bite the hand that feeds you. This guy's rabid.

Re:RTFA further: (5, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22473536)

Rule one is don't bite the hand that feeds you. This guy's rabid.

This is fundamentally wrong.

Dr. Kochi has been far more successful and saved more lives than any other malaria fighter. He is succeeding becuase he is replacing the stagnant, broken sytem of consultants and drug companies with pragmatic effective solutions. Because he is challenging orthodoxy, including those the Gates Foundation supports, he is meeting resistance, such as the usual FUD disseminated by large companies.

This article [nytimes.com] is much more informative about Kochi's activities and reasons.

Re:Surprised? (1)

ruinevil (852677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471866)

Actually... Google owns this interesting company called 23andme.com. It's run by one of the bigwigs' wife, who has a PhD in some biology related field. Currently they will run your genome through a gene chip and tell you if you are positive for some 30 or 40 deleterious SNPs for a mere $999.99. Another older company based in Iceland, Decode, is doing the same for slightly less money. It's only a matter of time until Google gets into the medical research business. The Decode guys have written some important papers on the genetics of obesity and diabetes.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22471978)

I heard that Michael Dell buys dildos and rebrands them into Delldos. These subsequently get sold as computers to the unsuspecting public.

Please read all of TFA (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472652)

They are pointing out a general fact about research funding...
Oh really? The article also says:

Since it is not safe or practical to give Fansidar constantly to babies because it is a sulfa drug that can cause rare but deadly reactions and because Fansidar-resistant malaria is growing, World Health Organization scientists had doubts about it. Nonetheless, Kochi wrote, although it was "less and less straightforward" that the health agency should recommend it, the agency's objections were met with "intense and aggressive opposition" from Gates-backed scientists and the foundation.

Sounds like a specific allegation to me.

Re:Surprised? (1, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471672)

True, but try telling that to Joe Average.

Me: Bill Gates is a convicted monopolist who practices unethical business behavior.
Some person: OMG NOES HE ISNT HE STRTD A FUNDATON TO HLP TEH P00R!!!11!

False dichotomy. (2, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471912)

This 'Joe Average' says he can be both.

Re:False dichotomy. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471986)

So what would be the average of both noble philanthropist and devious scammer?

Re:False dichotomy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22472184)

Well, the average of robber baron and 'noble' philahthropist was Andrew Carnegie.

Gates is simply buying his place in history.

well, um.. (5, Insightful)

adam (1231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472206)

So what would be the average of both noble philanthropist and devious scammer?
I'd say: Human Being.

There is a great book by a primatologist named Franz De Waal ("Our Inner Ape" [amazon.com]), and the book largely deals with this subject, by speaking at lengths to the behaviors of various primates. The conclusion is, of course, that humans are not innately good or evil-- we have the capacity for both compassion and uncaring selfishness.

Random ass-headed cruelty. (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472658)

I think De Waal would agree that 'You'll see that all of the random ass-headed cruelty of the world will suddenly make perfect sense once we go inside the monkeyshpere'. part1 [pointlesswasteoftime.com], part2 [pointlesswasteoftime.com]

Re:False dichotomy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22472446)

Robin Hood?

Re:False dichotomy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22472012)

thanks doublethink!

Re:Surprised? (-1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471718)

Why is anyone surprised. These foundations are nothing but cash cows, money sinks and tax write-offs.
Never mind foundations in general. Bill Gates is the source of the moral bankruptcy.

Re:Surprised? (5, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471724)

How many rich people do you count as close personal associates? Blanket statements like yours are irritating at best, and idiotic at worst. Let's talk about how much money you donate to charities. No? Fine... then consider this: whether it's a tax write-off or not, charitable foundations depend on the generosity of wealthy patrons to continue their work. That's just how the system is structured. Don't like it? Okay, work to get the tax benefits of charitable contributions eliminated. While you're at it, please explain to those who benefit from the monies donated to medical research, food programs, etc why they don't deserve the help.

I'm no Bill Gates fanboy (kinda hard to be when I refuse to use Microsoft products at home), but your position is ridiculous.

Re:Surprised? (2, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472214)

then consider this: whether it's a tax write-off or not, charitable foundations depend on the generosity of wealthy patrons to continue their work. That's just how the system is structured. Don't like it? Okay, work to get the tax benefits of charitable contributions eliminated. While you're at it, please explain to those who benefit from the monies donated to medical research, food programs, etc why they don't deserve the help.
I worked in "charity" for five years. In all that time, I cannot name one thing other than "not having to fire anyone" that we accomplished.

Cash-based Charities as a whole are one step above outright scams. This is underscored for anything called a "foundation." Yes, they spend money on good things. But i'm not convinced that the donor and the donnee wouldn't be better served by simply handing over money -- or buying goods and selling them at a loss as a better form of charity.

Re:Surprised? (4, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472272)

Of course the donor and recipient would be better served in a direct exchange of currency. Now how do you get them in touch with each other to facilitate the transfer? How do you know they actually need the money, compared to someone else? That's where charitable fund raising foundations come into play, which cannot be effectively run on any large scale at zero cost. Like any other class of organization, there are good ones, bad ones, and some in between. In any event, the primary focus of the Gates Foundation is dispersing funds that are directly earned and controlled by, well, the Gates. Different animal entirely.

If you don't believe you accomplished anything in five years of working for a charity, why in God's name did you do it for that long? Surely you could have better spent your efforts elsewhere.

Re:Surprised? (3, Insightful)

canterbury rod (1229414) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471890)

-----------"Very, very few rich people are genuine philanthropists."

Why so cynical? There are many genuine philanthropists in this world and they certainly don't set up their foundations solely for the purpose of tax write-offs and providing as you say "cash cows." As Zig Ziglar put it, "I've been rich, and I've been poor. And frankly, it's better to be rich." Why, because you can help folks when you're rich. Me thinks, you think the rich are not genuine in their philanthropic endeavors. I beg to differ.

