It’s time to democratise science.
Don’t we all ache for a healthcare system that treats us as human beings, not just a list of problems? A system that helps us to heal, instead of lifelong dependence on drugs and technology.
Don’t we all long for a healthy food system that nourishes us and keeps us healthy, while also taking care of our environment?
Don’t we all dream of living in real community, filled with love and abundance?
Science tells us that all these things are possible. Better yet, they are all cheaper than existing approaches and they address many of the urgent problems in the world, including climate change. But nothing ever changes.
When we go to the doctor with depression, or anxiety, or high blood pressure, or diabetes or heartburn, does she put us on a program of exercise, social connection, healthy food and time in nature? No, she writes a script for multiple drugs, leading to lifelong dependence, side effects, and ever more expensive treatments.
When the crop yields fall, owing to degradation and poisoning of the ecosystems, do we work to restore the natural ecology and health of the land? No, we put ever more chemicals on the land in a spiral of increasing damage and dependency.
In our anxiety, stress and insecurity are we helped to connect to kindness, generosity and abundance – the real builders of happiness and community? No, our lives are ruled by economic systems and technology companies that manipulate our emotional lives, and bombard us with advertisements for products that promise to make us happy.
Why does nothing change, despite evidence of better alternatives?
In truth, the profit-driven corporations have seized control of science – medical science, agricultural science and consumer science.
For more than fifty years, pharmaceutical and technology companies have funded almost all medical research, medical schools, medical training, medical journals, medical text books and key opinion leaders. This is promulgating a science of technology that keeps people in endless dependence, that maximizes profits. Technology that often harms, not heals.
Government health policy is based on evidence derived from the science of profit: a materialistic science that reduces humans to machines and treats pathologies not people.
There is almost no funding for research into cheap therapies, no funding for research into how people and ecosystem can heal themselves – indeed these approaches are dismissed as ‘non-scientific’ and not ‘evidence-based’ because this science is suppressed to ensure the profit of the corporations. The corporations are not bad or evil, they are merely fulfilling their obligation to shareholders within the rules of our economic system.
Yet there is clear evidence of the capacity for self-healing: chronic diseases can be halted, reversed or cured. Mental distress and illness can be relieved by therapies that rapidly treat the underlying emotional trauma. Most diseases, including cancer, can be prevented. For more on the science, read here. None of these approaches will ever be researched or developed by a profit-driven system.
The same is true of our food system and agriculture, true of our approach to building healthy and happy communities, or a justice system that heals rather than harms, or an education system that create citizens not employees.
It’s time to seize back science. We need a science for the people, not a science for the shareholders. We have a speculative plan (please help us make it better):
1. Choose a place
A small, forward-looking country with a progressive government and a young leader. A country that recognises in law the rights of indigenous people, the first country in the world to grant legal personhood to a river.
2. Gather together the wisdom holders
Assemble twenty of the world’s foremost researchers and pioneers in human healing, ecological healing and community healing – together with indigenous leaders – for an international People’s Summit on ‘The Science of Healing’.
3. Find the best participants.
Seek worldwide nominations for the thousand most inspiring researchers, pioneers and indigenous leaders. They become the participants in the global summit.
4. Create a participative research democracy
We crowdfund the international summit. Every donor gets a vote to help shape the agenda of the summit and to make decisions on outcomes. One crowdfund is for the event itself, all the costs of inviting keynote speakers, the venue, and all the workings of the summit including live streaming and free sharing of all resources.
We create an individual crowdfund campaign for each of the thousand participants. We ask communities to raise $10,000 for each nominated participant plus all their expenses. If there are communities with little money, then those communities get far more votes because there are multiple small donations rather than a few big ones. We will have a hundred scholarships for those who demonstrate support but can’t raise enough money.
The resulting $10million fund will be the start of our research fund. Research priorities are generated by the wisdom of the summit and voted on by the worldwide constituency. Of course, crowdfunding has no limit. People don’t have to stop fundraising at $10,000. Ten million dollars might become twenty million, or more. More money, more votes. Imagine a million participants.
5. Invite the policymakers
We are going to speak truth to power.
6. Share the results
We live-stream the summit, we make a feature length documentary, we publish all the deliberations in the Creative Commons. All funded science must be open-access.
This is not alternative science. This is rigorous, peer-reviewed, reproducible science for the people. A science of living systems, a science that heals not harms. When policy makers and governments begin to see the potential of this science, and the huge community of support – then we’ll see the shift in policy and priorities.
If we need to create new research institutions, we will do that. If we need to fund innovative programs in communities, we will do that.
The work has already begun. We have significant funding and support already secured. We are gathering the partnerships, the leaders, the creatives, the technology experts. Now we need the best ideas and a worldwide movement for People’s Science.
When? March 2020
Where? Waikato, New Zealand
Who? The ‘Science of Healing’ charitable trust (being established right now)
Want to be involved, make these speculative ideas even better?
Email the founder, Dr Robin Youngson at firstname.lastname@example.org