One of the things I enjoyed most about creating the world of The Revelation of Brian A. Pearlmitter was having a science fiction book make fun of actual science. I tried to be an equal opportunity annoyer in that my main character, an alien, takes on NASA, private space companies, evolutionary biologists, quantum physicists and others.
I was surprised that the one which garnered the most response was in the field of medical research. I won’t give away the story – it’s the key to book two in the series – but one of my characters donates money to a medical research charity. He gives a LOT because he’s a billionaire and is used to making things happen with his money.
But, in the story, he wonders out loud if his contributions have done any real good. He points out that many such charities have been promising cures for as long as fifty years. He asks a simple question – when is the last time you saw an actual announcement of an actual cure for some dread disease?
Not some happy talk about a “breakthrough,” or the breathless announcement of some finding “that could lead to a cure,” but an actual honest-to-God cure. My character speculates that scientists use this happy talk to keep the dollars flowing.
This must have hit the bull’s eye, because a number of the bulls squealed. “Science doesn’t work that way!” “We haven’t had cures, but we’ve improved treatments dramatically for (fill in the disease of your choice).”
My favorite, though, goes along the line of, “I’m offended that you would imply that medical researchers have a mercenary motive. Most of them work only for the betterment of mankind. They make progress, inch by inch. That progress is expensive and it takes a long, long time.”
My billionaire would reply, “Okay then, why promise a cure in your fundraising? Why imply you are so close and only need a few more million to make the magic happen? Why ask people to run for the cure? Or dance for the cure? It sure sounds like you are asking for money to provide a cure – not just progress.”
He’s kind of cynical. If you read the books, you’ll know why.
Could it be that some in the arena of science are just in it for the money? One of the most revealing articles on this subject was just published. It’s quite an eye opener!
Read here how a real scientist did real research and published real findings . . . that were all totally bogus. And read how the press lapped it up. My alien character couldn’t have said it any better.
And be sure and read my series, “The Revelation of Brian A. Pearlmitter.” Book Five – the final installment – is coming soon.