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AFRO-NETS> Supercourse Newsletter, August 2, 2003

Supercourse Newsletter, August 2, 2003
Dear Friends,
Scientists are from Mars, Editors are from Venus:
We just submitted an interesting paper to the BMJ with this title. We 
were discussing peer reviewed journals. What I discovered is that 
most scientists when asked indicated that a peer reviewed journal is 
one where virtually all of the journal articles are peer reviewed. 
However, group of Editors defined a peer reviewed journal as one 
where over half of the articles are peer reviewed. When we examined 
the highly esteemed Lancet, it appears that less that 20% of the ar-
ticles are peer reviewed. Isn?t that amazing? If you would like a 
copy of the article please let us know as it is most fun.
Cracking 5 digits!!!
We did it, our Supercourse faculty now has 10,500 faculty members. 
Most certainly we are the largest educational force in prevention and 
global health. WHO has 13,000 people, but probably less than 500 in 
education, and even fewer in global education. CDC likely has very 
few people involved with global prevention education. The Supercourse 
faculty is a force to be reckoned with!!
We need your help for the Grand challenge final push:
We are still pushing very hard for telepreventive medicine to become 
a Grand Challenge as we in the Supercourse faculty could create a new 
field with this. The committee will be meeting in the next few weeks. 
It would be wonderful if you would write a short note to the commit-
tee indicating why telepreventive medicine should be a grand chal-
lenge, especially for your country. Below presents the criteria for 
being a Grand Challenge. It is also very important that junior level 
people write, and especially developing countries. The scientific 
committee is of the television (and some radio) generation, rather 
than the Internet generation which knows the power of IT for preven-
tion. You have the opportunity to enlighten them to the power of 
telepreventive medicine. You can find our write up at:
Please send a note to . It is 
critical to point out why what we are doing is indeed science and the 
importance for you country. We need you to help telepreventive medi-
cine to gain the status of a grand challenge as we think people do 
not view us as a science, or at least much below molecular biology. 
It would also be very good if the many Internet people on our list 
could comment as you bring a brand new dimension, as does the molecu-
lar people.
It would be great if you could send a blind copy to us, as we would 
like to work with you to develop this into an article for publica-
What is a Grand Challenge? 
(This is from the Grand challenge write up)
A Grand Challenge is a call for a specific scientific or technologi-
cal innovation that would remove a critical barrier to solving an im-
portant health problem in the developing world with a high likelihood 
of global impact and feasibility.
A Grand Challenge is neither the statement of the global health prob-
lem itself (e.g., malaria or AIDS) nor the request for a specific 
health intervention (e.g., a drug or vaccine), but the call for a 
discrete scientific or technological innovation which will break 
through the roadblock that stands between where we are now and where 
we would like to be in science, medicine, and public health.
How will the recommendations for Grand Challenges be evaluated?
All ideas for challenges that are received by the Grand Challenges in 
Global Health initiative will be reviewed and judged by the Scien-
tific Board and its staff.
The following criteria will be used to select the Grand Challenges:
* The magnitude of the health problem being addressed and its align-
  ment with the scope of the program.
* The identification of the scientific or technical roadblock to 
  achieving a solution and why this roadblock is limiting on a critical 
  path to achieving the solution.
* The soundness of the scientific and technical foundation for the 
  proposed Grand Challenge, not merely the ease or likelihood of suc-
  cess. (Novel and innovative ideas that may be risky, but nonetheless 
  scientifically and technically well founded, will be valued.)
* The impact of solving the Grand Challenge on the health problem, 
  including indirect benefits such as those on income or environment.
* The feasibility of widely implementing any solution to the Grand 
  Challenge in the context of the developing world.
Around the World in 80 days:
The golden lecture is still jumping from country to country. It is 
the first truly global lecture. It is acting a little like a symbi-
otic virus, as it helps those who it is educating, while at the same 
time it gains new energy and life the more people it educates. We 
have shown we can ring the world with general prevention education. 
In the next year or so, we will also let it lose on several different 
projects, for example, Women?s health or agriculture, health or in-
formation technology. Currently we have trained people in 129 differ-
ent countries. This represents 67% of the countries of the world. 
Isn?t that fantastic? No lecture has ever done this. We hope to have 
80% of the countries of the world by Sept. 7. We still need your 
help! Here are the countries that we are missing. Akira has been fan-
tastic in finding people to review the lectures. He has been success-
ful by tracking down authors using Medline from various countries and 
disciplines and then getting them to review the lectures.
Afghanistan Andorra Angola Antigua and Barbuda Belize Bhutan Burundi 
Central African Republic Chad Comoros Liechtenstein Malawi Maldives 
Mali Marshall Islands Micronesia Monaco Mongolia Morocco Nauru Niger 
Palau Paraguay Congo Cote d'Ivoire Djibouti Dominica Dominican Repub-
lic East Timor El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Gabon Ghana 
Guinea guinea-Bissau Guyana Honduras Iraq Kiribati Rwanda Saint Kitts 
and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Sao Tome Sene-
gal Serbia Sierra Leone Slovenia Somalia Suriname Tajikistan Tonga 
Trinidad and Tobago Tuvalu Uruguay North Korea Lesotho Lebanon Libe-
ria Vanuatu Vatican Western Sahara Yemen
If you know of anyone in any of these countries please tell them 
about the Golden lecture, or send us their e-mail address, and we 
will contact them.
Cross your Fingers:
Cross your fingers, toes, eyes and nose that the grand challenge com-
mittee looks favourably on telepreventive medicine as this could 
really accelerate TPM into the future, and we can all go with it!
New People: 
Soni has arrived for Pakistan and is getting used to Pittsburgh, Dr. 
Pak from Korea and Tomoko from Japan will be here is in the next few 
weeks. We have warned everyone, that the ?McDonaldization? and as 
Paul Zimmett says, the ?cocacolaization? of Pittsburgh is guaranteed 
to put at least 3-5 kilos on people when then come to Pittsburgh. We 
should think of a Supercourse nutrition and exercise club!! Eugene 
and Julia are just coming back to Siberia from touring the Ukraine. 
Ron and Jan are going to Puerto Rico next week!
Best Regards, and please consider writing a letter of support to the 
Gates Foundation
Sincerely yours:
Ron, Faina, Mita, Akira, Eugene, Soni, Wendy, Beatriz, Bill Gates 
(don?t we wish), Abed, Sherine, Julia, Suad, Dr. Park, Tomoko, Tom, 
Deb, Scientists from Mars, Curly and Larry (Moe Bat did not make it 
through the winter)
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