There are so many scientists using their time to increase our knowledge about the world. Much of science tries to make incremental improvements in knowledge. Taking a strand of the literature and increasing it just slightly. Yet, some scientists like Professor Vera Gorbunova (University of Rochester) dare to attack a problem in a completely distinct manner. A manner which asks not “what could we do to fruit flies to make them live longer?” but instead she asks, “what animals in nature do we observe with the longest lifespans in general as well as relative to their closest cousins. Professor Gorbunova studies aging, by observing and understanding naked mole rats (not fruit flies).
How can we support creative scientists? We can ask our politicians to raise taxes or borrow more money (grow the national debt) to give to scientists as grants, or we can make private donations to the scientists that we think are working hard, being creative, care about humanity, teach effectively and are personally inspiring to you.
For the reasons above, I donate to Professor Gorbunova’s lab and hope to do so for as long as she continues working. Some years, perhaps I will give a larger percentage of my net income. Other years a smaller percentage, but none the less I really like the idea of helping to further her work.
While I know my contributions are very small, I do hope and suspect that the Professor Gorbunova would put it to better use than me who would probably spend it on something with a lower theoretical ROI.
I strongly encourage you to find a scientist whom you truly respect and support their work. Even a $50 check can move the needle over time.