X-Message-Number: 9063
From: Ettinger <>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 12:56:30 EST
Subject: Research

In light of Paul Wakfer's discussion (Cryonet #9062) of the Prometheus Project
(PP) and the Prometheus Pilot Project (PpP) and related people and entities,
it seems to me it is up to Saul Kent primarily to give us his assessment,
clearly and publicly, before intelligent decisions can be made. (Until very
recently, at least, it appears even Paul did not have a clear reading of
Saul's position.)

It seems the goals of PP, PpP, and 21st Century Medicine (21CM) overlap to a
considerable extent. At the moment, 21CM is pretty well funded, owing to Saul
Kent and Bill Faloon, but if PP has the potential to raise substantial
additional research funding, surely this should not be allowed to disappear.
It is true that the conditional pledges for PP were always uncertain, but
probably not negligible.

The problem, from the point of view of 21CM, at least in part, is that 21CM is
a for-profit corporation, not publicly owned or traded; it must protect its
commercial interests and cannot accept donations--at least not on a tax
deductible basis--and cannot easily share information or coordinate research
with others.

As Paul says, if investments by the general public in 21CM, or donations to
21CM, are not feasible, and yet it appears that 21CM has the main research
momentum, then other research fund raising efforts, e.g. by the cryonics
organizations, will suffer. People will think 21CM is doing it anyway, and
anything else will be trivial or second rate, and wasted. Poor outlook for PP
and for optimum suspension procedures by the organizations.

I hesitate to mention BioTime, because of the history of relations between
people there and people at 21CM. But BioTime is publicly traded, and its
principals have experience in raising money for commercial biotech.  If
somehow BioTime and 21CM could get together, that might open some

Possibly the simplest thing would be for 21CM to go public; then would-be
donors or investors could have a focus. It could also be very lucrative for
those currently holding 21CM stock. 

Regardless of what happens in the main arena, there will always be need and
opportunity for specialized research by the individual cryonics organizations.
The Cryonics Institute and the Immortalist Society will continue to do/support
research to the best of our ability, and to seek funding support from our
members. But if we are to maximize the potential of research donations, Saul
needs to take a stand and make it clear, firm, and public.

Robert Ettinger

P.S. Readers may want to look weekly at the CI web site, <www.cryonics.org>.
Webmaster Trevina Lawrence is doing a splendid job, and the site is constantly
growing and improving, with some weekly features.

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