John Smart will give a talk, Chemical brain preservation: How to live "forever" at World Future 2012 in Toronto.
Prize purse as of October 4, 2012: $106,840 US
The nonprofit Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF) hereby officially announces a cash prize for the first individual or team to rigorously demonstrate a surgical technique capable of inexpensively and completely preserving an entire human brain for long-term (>100 years) storage with such fidelity that the structure of every neuronal process and every synaptic connection remains intact and traceable using today’s electron microscopic (EM) imaging techniques.*
In our analysis, this prize is by no means impossible to win, but neither is it easy to win. Winning will require a significant investment of time and resources, and may take many years to occur if it is not induced with an appropriately sized prize purse. We are actively seeking donors to increase the size of our purse. Please contact us if you can help.
This prize competition is structured into two Stages:
Stage 1- Preservation of an entire mouse brain (or similar small mammalian brain) using a technique that is applicable to a laboratory environment.
Stage 2- Preservation of a large mammalian brain (a pig for example) using a surgical technique meeting all the medical standards necessary for it to be applied (as an elective procedure) to a human patient in a hospital setting, and using a procedure that, with minor modifications, might potentially be offered for less than US$20,000 by appropriately trained medical professionals. The first group to complete Stage 1’s requirements will win 1/4 of the total prize purse accumulated up to that date. The first group to complete Stage 2’s requirements will win the remaining prize purse, or the entire prize purse if no one has previously met Stage 1’s requirements.
BPF is committed to providing transparency on large donations. Our current policy is to break out all donations and legal donor pledges at or above $1000 in any of our five donation categories as line items, while respecting the rights of any donors who wish to remain anonymous. Individual prize donations below $1,000 are periodically reported in aggregate as an All Small Donors line item. Please see our Donations page for the current list of BPF donors.
Prize Rules and Structure
For a complete list of the prize rules and structure, please see:
For a discussion of the motivation behind the prize, a brief history of the idea of brain preservation as a medical procedure, an accessible technical overview of the existing state-of-the-art in cryonic and chemical brain preservation techniques, and an overview of the electron microscopic imaging techniques that will be employed to evaluate the quality of whole brain preservation attempts, please see:
Eligibility Rules for Prize Contestants
Charitable nonprofit rules require us to ensure that no BPF Officers materially benefit from BPF prize activities. In particular, BPF Directors, Officers, Judges, and Advisors cannot be contestants for BPF prizes. Such individuals must resign from Director, Officer, Judge, or Advisory positions if at any point they decide to become contestants. All others who have access to legally permitted research laboratory facilities, academic or industrial, are encouraged to apply to BPF to become contestants in BPF research prizes.
Information on Incentive Prizes
Around the world, roughly 220 incentive prizes are available with a purse of $100,000 or greater. Most, like the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes, are annual prizes that reward excellence by recognizing prior achievement in a particular field. But the most rapidly growing category of prizes is inducement prizes. Between 1991 and 2009, 80% of new prize money was raised for prizes that reward future solutions to important social problems, and simultaneously stimulate the emergence of new products, services, and markets. Most inducement prizes are one-time prizes, with prize rules carefully written to achieve valuable technical and social objectives. We believe the Brain Preservation Technology Prize is such a prize. For more on the current variety of incentive prizes and their beneficial effects, see this McKinsey study, And the Winner Is..., 2009.
Your Donations Greatly Help
For those able to help increase either the Technology Prize purse, our Competitor Evaluation Fund, our Operating Budget, or our long-term Endowment, please consider making a small donation today. Every dollar helps. Thank you.
Larger and relationship donors, we welcome you to contact us with any questions you may have.
Pledge donors, please use our Brain Preservation Prize Pledge Agreement Form.
Please consider joining our Facebook page (social networking), our LinkedIn group (professional networking), and/or our Twitter feed (brief news updates). These are our primary interaction fora at present. The more practical, open-minded, future oriented, and rational folks who join the BPF community, the faster we can achieve our ambitious goals. Thanks for connecting!
BPF In The News
Neuroscience – and the Future of Humanity – Interview with Ken Hayworth.
Fri, October 19, 2012
Brain Preservation Now!
Tue, July 31, 2012
Thur, July 26, 2012
Discussion of BPF at the World Future Society conference.
The Strange Neuroscience of Immortality.
BPF is featured on Season 3, Ep 6, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, available via iTunes at this link.
Robin Hanson on why he's supporting the Brain Preservation Foundation.
An Update from Competitors for the Brain Preservation Foundation's Technology Prize.
A Connectome Observatory for Nanoscale Brain Imaging. Ken Hayworth's teleXLR8 talk, Kurzweilai.net article.
The Brain Preservation Technology Prize on the cover of Cryonics Magazine.
The Brain Preservation Technology Prize is mentioned.
Mind's circuit diagram to be revealed by a mammoth map. Article discusses BPF Brain Preservation Technology Prize.