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Philanthropy

Ice-bucket challenge should jolt funding

Nature volume 515, page 343 (20 November 2014) | Download Citation

The Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi was among the vast number of people who accepted the 'ice-bucket challenge' this summer, helping to raise €2 million (US$2.5 million) in Italy for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease (see Nature 514, 403–404; 2014).

This sum exceeds his government's average annual budget for ALS research, which is still seriously underfunded — despite Italy ranking third in international ALS publications, after the United States and Japan.

ALS researchers worldwide are waiting to see how the sum of around $100 million that has been collected by this philanthropic phenomenon will be used, and whether it will boost governments' plummeting contributions towards basic research. I hope so: without such funds there can be no development of new drugs for this incurable disease.

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  1. University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Italy.

    • Maria Teresa Carrì

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Correspondence to Maria Teresa Carrì.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/515343e

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