Re:Surprised? (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472946)

I am not sure about the others, but I suspect billg is motivated, primaril, by his urge to compensate for every time he was abused by his colleagues at school. His bullies had a lasting and unintended influence in the world...

US$ 640 million should be enogh for anyone

Re:Surprised? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22471892)

I'm afraid that you and many others have a complete misunderstanding of "tax write-offs." You don't magically make money by donating to charity. The money that you donate to charity is simply not taxable. All of the money that you keep is still taxable. By donating to charity, you will lose money no matter how much you save in tax writeoffs (and you will lose quite a bit more).

Very, very few rich people are genuine philanthropists.

I agree with you here, but Gates is indeed one of the few.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22472100)

> Very, very few rich people are genuine philanthropists.

Sorry to be cynical, but very few people succeed to be genuine anything. And some aren't even trying.

Re:Surprised? (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472910)

By donating to charity you will buy good PR, which is otherwise quite expensive.
You can also donate goods to charity, and claim a tax break relative to what they would have been sold at... This is designed for goods where there is a tangible cost to produce them and a small margin, and the tax break means that the company can afford to donate more goods for the same cost. But when it comes to software, which is virtually 100% profit, such a company actually directly profits from "giving" it to charity.

Also, for all the money the gates foundation (and other similar organizations) spends on medical research, how much of this research goes into the public domain, and how much goes to pharmaceutical companies owned by the very same people who own the foundations?
Similarly, how many of their donations come with strings attached, like "heres $1 million for drugs, but you have to buy all you're drugs from a specific company"... So the entire $1mil goes back to said drugs company, as does other money that came from other sources - a net win for the owners of the foundations. Similarly gates has been known to make "donations" on condition that various schools etc use microsoft software exclusively.

Genuine philanthropists would hand over money without any strings attached, and often do so anonymously, some big charities like oxfam receive large anonymous donations at times.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22473664)

envious much?

Oh, shit... (0, Redundant)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471450)

I hope Gates realizes that "The Blue Screen of Death" may have bigger consequences in the Health field than it does in computers...

(and no, I honestly am not sure if I'm joking, being snarky, or am genuinely worried about WTF that idiot egomaniac may end up blundering us all into...)

/P

Re:Oh, shit... (4, Interesting)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471612)

Ummm. This has nothing to do with the Gates Foundation. This is just a general scientific community sentiment in not wanting to offend their backers (hence the mention of Rockefeller in the summary).

Re:Oh, shit... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471760)

Whatever happened to the supposedly libertarian stance of the average Slashdot reader? When it comes to those who make charitable contributions, whatever their motives may be, let's not forget that it's their money to do with as they please. How many people here would support a welfare system that gives away billions of dollars with virtually no oversight on how the money is actually being spent? Oh, wait...

Re:Oh, shit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22472574)

"The Gates Foundation has poured about $1.2 billion into malaria research since 2000. In the late 1990s, as little as $84 million a year was spent - largely by the U.S. military and health institutes, along with European governments and foundations. Drug makers had largely abandoned the field. (China was developing a drug, artemisinin, that is now the cornerstone of treatment.)"

If a million slashdot readers donate $1000 each we might not need this shady Gates Foundation at all!

Coming soon... (5, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471470)

Microsoft Medicine
For the low price of $500 dollars per copy.
You may not disassemble or reverse engineer this vaccine.
If you install this vaccine in a second body, you must delete it from the first.
You may keep a copy of this vaccine for backup purposes only. You may not install this vaccine in a body containing more than two souls. (Siamese triples, anyone?)

Well how about (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471638)

If you inject this vaccine into a siamese multiplet, you must purchase one license per individual.

Re:Coming soon... (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471734)

This medication has experienced a fatal error. Please restart the patient's heart.

Re:Coming soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22471982)

Beginning Physical Memory Dump

Re:Coming soon... (5, Informative)

r55man (615542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471900)

You jest, but I don't think you're really all that far off. From the article:

Experts said IPTi involved giving babies doses of an older anti-malaria drug, Fansidar ... In early studies, it was shown to decrease malaria cases about 25 percent. But each dose provided protection for only a month.

Since it is not safe or practical to give Fansidar constantly to babies ... World Health Organization scientists had doubts about it.

The health agency's objections were met with "intense and aggressive opposition" from Gates-backed scientists and the foundation

What do you want to bet this is exactly the kind of "cure" that the Gates Foundation is looking for: The kind that you need to keep buying every month for the rest of your life.

Re:Coming soon... (1)

TeraCo (410407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472090)

When I have to purchase weekly vaccine updates from Micropharm, I'll be worried. BillG isn't actually part of Big Pharm yet.

Re:Coming soon... (1)

Thondermonst (613766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22473372)

Or one step further, stop delivering the vaccine. Members of the Rockefeller clan have stated in the past that the world population has to be reduced by a couple of billion, so what better way to do it.

Wake up and smell the genetically altered coffee, boys and girls.

Immortality (0, Redundant)

3p1ph4ny (835701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471508)

Maybe I'm a cynic, but I just don't see why everyone thinks that Bill Gates is a Good Person. While I agree that the Gates Foundation (or whatever it's real name is) is a Good Thing, I'm not sure that it exists for the right reason (not that this matters, particularly).

Bill Gates just wants his name to be immortal, because he solved any one of a million world hunger/malaria/etc. problems in the world, and the Gates Foundation is his way of doing that. We'll all love him and put his name on a pedestal, which is exactly what he wants. The Gates Foundation is a calculated move, just like every other he's made. The only difference is, this calculated move has the side effect of being good for the world population.

