I have been thinking for a long time that the stem cell research field needs a high profile advocate. Several readers have recently suggested the same thing including the idea of Lady Gaga.
The ideal advocate, our “stem cell star” ,would be known to most Americans. A famous actor. A famous musician. A sports star. Someone who has a personal story about a health situation in their family, for example, that might have been aided by stem cell research. Someone willing to make a YouTube video about stem cell research. And it can’t be a scientist.
The American people have a limited attention span for anything related to science and it didn’t take long for me to realize, in my alternate role as patient and stem cell research advocate, that people quickly get bored by science, even something as exciting as stem cell science. As a result, they need someone famous to attract and keep their attention.
So I propose a contest where we throw out on the table ideas for potential stem cell stars to act as advocates for stem cell research. Like I said, the first one proposed by a comment was Lady Gaga.
I will directly contact the top suggestions and ask for their help. I’m not kidding!
Last year I contacted famous musician Mark Knopfler (probably my distant 3rd cousin twice removed from Hungary) asking if he would play a concert to benefit stem cell research. His manager was in touch. It didn’t work out, but they at least considered it. The point is that if we find the right person and if I ask them, they might say “yes”.
So please post as comments or email me your suggestions. [email protected] . If someone’s idea actually comes to fruition, I will buy them a bottle of champagne.
My own idea: Natalie Portman. According to a NY Times article she was a serious scientist before going into show biz and she just won an Oscar.