Saturday, June 22, 2013
I've decided to create and fund an annual prize: The Nemko Prize in Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. Each year, there will be a competition for the best young scientist studying the cellular and molecular (including genetic) bases of brain function. Of course, brainpower can be used for good and for ill but optimizing our ability to think is, net, a high-potential approach to improving humankind.
I chose a prize for young scientists as a bang-for-the-buck vehicle for my donation because the prize's existence may encourage a number of brilliant people to pursue research in this vital area and the winner's career will be abetted at the stage when such a prize can make the difference between getting a prestigious research position or not.
Even though the Society for Neuroscience is charging me much more than the amount of the Nemko Prize to administer it, I've decided that is a wise investment because The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest and most prestigious organization of researchers studying the brain. It has 42,000 members. It will solicit nominations for the prize to a very wide yet ideally targeted audience and will engage a committee of luminaries to review the nominations.
I'm excited that at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting, I will both be giving the award to the winner as well as presenting a 2 1/2-hour workshop on career and life management for researchers.