Re:Immortality (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22471576)

He is not a good person, he has never been a good person. Few people are. But, particularly in America, people confuse "Rich" and "Successful" and "Good". Short memories I guess. Gates doing this now toward the end of his life is no different to the magnanimous gestures of the Robber Barons. He _might_ actually do some good, but I doubt it, and even if he does, does it really balance the massive amount of harm he did to the computing? We'll never know now, but if he hadn't been there *holding back* computing by ~20 years (the spin is of course totally different, nowadays people seem to think Gates personally invented modern computing, but I'm old enough to remember the 70s and 80s and lived through the damage), maybe we'd have just computed a designer drug cure for malaria by now.

Re:Immortality (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471602)

Most mega-billionaires give away their money in hopes of achieving immortality. Why is this a bad thing? Many fine research and educational institutions would not exist without this desire to be remembered for something positive. I think if we look down on the idea of doing great things for society in order to achieve lasting immortality, we will lose all of the great things that can result from it.

The only "true" philanthropy is anonymous. That doesn't mean we should condemn the idea of "pseudo" philanthropy just because we find the idea of buying immortality distasteful. After all, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute would probably be just as good without Howard Hughes' name on it, but it certainly wouldn't be as good (or even exist) without his money in it.

Re:Immortality (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471626)

He feels that the Gates Foundation is only doing the minimum required to be declared a charity rather than genuinely trying to help people.

Re:Immortality (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471880)

Ya, because he thinks about things (like consequences of his actions) he should be reviled by everyone. Perhaps you would rather someone without the basic intelligence to foresee that curing malaria would earn him brownie points in charge of finding a cure for malaria, or ~90% of the world's operating systems.

Me, I'm just happy that these things are getting done.

no surprise (-1, Troll)

El Gruga (1029472) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471558)

Gates really is a complete and utter tosser. Perhaps they will make him King of Zimbabwe or something and then shoot him in the palace courtyard. We can but hope.

I called this. (3, Insightful)

ruinevil (852677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471568)

When I bash Gates, people always tell me that Bill Gates has donated more money to medical research than anyone else in history. Which is true. But I always say that he donates heavily to organizations he controls. And finally he has shown his true colors.

The idea behind Gates Foundation (3, Interesting)

jbrax (315669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471570)

The main business of Gates Foundation is making money and avoiding taxes by giving away at least 5% of its worth every year. The Foundation is a major shareholder in many of the companies listed as "highest-polluting" in the United States and Canada.

What about the 5%? Gates Foundation awards grants mainly in support of global health initiatives, for efforts to improve public education in the United States (Live@edu for lock-in, anyone?), and for social welfare programs in the Pacific Northwest.

LA Times investigation of Gates Foundation, January 2007: Dark cloud over good works of Gates Foundation [latimes.com]

Re:The idea behind Gates Foundation (4, Insightful)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471634)

Your first paragraph appears to attack the foundation and second appears to support it. What is your point exactly? Avoiding taxes? They're a freakin' charity. THEY ARE TAX EXEMPT. This is the worst attempt at a troll I've ever... ever seen. The reason they have to donate 5% a year is because that is a requirement of Warren Buffet's donation and if they don't donate that amount, Warren Buffet's contributions will cease.

Re:The idea behind Gates Foundation (1)

jbrax (315669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472172)

The point is that 95% of the Foundations worth is invested by "Bill Gates Investments" into companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights, or unethical practices. This places a dark cloud over 5% good works of Gates Foundation.

Re:The idea behind Gates Foundation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22473804)

You obviously don't understand non-profit tax laws. There is no such thing as a "tax exempt" charity. Non-profit organizations may be tax-exempt, but this is really a misnomer, since many of them still have to pay taxes if certain requirements are not met. This is the reason the foundation has to dump 5% of its money each year to avoid paying taxes. The fact is they are not a true "non-profit" organization, since the organization is making large sums of money, as is noted in the article he linked.

Large funds like the B&MGF are truly nothing more then tax shelters. If you read about the investments made and then about the work done, you will see it is largely conflicting. While trying to give out drugs for AIDS with one hand, they will support organizations that have tried hard to do nothing but keep their drugs priced too high for most people to afford, especially in developing countries. They are also heavily invested in some of the worst polluting companies in the world. So, they have helped create a whole new range of diseases in some areas.

Seriously, look long and hard at any "non-profit" or "charity" organization you ever want to support or donate money too. I firmly advocate being very selective before you wind up wasting your money funding either a tax-shelter (like the B&MGF) or funding terrorists (I'm looking at you PETA.).

private or public science? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22471582)

It's happening everywhere, a gradual chilling debasement of science and open collaboration. On one hand the internet has brought great
opportunity, and some great things like Gutenberg, the Internet archive, Hyperphysics, and of course Wikis that are gaining credibility more and more, but these are not real scientific repositories, real science is being buried. Some online journals have their archives open to download free pdfs, but they are the exception, in general things are getting much worse than better. 15 years ago I had to go to a library to get papers, but at least they were there and I could photocopy for free. Now all the records have gone electronic its a nightmare. Do a Google search on any serious topic and the first two pages will be istore, free patents online, and all those for-pay peddlers of knowledge. These guardians of information charge $30 or more for an electronic reprint, on 80 year old papers, IP that doesn't even belong to them! I expect many great scientists are spinning in their graves. I sometimes laugh when I hear the phrase scientific community. There isn't one anymore! Everyone is out to obscure and bury. How can peer review be conducted anymore? Everyone is too afraid to publish in case patent trolls sieze their work, and only the few in large institutions can afford to. I have to share papers on the sly with other researchers and certain old textbooks are becoming treasured items. This knowledge belongs to us all. The vast majority from the last few hundred years is public domain, payed for by your tax dollars to fund research on national levels.

