gatesnotes
The blog of Bill Gates

Remarks on Accepting the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award

Sign In
 
My Profile & Settings
Log out
GO
Your search for "", with selected filters, does not match any posts. Please try again with a different search term or reset filters.

Popular searches include: Books, Malaria, and Future of Food.
RELATED ARTICLES ON
Logout:


Become a Gates Notes Insider
- or - Sign up with email
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Send me updates from Bill Gates
Sign Up
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, subscribe to your favorite topics and more. We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Sign Up" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
Account Settings
VIEW & EDIT PROFILE
Your Information
First name
Last name
Save
Cancel
Email address
This email is already registered
Save
Cancel
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Password
Save
Cancel
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
Your Interests
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Deactivate Account
Click the link below to begin the account deactivation process. Deactivate account If you want to permanently delete your account and remove its content, please send us a request here.
Ok
Gates Notes Insider Sign Up FAQ

Q. How do I create a Gates Notes account?

A. There are three ways you can create a Gates Notes account:

  • Sign up with Facebook. We’ll never post to your Facebook account without your permission.
  • Sign up with Twitter. We’ll never post to your Twitter account without your permission.
  • Sign up with your email. Enter your email address during sign up. We’ll email you a link for verification.

Q. Will you ever post to my Facebook or Twitter accounts without my permission?

A. No, never.

Q. How do I sign up to receive email communications from my Gates Notes account?

A. In Account Settings, click the toggle switch next to “Send me updates from Bill Gates.”

Q. How will you use the Interests I select in Account Settings?

A. We will use them to choose the Suggested Reads that appear on your profile page.

Forgot your password?
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Reset Password
Change your header photo
your image
 
Change
your image
Uh Oh!

The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.

Ok
First name
Last name
Enter a first and last name. For example, "Richard Feynman"
Bio
0/160 characters
Edit Profile
Account Settings
Save
Cancel
Suggested Reads
Reset your password.
Set New Password
Your password has been reset. You will now be redirected to the sign in page, or you can click here
Ok
Get emails from Bill Gates
Send me updates from Bill
You must provide an email
This email is already registered
Continue
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Continue" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
 
your image
Uh Oh!
The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.
Ok
Welcome FirstName!
You are now a Gates Notes Insider
Update Your Profile Information
First name
Last name
Save
Cancel
Email address
This email is already registered
Save
Cancel
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
Select Your Interests
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Continue
Confirm
Are you sure you want to
deactivate your account?
Deactivating your account will unsubscribe you from Gates Notes emails, and will remove your profile and account information from public view on the Gates Notes. Please allow for 24 hours for the deactivation to fully process. You can sign back in at any time to reactivate your account and restore its content.
Deactivate My Acccount
Go Back
Your Gates Notes account has been deactivated.
Come back anytime.
Welcome back
In order to unsubscribe you will need to sign-in to your Gates Notes Insider account
Once signed in just go to your Account Settings page and set your subscription options as desired.
Sign In
Request account deletion
We’re sorry to see you go. Your request may take a few days to process; we want to double check things before hitting the big red button. Requesting an account deletion will permanently remove all of your profile content. If you’ve changed your mind about deleting your account, you can always hit cancel and deactivate instead.
Submit
Cancel
Thank You! Your request has been sent
Become a Gates Notes Insider for access to exclusive content and personalized reading suggestions
Sign up to receive occasional updates from the Gates Notes
Sign Up
Privacy Policy
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
This verification token has expired.
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
Your account has been deactivated. Sign up to re-activate your account.
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
Remarks on Accepting the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award
 
Hello, . . My Profile & Settings
Log out
FOLLOW ME
It looks like you're using an older version of Internet Explorer which may not display all the features on this site. Upgrade Now » close
A Great Honor

Remarks on Accepting the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award

BILL GATES:

Thank you. It is a great honor to receive this award for public service.

I know we have a lot of eminent scientists here, people who have remarkable credentials. I want you to know that, between the two of us, Melinda and I have two degrees… both of them hers.

Melinda and I grew up in families that taught us the importance of giving back to society. These values were the foundation for own our thinking about philanthropy. When Melinda and I got married, we knew we would eventually give the bulk of our resources back to society. But we intended to wait until I was in my 60s.

Then we began to learn more about poverty and disease around the world. We learned that children were dying from diseases that had been cured in this country long ago. We traveled to Africa and saw farmers who were working hard, but could not get a good harvest.

Most of all, we saw that many life-saving discoveries were not shared very widely in the world. Those who had the most to gain from new advances were often the last to get them. It didn’t fit our belief that science is for everyone—that the whole world should benefit from innovation.

And so we started our foundation, with the goal of reducing inequity by ensuring that innovation reaches the poor as well as the rich. As the world enters a new age of scientific opportunity, driven by new ways to collaborate, genomics, and other advances, the prospects for solving the oldest human problems have never been greater—so long as science is aimed at the problems of the poor.

This new age is only possible because the American people have been investing in basic scientific research for decades. And it won’t come to pass unless we continue that support. It’s one of the best investments we can make for saving and improving lives. As Mary Lasker said, “If you think research is expensive, try disease.”

So we are grateful for this award, and for the efforts of scientists everywhere who have dedicated their lives to fighting disease, hunger, and poverty.  It is your work that makes us deeply optimistic about the future.

MELINDA GATES:

As Bill said, we were motivated by the idea of inequity—the fact that billions of poor people were suffering and millions were dying simply because they were poor. In the years since then, we’ve met many people in developing countries struggling to make a better life, and we’ve spent time with the innovators working alongside them. We’ve seen the impact that innovation has on the everyday lives of poor people.

Sometimes, a new technology can change the calculus of a poor person’s life, turning scarcity into surplus. In Tanzania, I met a farmer, Joyce, who takes care of four children, one cow, two goats, some chickens, banana trees, and a couple acres of land. Last year, Joyce planted a new variety of maize that’s able to tolerate pests and drought. The weather was awful, and her vegetables simply didn’t grow. Her maize, however, grew taller than ever before, and she had enough to eat and some left over to sell. She used the cash to pay her children’s school fees.

I’ve also seen the impact of non-technological innovations, like a brand new supply chain for contraceptives in Senegal. It used to be that women traveled many miles to the health clinic and found, half the time, that what they wanted wasn’t in stock. Now, because of a new system modeled after the retail sector, stockouts are being eliminated in clinics across the country. Now, when women ask for the contraceptives they need to plan their families, they know they will get them.

These individual successes—farmers who can grow enough to feed their families; mothers who are able to decide when to have children—add up to large-scale progress around the world. Poverty cut in half since 1990. Child mortality almost cut in half since 1990. If you count all the children saved  in the past 22 years, the total is 90 million, or more than the population of Germany.

This large-scale progress is part of the legacy of science, yet the general public and even the scientific community doesn’t know as much about this story as they should.

The idea that drives our foundation—that all lives have equal value—can seem abstract. The impact your work has on billions of people struggling for a better future is as concrete as it gets. Science and scientific thinking have a powerful role to play in guaranteeing that their struggles lead to healthier, more productive lives.

So thank you for this award. It is an honor to be associated with courageous leaders like Mary Lasker and Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

And thank you all for the work you do to create a better future for us all.

Become a Gates Notes Insider for access to exclusive content and personalized reading suggestions

Read previous versions of the Annual Letter

Filed Under

Discussion
comments powered by Disqus