I got an invite from a friend of mine, Dr. David Sonntag, to a dinner party locally at the house of a professor at the University of Washington and an invite to a symposium at the private staff club on the University of Washington campus the next day.  I was not sure what it was about, but it really did sound interesting.  Both events were all about this new thing called the ‘Institute for Venture Science’ and after briefly checking out their web site, I thought why not, it sounds interesting.  I showed up at the home of Dr. Gerald H. Pollack to find a wonderful view of the water above Lake Washington.  To my amazement the party was wonderful.  The party was full of experts in the field, but these people were friendly and interested from all areas of science along with VC’s (Venture Capitalists) also interested in funding hard science for the sake of science with out regard for commercial application.

The stated mission of this new group is;

“The Institute for Venture Science (IVS) will fund high-risk, non-traditional scientific inquiries that may produce fundamental breakthroughs in thinking.  We will identify the most promising challenges to prevailing paradigms, then simultaneously fund multiple research groups worldwide for each selected challenge.  More than ever, the world needs revolutionary breakthroughs to break the logjam of existential crises that threaten our survival.  By fostering breakthroughs, the IVS seeks to enrich the world with fresh vision, and help create viable solutions for today’s seemingly intractable problems.”

Frankly I had to read this ‘mission’ several times. One of the elements of the party that amazed me was there was no “throwing degree’s around” or showing off Nobel prizes (and there was more then one).  It was a large group of good people, experts, world renowned scientists and VC’s coming together to fund fundamental science.  The party and the symposium the next day was all about driving interest in fundamental break through science and to drive funding for it.  I was truly honored to be there and will do my best to help this effort anyway I can.  I encourage you to help fund them.  They are driving for about 1.2 million in startup costs and millions in project funding so anything helps.  We won’t start seeing projects funded for a year but truly after the caliber of the people involved I have no doubt they will make it work.

if you can please donate: http://www.theinstituteforventurescience.net/ 

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