I certainly don't expect Microsoft to help in any way, their track record is to squeeze money out of every chance they get. What have they ever contributed to real science? We must reverse this slide into private and secret science or eventually university students will be signing NDA agreements before being allowed to study and progress will only be the preserve of the wealthy.

Google scholar is a step forward, but if you use it a lot you will see more than half of what it links to isn't actually available, it just leads to pay-for sites. They should block those so that only info that is actually available to read is presented.

Re:private or public science? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22471796)

As usual, retards like you can't tell the difference between Microsoft and the Gates Foundation. You didn't even bother to disguise the fact that your whole disjointed rant is just a lead-on to the usual vapid "Microsoft sucks and kills babies OMG" tripe.

Re:private or public science? (2, Interesting)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471988)

I've got news for everyone ... scientific research is not the unbiased bastion that everyone thinks it is. There are many books that document the sagas (and if I could get into the room where my step-son is sleeping I'd get you a couple of titles) of how scientists and politics go hand-in-hand. Backstabbing, lying, and downright blackmail have been going on for hundreds of years. It's popular to blame the current administration, but they weren't the first and won't be the last to try and craft scientific theories to fit their beliefs.

Everyone does it .. everyone likes to quote the facts that support their favorite belief and don't offer up the evidence that refutes it. Be it arguments for and against cloning, genetic engineering, global warming, power generation, and on and on.

Recognize the conflicts exist, do your own sanity check, then move on. It's never going to change until our unemotional robot overlords take control. As long as people do the research, there will always be biased contamination in the reporting of the results.

Re:private or public science? (1)

damienl451 (841528) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472194)

You seem to assume that, since you cannot access those articles, nobody else can. I'm sorry to disappoint you but when I go on Google Scholar, I have access to 90% of the articles I can find, and so do many other people. The two key words are *library* and *institutions*. 15 years ago, needed a library card, today you need access to their intranet. 15 years ago, you went to the library to photocopy articles, today you go there and download PDFs.

Re:private or public science? (2, Informative)

shadowKFC (873680) | more than 6 years ago | (#22473394)

This is, to put it bluntly, an extremely ignorant view.

It is now, and I'm working in science, A LOT better then it was 15 years ago. Back then you physically had to go to a library, get the articles on paper, photocopy them one by one, and then you just had a huge mess of horribly photocopied junk, with no color and hard to read illustrations and figures.

Not to talk about finding the stuff first, Pubmed and co are invaluable here and this is only possible due to the fact that scientific articles are all digitized.
I cannot justify the ridiculous prices that are being charged for single articles, (20 $ and up), however in reality nearly no one pays those. Everyone working in a somewhat scientific position will have access to most journals through the institution where they work. This means you can just download everything from your desk in perfect pdf quality, store it on your computer, full-text search it, print it etc..

When ever I come across a "Please give me 500 $ for this article" page it is usually because our intuition does not have a subscription to this journal. However usually this is no problem, because collogues from other universities will probably have access and vice versa.

Now what to do when you are not a member of a scientific institution and do not have access?
Simple, just go to the library and go sit at their computers. Or join a library and get access to their VPN/intranet

Re: It's affecting AIDS research too (5, Interesting)

QuincyFree (147705) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471618)

I work in AIDS research. The conflicts that are emerging in the field of malaria research are very similar to what we are experiencing in our field, which in both cases is a consequence of the severe funding bottleneck for biological sciences. The Gates Foundation has been an extremely important source of funding for basic science as well as providing resources for prevention and outreach in areas of the world suffering from the heaviest burden of these diseases. Unfortunately, the current funding philosophy seems to be to reward a massive sum of cash to a very select subset of scientists in the field. This has created some unfortunate divisions in our field. If you can access the article, see: http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v13/n5/abs/nm0507-515.html [nature.com] (I've also been able to Google for excerpts from the article.) Basically, both the Gates Foundation and the NIH have pumped massive funding into a single research consortium, leaving many other labs scavenging for funding to sustain their clinical research. Throw in some questionable data-sharing practices and lack of scientific collaboration by the consortium, and you'll obviously create a lot of resentment.

Re: It's affecting AIDS research too (2, Interesting)

15Bit (940730) | more than 6 years ago | (#22473330)

I work in what is now called the "alternative energy" sector - fuel cells etc, and we have similar problems. The lot of money to a small number of groups is evident here too, though to be fair to the funding bodies these are people who have a track record of providing a "return" on the investment. There is a sort of critical size effect though, and once a research group gets beyond a certain size it seems to lose focus and the output per person drops.

The bigger problem seems to be continuity of funding. You can get a grant for 1-3 year project, during which time you may or may not achieve something positive. But after the time is up, you are subject to the whims of the funding system again, and your chance of getting money to continue the project (even if it was wildly successful) is slim. You keep applying, and perhaps 3 years down the line you'll actually get the cash, but by then all the researchers on the project (and hence all the knowledge and experience) have gone and you're starting again from scratch. It also tends to lead to research group leaders having lots of money for specific windows of time, meaning that for 5 years they may need lots of lab space and stuff, and then within 6 months go to needing absolutely nothing cos they have no funding at all. The labs and equipment are then "lost" before the next set of funding ensues.

If the Gates foundation did something toward fixing this they'd get my vote.

Business as usual (4, Interesting)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471644)

Ah, another Bashdot hack job. Just bringing home the bacon.

But let's quote from TFA, since no one really reads it - it's enough that Slashdot publishes something to add it to the repertoire of the FOSS advocate army on the internets:

The Gates Foundation has poured about $1.2 billion into malaria research since 2000. In the late 1990s, as little as $84 million a year was spent - largely by the U.S. military and health institutes, along with European governments and foundations. Drug makers had largely abandoned the field. (China was developing a drug, artemisinin, that is now the cornerstone of treatment.)

