I am not sure what to think about the Cancer Moonshot Conference. I just found out about it. A one-day conference that will bring together researchers, patients, and more to encourage collaboration and hopes to double the pace of cancer research. The conference will take place June 29 and then reports are due in August.
So? Big whoop! Seriously, my first thought was what is the point of having a conference? People do not need to be physically brought together to promote discussions. A lot can be done virtually if managed correctly. So why spend the money?
Travel and hotels are expensive. If you want to have a full day conference, you need to pay for two hotel nights or people will start leaving at 4 pm to get to their flights. If you build in some downtime, people will talk more informally and really get to know each other.
To be really beneficial, if you are going to spend the money, make it a three day conference. Make attendance mandatory if people are going to participate in the moonshot.
And about that moonshot, I understand the urge to cure cancer. I've been waiting a long time. And how are you going to do it without money? The White House asked Congress for $1 billion and only a little bit has been approved.
How are you going to double the pace of cancer research? Some things can't be rushed - like waiting for tumor growth on a research mouse. You really can't speed that up. I guess you can get people to collaborate and talk to each other more.
Is the Biden Moonshot the end of Nixon's War On Cancer"? That might help get rid of all those stupid war terms for people with cancer. Would we then end up with space terms for cancer? 'Orbiting through chemo'?