Keith Jerome


Bill Gates: Collecting the next round of wacky ideas | 

Flickr, Vicki & Chuck Rogers

Mad Scientist

Why does the Gates Foundation keep funding all those wacky ideas like trying to use infrared light to confuse mosquitoes or manipulating bacterial spores into serving as vaccine delivery modules?

Because they think sometimes it works best to turn the routine scientific review process on its head.

“Science grant applications are usually approved by consensus review,” notes Chris Wilson, director of global health discovery for the Seattle philanthropy. Seeking consensus works to make sure research focuses on what the experts in a field see as the most promising approaches, Wilson says, “But it’s also highly averse to new, innovative and out-of-the-box ideas.”

Bill Gates says he wants out-of-the box ideas. Continue reading