The World Health Organization is a United Nations agency with a $4 billion budget. It gives advice on policies, evaluates treatments - especially for poor countries - maintains a network of laboratories and sends teams to fight outbreaks of diseases, like avian flu or Ebola. It finances little research; for diseases of the poor, the Gates Foundation is the biggest donor in the world.

$4 billion dollars. Since the WHO is a UN body, I'm sure we can imagine where most of that money goes to. But that's really irrelevant.

Having worked with privately funded research NGOs in the past, I'm pretty sure that the turf wars and petty rivalries are as common at that level as they are everywhere else. Let's quote again:

But Attaran said he believed that scientists were not afraid of the foundation, but of its chief for malaria, Regina Rabinovich, whom he described as "autocratic."

So, twenty bucks this is some sort of institutional or personal rivalry of some sort. I don't buy the "openly undiplomatic official" bit at all, not from someone who works for the United Nations.

It is of course quite possible that the person responsible for malaria efforts at the Gates foundation is a certified bitch - that alone does not justify the retarded "some oddly familiar-sounding tactics and attitudes" bullshit in the submission. From an anonymous reader, no less. Nowhere in the article is it claimed that the malaria campaign by the foundation is wrong or not working. No, it's just that it's not proceeding the way the UN bureaucrats want it to:

His own experience with Gates-financed policy groups, he said, was that they are cowed into "stomach-churning group think."

That's institutionalese for "they're not doing things the way we do them around here".

The gist of the article involves Kochi's dislike of how the Gates foundation goes about using it's $1.2 billion dollar malaria program:

called the Gates Foundation's decision making "a closed internal process, and as far as can be seen, accountable to none other than itself."

Perhaps the people who run the Gates Foundation have read about how inefficient and ineffective the WHO has been in the past twenty years, and they prefer not to be accountable to a group of people who are supposed to be helping humanity but instead spend their time trying to hold on to research grants for dear life, witholding information about radiation poisoning from the public at the bequest of the IAEA, and fighting turf wars over juicy postings in well-to do countries.

Re:Business as usual (3, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472020)

It is of course quite possible that the person responsible for malaria efforts at the Gates foundation is a certified bitch - that alone does not justify the retarded "some oddly familiar-sounding tactics and attitudes" bullshit in the submission.
That alone? From the article:
Since it is not safe or practical to give Fansidar constantly to babies because it is a sulfa drug that can cause rare but deadly reactions and because Fansidar-resistant malaria is growing, World Health Organization scientists had doubts about it. Nonetheless, Kochi wrote, although it was "less and less straightforward" that the health agency should recommend it, the agency's objections were met with "intense and aggressive opposition" from Gates-backed scientists and the foundation.

So this is either truth or lies. If truth, it is alarming.

Re:Business as usual (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472132)

on the internets

Since your feild is not computers I should say that using this word is the equivalent of telling a medical expert that your foot bone is connected to your head bone :)

Re:Business as usual (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472564)

It is, actually. I just worked with a consulting company in Belgium in the mid 90s that did a lot of business with European hospitals, which ran various research centers. They used to get funding from companies like Volkswagen and Telefonica. They spent a *lot* of money in IT.

Well, it IS connected (2, Funny)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 6 years ago | (#22473350)

Your foot bone is connected to your head bone. Not only by a series of other connecting bones, but through a network used to transport substances throughout the body, including the foot bone and head bone, which is called the cardiovascular system. And again, the cardiovascular system is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes.

Re:Business as usual (1)

Nqdiddles (805995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472898)

I just love that we're talking about it though.
Hack job or not, I think it's drawn attention to an area that most of this readership would have an opinion about. At the end of the day I think the most you could ask of those of us without money to contribute is that we do pay attention and get involved - even if only in discussion.
Post away people.

Interesting (1)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471654)

It notes that the WHO official who raised the alarm on the Gates Foundation's unintended consequences on world health research is "an openly undiplomatic official who won admiration for reorganizing the world fight against tuberculosis but was ousted from that job partly because he offended donors like the Rockefeller Foundation."

Hmm, I read this as "tried to get as much money as possible from charities because I know the sponsors are flush".

http://money.cnn.com/2006/06/25/magazines/fortune/charity4.fortune/ [cnn.com]

If I gave $30 billion (I don't care how it was made, it was) of my money and decided I wanted the recipients to figure out how to make monkeys dance while playing cards and whistling Sheena is a Punk Rocker, than they better damn well figure out how to do it.

You retards who still do the "Bill Gates is Evil, Micro$oft is the devil"...grow up. You wouldn't be even typing on your computer right now if it wasn't for Microsoft. Its business, deal with it.

You don't like it, steal something better, make something better, market it better, and convince everyone that you're product's better.

And when you do and you're successful and rich...what would you be willing to do when someone comes up with a better idea? Will you kill it, will you buy it, or will you pour money into a competitor?

For all the crap that you think Bill Gates has done, he and his wife have done a lot more for the planet than you mouth breathers.

Re:Interesting (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471850)

If I gave $30 billion (I don't care how it was made, it was) of my money and decided I wanted the recipients to figure out how to make monkeys dance while playing cards and whistling Sheena is a Punk Rocker, than they better damn well figure out how to do it.

If you gave $30 billion of your money to a charity administered by me and insisted we figure out how to make monkeys dance while playing cards and whistling Sheena is a Punk Rocker, I'd cut off your penis in front of your bank manager, shove you dismembered member down your throat, piss on you and then go to gaol happy in the knowledge that I had done some good for the world.

