Jeff Smith 8 p.m., Aug. 30
Kickstart my heart! Also, my brain, lungs, colon, etc.
Salk Institute launches Kickstarter campaign to fund its research, offers awesome pharmacological rewards to donors
In what many are calling a breakthrough in the field of crowdsourced medical innovation, La Jolla's Salk Institute has turned to the popular fundraising website Kickstarter.com in its effort to secure the $300 million necessary to keep its 35 endowed research professors fully endowed and researching away.
"Don't think of it as pay-for-play science," pleaded Salk Director of Begging Grant Mordo. "Think of it as research that is sensitive to its beneficiaries. After all, the Salk Institute is all about improving the human condition. Recently, that has meant working to understand things like the genetic factors that influence a person's disposition to develop diabetes. But in some ways, that kind of abstract research is contrary to the spirit of our founder, who famously developed a vaccine for polio, which is about as practical an application as a person could ask for. So if people prefer to donate to research on a fat-burning pill or a good wrinkle-prevention cream, well, we're happy to look into it. People know which parts of the human condition are most important to them; who are we to tell them otherwise?"
Also, noted Mordo, "In keeping with the Kickstarter ethos, we are offering excellent rewards to those who donate: really primo prescription drugs. The gentlemen in our legal department says we're on safe legal ground here, since we're rewarding donations, not actually selling the stuff. At the $100 level, you can choose between a jumbo pack of Viagra or a year's supply of birth control pills. At $200, you get a month's worth of Oxycontin. At $1000, we start dealing with weapons-grade tranquilizers and/or visits to laser hair-removal clinics. Even a $5 donation gets you a couple of Vicodin."
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