I sometimes get requests to put some badge on my facebook page in order to fight some terrible disease.I never honor such requests and people who don't know me well enough must feel that I am uncaring person.
The truth is, I get a little annoyed by such requests. Like putting a badge on your facebook is going to make a real difference. Even giving money is a bit abstract. You assume someone else knows what to do with it, but it does not translate into something tangible. A child does not get cured of cancer by doing that and a grandfather still will have alzheimer regardless. To me, it's what scientist do that makes the difference. In order to prevent these terrible things they have to do enormous amount of tests and computations. The boring stuff for which we tend to cut funding.
This is the reason why I joined in 2006 the boinc program. Boinc is a computer program that runs in the background. It takes a bit of your computer power whenever it can do that. If you are working on your PC it takes less. If it's on and idle it takes more. Boinc started out with seti@home (search for extraterrestrial intelligence). Computing signals of telescopes to see if there was any sign of intelligence in it, but soon it was joined by other programs like climatepredication.net and others.
So that's why I keep in on my computers. Daily when I put my computer on I join the fight against cancer and other riders of the apocalypse. And that's why I don't feel bad about myself when I don't put the badge on my facebook. So I hope you join me in that fight and also start donating computer power. It's easy to do. Does not require anything on your side. Just do it and save a life. It's not heroic or anything. It is even a bit boring unless you get a kick out of your contribution statistics. BUT IT IS LIFE SAVING!
If you have an android mobile you can download boinc from the playstore (here is a faq). Boinc will do it's job when the phone or tablet is connected to the power socket, the battery level is at least 90%, and the screen is off (in other words when it is not in the way). Data exchange will only take place when connected to wifi so that your (3G/4G) data limits are not in jeopardy. Boinc is not available for iPhone because of legal reasons. Down below you find some official descriptions of the projects I am involved, but there are others. If you are interested which click on this link.
World Community Grid
World Community Grid enables anyone with a computer, smartphone or tablet to donate their unused computing power to advance cutting-edge scientific research on topics related to health, poverty and sustainability. Through the contributions of over 650,000 individuals and 460 organizations, World Community Grid has supported 23 research projects to date, including searches for more effective treatments for cancer, HIV/AIDS and neglected tropical diseases. Other projects are looking for low-cost water filtration systems and new materials for capturing solar energy efficiently.
What is Rosetta@home?
Rosetta@home needs your help to determine the 3-dimensional shapes of proteins in research that may ultimately lead to finding cures for some major human diseases. By running the Rosetta program on your computer while you don't need it you will help us speed up and extend our research in ways we couldn't possibly attempt without your help. You will also be helping our efforts at designing new proteins to fight diseases such as HIV, Malaria, Cancer, and Alzheimer's (See our Disease Related Research for more information). Please join us in our efforts! Rosetta@home is not for profit.
Climateprediction.net is a volunteer computing, climate modelling project.
We run climate models on people’s home computers to help answer questions about how climate change is affecting our world, now and in the future – Sign up now and help us predict the climate.
Evidence of how our climate is changing is vital to encourage investment in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as coping with inevitable change.
You can help discover how the climate could look by running our free software on your computer. The data generated is sent back to us and incorporated into the climateprediction.net projects. Our computer models simulate the climate for the next century, producing predictions of temperature, rainfall and the probability of extreme weather events. The more models that are run, the more evidence we gather on climate change.
Get started and help us predict the climate.
And yes. I am also supporting SETI, because it was all their idea to begin with.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License