Well perhaps I'm exagerating, but I do hope you realise that your entire rant is offtopic and very, very stupid. We are talking about charity, not "a rich arsehole giving idiots money to perform whatever the rich arsehole finds amusing tody."

Misguided Gates references (5, Insightful)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471822)

The Gates foundation provides funding so long as there is adequate proof of where the funding is going and so long as it aligns with the broad vision the Gates foundation has. It sounds like this guy has problems with some of the scientists receiving Gates funding and he has problems with the fact that the Gates foundation has its own internal, closed decision making process that is only accountable to itself. But, that's to be expected. The Gates foundation introduced a level of accountability not seen before on a large scale. They did for international philanthropy what organizations like Pew did for philanthropy within the US.

The Gates foundation had to fight to bring any real accountability into these fields. If the WHO feels threatened its probably because they were pushing funds into opportunistic pockets up until the Gates foundation forced real accountability to happen.

Given the state of affairs up until now, if the Gates foundation did just create their own WHO-like organization, there's a good chance more people would be helped per dollar invested than are being helped by the WHO now.

The gates foundation is far from perfect. But they are inevitably going to take heat from threatening the lifeblood of the people at all levels of international philanthropy that have been skimming off the top of a very broken system.

The dysfunctional mechanism here (1)

Olaf Underbridge (717091) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472250)

Gates demands results from people to whom he gives money.
In the criminally overcompetitive environment of Microsoft,
this generated a meme pool of ferociously competitive behaviors
that were optimal for maximizing Microsoft's profits.

However, in an environment of scientific research, the same meme pool
has two disadvantages. First, it is unfamiliar to scientists
who have never been exposed to it, and therefore their ideas
suffer in comparison to ideas defended with Gates-level ferocity,
not because of the merits of the ideas themseelves, but just because
of the ferocity of the defense. Second, the ferocity itself
interferes with communication among scientists, forcing them to be
mutually suspicious and mutually destructive to defend their own
livelihoods. This phenomenon already exists in scientific research,
but it is electrically intensified by the Microsoft meme pool.

    > If the WHO feels threatened it's probably because they were
    > pushing funds into opportunistic pockets up until the
    > Gates foundation forced real accountability to happen.

From the outside, it is difficult to differentiate anticorruption
struggles from dysfunctional overcompetition. However, it seemed
to me like the article alluded to specific examples supporting
the claim that this is overcompetition rather than anticorruption.

similar problem with global warming theory (1)

EDinNY (262952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471882)

Actually the problem with the theory that humans cause global warming is even worse. Those that doubt this theory get little or no funding and proponents of the theory try to gag those that would disagree. The INTENDED consequence is to monopolize the discussion.

Just as the theory at one time said that the earth is flat, that the sun revolves around the earth and twice that we are experiencing global cooling, this is the second time in the last 100 years that the SAME people have said that we are experiencing global warming, and WE are causing it!

It is also interesting to note that those that favor the theory that humans cause global warming are the same people who told me in 1972 that our landfills would be full by 1990 and are the advocates of large government control...with by extension leaves us less free.

Re:similar problem with global warming theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22472056)

The opponents of global warming theory are funded by: the oil companies; the energy suppliers; the US Govt; car manufacturers; most of energy dependent industry (==most of it). People who research climate change (as opposed to having a pre-decided view) are financed by grants squeezed out of public funds and by themselves. You can guess who really has the most money available. With that much finance it's not surprising that people like you believe the message the oil astro-turfers spread.

Re:similar problem with global warming theory (1)

imroy (755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472660)

Those that doubt this theory get little or no funding

Except for the ones that got oil money.

Just as the theory at one time said that the earth is flat, that the sun revolves around the earth...

Except the Flat Earth theory is a myth [asa3.org] - "with extraordinary few exceptions no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat.". It certainly wasn't a scientific theory. And even if it was, there's nothing wrong with science accepting new evidence and abandoning an old theory. You sound a lot like the anti-science right-wing Christians with their line about "science is always changing its mind about things, but the bible has never changed!"

...and twice that we are experiencing global cooling

Global cooling [wikipedia.org] is also a theory that never had significant scientific support. By the time the media covered it in the mid-1970's, the cooling trend had stopped and there were major concerns about the effects of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

It is also interesting to note that those that favor the theory that humans cause global warming are the same people who told me in 1972 that our landfills would be full by 1990 and are the advocates of large government control...with by extension leaves us less free.

Oh I see. Some ambiguous group of "them" were wrong a long time ago on a totally different matter, and apparently hold differing political views, so therefore you're right on this matter. Well how about you go and research your ideas better before making sweeping claims?

Monopoly Philanthropy (5, Insightful)

sakusha (441986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471894)

Yep, I've been saying this for ages, and nobody believes me. It's like the old joke by Craig Kilborn:

"Bill Gates announced his initiative to eradicate the AIDS virus. He plans to buy all competing viruses and use his power of monopoly to drive the AIDS virus to extinction."

But this is no joke. Gates has established a monopoly on philanthropy and the addition of money from Warren Buffet has given even more power to the Gates Foundation. They don't fund charities, they assimilate them. It is impossible to fund any alternative charities when the overwhelming majority of monies are going to the Officially Approved Gates Foundation Charities. Those charities have become a monoculture, as this document asserts. And those charities are designed to get third-world companies hooked on first-world Big Pharmaceuticals. Guess what? Bill Gates is a major shareholder in Big Pharma, from Merck to Schering-Plough to a dozen others. Gates can't help but apply his business mindset to everything he does, he seeks to rebuild the world in his own image, even if this means working his will through phony philanthropy.
But what galls me the most is that the billions of dollars he's "donating" came out of the pockets of Microsoft customers: governments, corporations, and individuals. What diverse charities might WE have funded, if Bill Gates hadn't stolen those dollars from OUR wallets?

