Dear Mark and Priscilla,
I am so pleased you want to support global efforts to eradicate disease. The $3 billion funding over the next decade that you announced yesterday will make a huge difference.
I sincerely hope that, in pursuing your bold ambitions, you will look to use Facebook’s energy and expertise to help us do things differently in science and research. Your mission statement states:
People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
Citizens have for too long been excluded from decisions about where research funds are spent, how research is conducted as well as helping to disseminate new knowledge so that populations around the world can benefit.
In some countries such as the United Kingdom this is changing fast. We know that involving people makes for better research. Some of the most exciting examples of this have been seen in child health where young people have made a material difference to the work being done. Please do check out our GenerationR initiative here in this country.
So, I hope you will do two things to support your funding. If you do, I believe your funding can have greater reach and impact than even you can imagine.
First, I hope you will bring your passion for connecting people and the collective knowledge and expertise of Facebook to help create a global movement of citizens in research. A movement which is open, diverse, connected and motivated by selflessness.
Second, at the very least, I hope that you will invite patients and the public and particularly young people – those whom your research funding decisions will impact in the future – to be part of the way the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative decides how to spend its money.
Call me some time.
Simon Denegri Sent from my Work iPhone
You can also find me at: