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Heroes of Science Episode 6

He’s got an opportunity now where he can really make a difference to the public health of people who are most in need

Yeah…so, um, there’s a lot of people in science now that I admire and I think, um, the one person that I never ever thought I’d say this about, because I really had issues with this person initially, but I have to say it’s Bill Gates.  And I’d have to say the reason for that is because he has made a huge amount of money from making terrible software but he is spending that money so well now with his Foundation and he’s pledged ten billion dollars in the last couple of years for the next decade to, um, introduce vaccination into the third world and to go about ways of developing better vaccines and getting more people out there to vaccinate children.  And this is a really important thing for the third world because, although we talk about um, the three things that will reduce vaccine preventable diseases, one being clean water and sewerage, the cheapest by far and the most effective and the easiest to do is vaccinate everyone.  So, you’ll find people saying, ‘Why don’t we just give the third world clean water?’  Well, you know what?  We would, but it’s really hard and it’s really expensive.  So one thing that Bill Gates is also looking into is developing technologies of vaccines that…we don’t have to refrigerate them anymore, cause one of the problems now with delivering vaccines to the third world is you have to keep them cold.   There are new technologies coming in now where they’re just patches that you can keep at room temperature and that will allow us to get to communities that are isolated that really need polio vaccines for example.  And Bill Gates has pledged to try to eliminate polio completely from the world in the next decade and then he’s going after measles as well.  So this would be great, and he’s got an opportunity now where he can really make a difference to public health of people who are most in need and I think that’s really admirable.  He’s not a scientist, but I think he’s doing great scientific work.