Re:Monopoly Philanthropy (1)

skugga (655282) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472074)

But what galls me the most is that the billions of dollars he's "donating" came out of the pockets of Microsoft customers: governments, corporations, and individuals. What diverse charities might WE have funded, if Bill Gates hadn't stolen those dollars from OUR wallets?
The money I donate to charities comes straight from money i've made from selling other people my products. Exactly the same as what Bill Gates is doing. I choose where the money I've earnt goes and so does he....That's how it works. If you dont like where he's putting HIS money, dont buy his products and spend that money where you like instead.

Re:Monopoly Philanthropy (1, Flamebait)

sakusha (441986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472178)

I don't buy his products. But many people do, and they pay inflated prices because of Gates' monopoly. That is how Gates acquired his wealth, through illegal means. Do I need to remind you that Gates is a convicted monopolist? You may earn your money selling products in a manner similar to Gates, but I suspect you earn your money honestly. Bill Gates did not.

Furthermore, I frequently have no choice in how my government spends the tax dollars I contribute to the treasury. My money is wasted on inefficient, insecure, and overpriced monopoly products sold by Microsoft. They're installed in my local governments offices, even down to the local library. Money spent on those overpriced MS products diverts funding from other projects that provide tangible services to taxpayers. I do not pay my taxes so that Bill Gates can siphon off funding for his monopoly on philanthropy.

Re:Monopoly Philanthropy (1)

Xuranova (160813) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472230)

omfg. I swear. Being a monopoly is NOT illegal. Abusing it is. There is a HUGE difference. Hence how phone(land lines), utilities, and cable providers are able to exist as they do.

Re:Monopoly Philanthropy (1)

sakusha (441986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472288)

Gates and Microsoft were convicted of ABUSING their monopoly in computer software. I never meant to imply that the Gates Foundation is illegally abusing a monopoly position on charity. I merely indicate that it is a really really bad thing to have any one person with such a concentration of power over charities. Do I have to spell it out for you in such detail, or are you being deliberately obtuse?

Re:Monopoly Philanthropy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22472126)

Gates has established a monopoly on philanthropy and the addition of money from Warren Buffet has given even more power to the Gates Foundation.

Are you fucking kidding me? A monopoly on philanthropy? The old robber barons of the 1800's had a oligopoly on charity for nearly a half a century. The Gates Foundation barely registers as a blip on the radar of charities like the Rockefeller Foundation. The only reason why the media makes such a big fuss about the Gates Foundation is because Bill Gates announced from the very beginning that it had no intention of having the charity continue past his death, and everyone is waiting to see if he holds to that promise.

Re:Monopoly Philanthropy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22473266)

This is my first Anonymous post.
I work in malaria, in one of the leading research institutions on the field.
Gates money is everywhere, and when it is not the majority of money, marketing assures that is made to look like that.
Much of the financing for research still comes from public national institutions (not the WHO). NSF in the US, Wellcome Trust and alike in UK. European Commission. Here most of the money is EU/public money, Gates is big money for sure, and is some places he is probably the most money. But there is some spin to make it look like he is everything and that is not true.

While I am not prepared to comment on "big picture" issues (I don't have enough experience about it) I can see your big pharma point: There is a massive drive to develop new drugs and to support expensive treatments, but, to be honest I don't see if that comes directly from the Gates foundation.

There seems also to be some support to the idea that the current head of the foundation is autocratic (as stated in the article).

In my case, I am trying to run away from funding sources that are "too close" to the issue (as is the Gates Foundation). I prefer to be funded by a body that is reasonably independent.

As a general rule I would say that diversity of sources of power is a good idea and I would tend to agree that the Gates Foundation has too much power as a single entity. Monoculture is bad, be it state or private.

Bill's new business card (2, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471920)

--------------------
William H Gates, III
--------------------
CATHERDER
billg@phdsrnotrouble.org
--------------------

The gates fund, actually provides money but (1)

mehtars (655511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471996)

Doesn't allow all the scientist into its group for funding. I really don't see anything with wrong with that, they just pick the people they feel are the best for the job and provide funding... Prior to gates coming in with the money, there was no real funding of drugs. Also, I recently read somewhere that drugs were going to manufactured so they could be affordable or free... ie priced like generics.

Well, start your own foundation, then! (1)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472124)

The Gates Foundation can operate however it pleases. If you don't like it, then let the heads of SourceForge Inc (owners of slashdot), Google, Apple, Red Hat, Ubuntu, or some other slashdot-approved entity start their own foundation and they can operate it more in keeping with slashdot's principles.

(Of course the only slashdot "principle" here is "Gates = evil"; a foundation run by ESR or Steve Jobs (yeah, that'll be the day) that operated in the exact same manner as the Gates Foundation wouldn't be ripped over and over on slashdot.)

Gates Foundation and SCO (2, Interesting)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472358)

Argh!

I ran across a rumor about the Gates Foundation using its muscle to persuade a private investor to make that $100 million dollar bailout to SCO, and that it was linked to some Saudi Prince.

But I can't find a single reference to it anywhere. Was I just dreaming? Does anybody have anything on this?

Although I did run across this item [theregister.co.uk] while searching. . .

