We've heard about the Golden Fleece Awards (vilifying seemingly-obscure science research) and the Golden Goose Awards (lauding seemingly-obscure science research) more than a little often in this year of threatened federal science budget cuts, but that's more politics than anything else. It certainly isn't half as much fun as the infamous and much-laughed-with Ig Nobel Prizes, given out yearly in honor of improbable research so absurd-sounding we can't help but love it. At this year's awards ceremony, held last Thursday night at Harvard University, 10 unlikely science research projects received their due respect (and a few guffaws) at the hands of genuinely bemused genuine Nobel laureates.
Science Market Update
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A vital part of academic research is networking, and one of the ways researchers share their work is at professional conferences. Universities and departments sponsor these conferences where groundbreaking papers are given (usually long before publishing) and colleagues from around the world share insights. The University of California Los Angeles has world-class scientists and other thinkers in its ranks, and Los Angeles seems a natural hub for gathering great minds for this important mode of networking. Unfortunately, UCLA has lacked meeting facilities on par with the caliber of its faculty and research labs. That is about to be remedied, thanks to a commitment by the UC Regents and a generous donor pledge to build a new conference center with a 250-bed hotel right on campus and near existing facilities. According to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block:
In 1962, the Seattle World's Fair was held in the northwestern capital city. The legacy of that event goes well beyond the iconic Seattle Space Needle (right) and is explored in a panoply of summer and fall educational and entertainment festivities celebrating the 50th Anniversary. One of the "Next50" happenings is an interactive exhibit to highlight the role of Washington State's life science research innovations in addressing global health challenges. If space exploration was the governing dream of the near future in the 1960's, our generation's overriding fascination may be with possibilties inherent in life science research discoveries and their applications for transforming the health of millions of people worldwide in order to lead fuller, longer lives.
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We've heard for a while now about the aggressive, determined way Utah is working to grow its biotech economy, particularly through advancing university research and commercializing the technology that comes out of it. Since getting private capital interested in university science invention is a major step in making that commercialization happen, the University of Utah Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) has come up with an innovative arena for matching inventors with backers, and it looks a lot like...speed dating. They call it science "speed teching," and the first University Innovators Speed Teching Showcase event took place May 22nd in a large conference room at Salt Lake City's Zions Bank.
Oracle Corporation is a Northern California computer technology giant with its world headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area's Silicon Valley. From its wildly popular OpenWorld tech conference event held annually in San Francisco to its America's Cup sailboat that can be seen tacking across the Bay to and from the Golden Gate Yacht Club on a nice day, Oracle maintains a strong presence in the Bay Area, even beyond its extensive Redwood City campus. But that doesn't mean the company's Chairman of the Board (and former CFO) Jeff Henley lacks the vision to see that one of California's great strengths as far as technology goes is in the University of California System, and that strength comes from leveraging its power and resources across the state. That's why Henley and his wife have just committed $50M to fund a new science building, labs and faculty salaries on the UC Santa Barbara campus, where Henley got his undergraduate education.
Traditionally, the only kind of conference with the steam to get a lot of people really worked up and to make headlines has been the sports variety, as in "Buffalo embarrasses Washington for critical conference win" or "Big East releases 2012 conference schedule." But a scientific conference with 1000 participants and hundreds of simulcasts by teaching hospitals, medical schools, research institutions, university life science departments, state and federal government agencies, health-oriented corporations and nonprofits across the nation? Welcome to TEDMED 2012, coming to Washington DC (and a big screen near you) this April 10-13, and generating a lot of buzz in its advance wake.
On January 25th of this year we held our 9th semiannual Sacramento BioResearch Product Faire event on the medical campus of the University of California Davis, in Sacramento. The UC Davis Health System includes the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and the Medical Center with its state-of-the-art teaching hospital. Also part of the Sacramento biomedical hub where we hold our events are the UC Davis Children's Hospital and the Shriner's Hospital for Children of Northern California.
This story not only amazed us but brought home how important the work of researchers and medical equipment technology developers is in real time, right now, for saving the lives of actual people. Read the update below, too. -- 12/23/2011
Last year, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle acquired a newly-constructed 177,000 sf building adjacent to its campus on South Lake Union for $36Million. The complicated business of moving all of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division (VIDD) labs and faculty from their current building(s) into the new space is scheduled for June of 2012. While there will be an overall increase in lab square footage, the main advantages of the relocation involve building quality, location, and financial benefits.