Announcement of Organ Cryopreservation Prize (aka the "Cryoprize"):
The Immortalist Society is pleased to announce the Organ Cryopreservation Prize (the "Cryoprize"). Proposed several months ago, the purpose of the prize will be to award a minimum of fifty thousand dollars to any individual or group of individuals who are able to place certain mammalian organs at cryogenic temperatures and to transplant those organs for a period of nine months and to show, during that time period, proper clinical function of them. The organs in question are the heart, lung, kidney, liver and pancreas. Other organs may be the subject of research leading to the awarding of the prize if pre-approved by the Immortalist Society. Fundraising is underway now.
Need and Benefit of Organ Cryopreservation Research:
It is a regrettable fact that each year, the need among seriously ill individuals for organ transplants far exceeds the organs available. Any attempt to increase the capability of organ storage is directly applicable to this important problem. Further, even in the event of the ability to clone and/or grow individual organs, the problem of storage until those organs are needed is still an important one to solve. Any such work done in the field of cryobiology (low temperature biology), and especially work in this field involving ultra-low temperatures, has direct implications in the area of cryonics since cryonicists are storing human organs and tissue at these same ultra low temperatures. One way to make a positive contribution to this area is in the setting up of a prize for attempts in this field of endeavor.
Information and Some Background on Prizes:
Prizes have a long and interesting history. In the early 1700's the British government established a prize for the first person who was able to find a way to establish the longitude of a ship's position within a certain margin of error. Later in that same century, the French established a prize for the production of an artificial form of alkali. Later on the French, in the form of Napoleon, set up a prize for food preservation that, today, we all benefit from in the form of vacuum packaged foodstuffs we readily use.
Newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, were involved in the development of the early automotive industry by offering prizes for various races. In aviation, prizes have also played an interesting part. One of the more interesting, and lesser known, was the offer of a series of prizes which led to the development of the Spitfire aircraft. This aircraft wound up successfully battling the Luftwaffe in the fight for freedom in the Battle of Britain during the dark days of early WWII.
In general, prizes may allow an important goal to be chosen without having to specify exactly the approach or approaches and/or the particular individuals that are deemed most likely to succeed. Further, the use of a prize allows the organization sponsoring it to pay only for results and not necessarily for the cost of getting to the result. Another good point, and useful factor of prizes, is that they can capture the imagination of the public and change the public's concept of what is possible.
One of the other positive things about a prize is that the investment needed in order to win a prize is normally quite a bit greater than the prize itself. Another positive point to prizes is that, at times, a prize assumes a life of its own where the winning of the prize and the prestige of winning it assumes a major importance far beyond the actual economic value of the prize or award itself.
In the case of the Immortalist Society, the initial amount to be raised before the prize is fully implemented will be fifty thousand dollars. It should be noted that this is a "floor" and not necessarily a "ceiling". An amount may be raised that is greater than that and, of course, the initial amount of fifty thousand dollars will continue to grow through interest received and proper investment down through the upcoming years. That being said, some of the literature on prizes indicates that too large of a prize can seem to scare off many smaller competitors who are concerned they don't have the resources to compete. Given how science operates, the smaller competitors may be the most successful ones. In a well known example, Samuel P. Langley was well educated and well funded in his attempts to build a heavier than air powered flying machine. Turns out he was bested in his efforts by two bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio.
Immortalist Society Officers:
The Immortalist Society elects its officers on an annual basis. They serve one year terms each and then the whole slate of officers is up for reelection at the next annual meeting. Officers serve from January 1 of the year after they are elected until the last day of December of the year after they are elected.
Present Immortalist Society officers are:
York W. Porter