Everyone and his dog knows that corporate philanthropy is PR, but what is not understood very well in the US is that there should be a certain decency about how it is done. Not so with the Gates Foundation. It uses plenty of professional PR to milk the donations, and the timing certainly correlates with Microsoft's desire to influence public opinion. Microsoft is after all only partly playing to Judge Jackson, where what is in effect special pleading ("we've been naughty, but we've given wagon loads of money to charity by way of a penance" ) is unlikely to prove helpful. Much more important to Microsoft at the moment is a hearts-and-minds campaign and to use the charity card to lull a gullible public into thinking that at heart Microsoft is OK. Former Novell boss Ray Noorda scotched that one when he observed (paraphrasing) that to have a heart-to-heart, you had to have two hearts. Looking at the Foundation's actions over the last six months, and analysing press releases announcing donations, we see that when nothing was happening publicly in April, there were three releases. In May, as things were warming up for the June rebuttal hearings, there were 12 releases. In June, the number shot up to 20, but immediately dropped down to just four in July, when the trial was quiet again. August saw 12 and there were 13 in September, in honour of the findings of fact and the oral hearing. A recent move is an invitation by Craig McCaw of Teledesic (in which Gates and Microsoft have invested significantly) for Nelson Mandela and his new wife to visit Seattle from 7-9 December "to raise awareness of issues in Africa". The press release was jointly issued by Teledesic and the Gates Foundation. You can bet that Mandela will be given a large cheque. This looks like a PR blocking move in case Judge Jackson's Opinion is handed down around that time. As has been said before, charity begins in the home PC. Several hundred million PC users around the world have been a victim of Microsoft's monopoly exploitation, pricing policies and software quality. This charity money comes from these users - us - yet we have no say in what happens to it. Microsoft is indeed a world leader -- in exploiting philanthropy.


-FL

Should be noted that (5, Interesting)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472400)

...the B & G Foundation/MS statistically donates less money than most all other US corporate behemoths. It acts more like a giant investment fund rather than a savior.

Quote from the LA Times, Jan, 2007: "the Los Angeles Times looked into how the foundation invests some of the billions of dollars that are in the portfolio of the world's largest charity, and it found a number of instances -- perhaps 41 percent of that portfolio -- in which the foundation has invested in companies that have policies that actively undermine the social welfare goals of the foundation."

Re:Should be noted that (2, Interesting)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22473060)

in which the foundation has invested in companies that have policies that actively undermine the social welfare goals of the foundation

And that is not coincidental. The publically stated goals of the foundation serve to hide its actual agenda. To learn more about the actual agenda of the Gates Foundatation, watch this shocking presentation: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6890106663412840646 [google.com]

The problem with charity (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472822)

Charity has always had the problem that the person performing the charity will invariably attach some conditions to the charity. The simplest clearest example is religion related charity. Take for instance orphans raised by the catholic church. Yes ain't we nice, we raise these kids society has ignored. Why yes, offcourse we raise them as catholics, why do you ask?

It is not evil perse, there is nothing wrong with a catholic upbringing and since the religion apparently is 'good' enough to donate money to the raising of kids they clearly do something right BUT where does it stop? Would an orphaned child of a different religion still be allowed to the freedom of religion we so value in the west?

It is even simpler with straight cash donations, lots of slashdotters claim that politicians who accept cash donations from special interest groups are just one small step away from bribery.

If I donate a million dollars to my childs school, just how much say does this give me in how this school is run? If a school becomes totally depended on money from Bill Gates just how unbiased towards MS software will its IT department be?

Because at the receiver ends an old saying goes, "don't bite the hand that feeds you".

The article makes it clear how far this go, a worker who did excellent work was nonetheless fired because he upset one of the donors. He bit the hand that fed him.

The money that flows around Bill Gates has been linked more then once to attempts to influence the world in a way that clearly benefits Bill Gates. Look at the money that flowed around SCO, around OOXML etc etc. Just how come that the case against MS was dropped so quickly when the guard changed in the white house? How much did Billy boy and his old boys network donate?

Note this is NOT simple corruption. It is far more dangerous. Simple corruption in away is open by its nature. If everyone KNOWS it costs 1000 bucks in unmarked bills in a brown envelope to get a permit, then that is just the cost of living. Openly corrupt societies are actually very easy to deal with, just have enough cash on hand to get things done.

The charity/donations corruption is far harder to deal with. It ain't just Bill Gates you have to deal with, but all his friends as well. Even if you don't get any money from Billy you still have to watch out because you might be dependent on an organisation which does, or from one of his friends.

The article already shows this, upset the rockefellers and loose your job.

Say Bill Gates visits one of the schools he sponsors, do you think that any administrator of that school would allow a student to wear a penguin on his t-shirt? Show a BSD project? Have a demo class with Mac's?

It doesn't even matter if Bill Gates would cut his donations, the fear of it is enough.

Re:The problem with charity (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22473208)

The problem is that many people have a sloppy definition of charity. Basically, if there's strings attached, it isn't charity. It's self-promotion.

My favourite example of this is Ronald McDonald House. There's no doubt that the service they provide is absolutely vital; they give families of children undergoing cancer treatment a place to stay that's near the hospital.

No matter how vociferously they claim otherwise, though, they aren't really a charity in the true sense of the word. In fact, they're using the suffering and death of little children to remind everybody who hears the name what wonderful, generous corporate citizens they are.

Here's an example of real charity: Harold Ballard was the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1908's. As a businessman, he was an old-fashioned, back-alley brawler who served time in jail for some crooked deals. As an owner, he was a hands-on, loud-mouthed, disaster who just loved to let the world know what a hard-hearted, miserable SOB he was at every opportunity.

What he didn't tell anybody, and was in fact at great pains to keep secret, is that he gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Toronto charities, many of them devoted to needy children. To this day, there are lifelong residents of Toronto who are unaware that the guy was anything but a big-mouthed jackass who ruined their team.

That's charity.

I do not care (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22473480)

It's private money. As far as I am concerned those scientists could be hired by the foundation full time. As long as their drugs are approved by FDA or another independent organization for treatment of malaria, I do not care. I also do not care if they are created their private WHO.

It's not about "freedom of science", it's about results. If WHO or another governmental or intergovernmental organization thinks that their principles of funding could do better, go ahead, raise your budget, apply your rules.
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