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From att!sun!portal!cup.portal.com!rburns Tue Jul 10 18:41:52 1990
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Subject: Proposed Benjamin Franklin Life Extension Award
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 90 14:39:05 PDT
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I am personally of the opinion that cryonics needs something that will
help it move into greater respectability and mainstream acceptance. One 
of the first orders of business is to make it possible for academics to
publically support cryonics.  Now, one of the best ways to get friends in the
academic world is to support them economically.  Academics are noticably
interested in virtually any kind of grant or prize they can get their hands on
Imagine for example the enormous work that has been inspired by the Nobel prize
with an endowment of less than 40 Million dollars, I imagine more people have
heard of the Nobel prize than have heard of Washington University in St. Louis
Missouri, which has been around longer and has an endowment over ten times as
large as the Nobel endowment. 

I suggest that Alcor create a prize called the Benjamin Franklin Life Extension
Award to be awarded for work in research and promotion of cryonics. I suggest
the name Benjamin Franklin be used, since it creates a strong connotation of
patriotism and respectability-and honors the earliest cryonics pioneer.  As
funds became available, prizes could be awarded in each various disciplines 
that will contribute to creating viable cryonic/life extension technologies.
These might include: cryobiology, neurobiology (i.e. neural tranplants and
regeneration of neural tissue), nanotechnology (i.e. creation of cellular
repair devices), geriatric medicine, publishing of fictional works creating 
a favorable public opinion towards cryonics. I would suggest that at least at
first that a prize be directed at graduate student research projects, since
graduate students are the scientists least likely to be attached to outdated
theories and most in need of funds. Even a $500 prize could seem like a lot of
money to a graduate student. After a few years, various- now senior- scientists
would be proudly displaying their Benjamin Franklin Life Extension Awards in
their offices and on the their curriculum vitae. The key to making this project
work would be to set things up so that the prize would be awarded for many
years. Ideally, it would be nice to create an endowment for these prizes and
recruit various famous figures to sit on the awards committee. I'm not saying
that this is something that needs to be done right away, but it is a goal that
is within grasp of Alcors present membership and should at least be put onto
our medium term agenda.  I would be very interested in hearing if any prior
consideration has been given to this type of activity.

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