IEET > Technopolitics > Technoprogressivism > Rights > HealthLongevity > Affiliate Scholar > Hank Pellissier
Martine Rothblatt, Lawrence Krauss, Douglas Rushkoff, Russell Blackford endorse Science Missionaries
Hank Pellissier   Dec 9, 2016   Brighter Brains  

IEET Fellows Martine Rothblatt and Douglas Rushkoff, and IEET contributor Lawrence Krauss, have endorsed the “Science Missionary” campaign of the Brighter Brains Institute that is sending technology to rural Uganda. The charitable drive will focus on solar energy, clean water, eco-briquettes, medicine, and internet access.

Brighter Brains Institute is a California-based non-profit. Two of the most active members are R. Dennis Hansen (IEET contributor) and Hank Pellissier (IEET Affiliate Scholar).

Why is the Science Missionary project needed? Here are the facts: 84% of Ugandans are isolated in rural areas, with limited access to electricity, cooking fuel, clean water, and the internet. This deprivation cripples their health, education, economy, and communication.

The goals of the Science Missionary campaign are to install and/or teach:

  • solar energy devices, especially solar ovens and solar notebooks
  • eco-briquette production, using recycled paper, plant waste, and animal manure
  • water purification and “water-making” machines, like the WarkaWater design
  • classes on how scientific principles have transformed medicine, science, and technology
  • internet access and computer skills

The “Science Missionary Team” that is going to rural Uganda in June 2017 presently includes: Marna Chamberlain (physics & biology teacher at Piedmont High School, California), Roger Hansen (water & energy specialist in “Engineers Without Borders” from Orem, Utah), Rick Dondo (IT veteran from Winnipeg, Canada), and Werner Haag (chemist from Mountain View, California).

Six Board members of the Brighter Brains Institute will join them, plus a team of Piedmont High School volunteers who will teach social networking, sports, music, and dance.. Brighter Brains Institute will work collaboratively with the Ugandan directors of the 12 humanist schools that they sponsor.

Want to Help?

BBI encourages scientists, engineers, and technologists support them in this challenging and rewarding task, via either donations or volunteer participation, or delivering technology that can be used by the Ugandans.

Headquarters for those who go to Uganda as volunteers will be the three campuses of Kasese Humanist Primary School (Rukoki, Muhokya, Kahendero) with field trips to more isolated communities in Kyarumba, Buhanga, Nyakiyumbu, Kanyenze, and Kisinga (many are so tiny they don’t exist on Google maps).

In rural Uganda, the severely-flawed source of knowledge is often the village priest, or Anglican minister. BBI’s 24 secular schools, orphanages, and clinics (that distribute free condoms) are frequently accused by these clerics of being “evil demons… Illuminati… who want to destroy children.”

BBI believes the best way to combat this superstition and irrational thinking is to demonstrate the amazing benefits of scientific implementation through enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and caring science lovers.

Please help BBI with your volunteer participation, or technological, financial, and in-kind gift support.

To volunteer, email

Contributions can be made HERE at their Africa Humanist Marketplace.

BBI’s immediate goal is to raise $18,000 - $3,000 for each category: solar, water, internet, eco-briquette, medicine, and science education.

Brighter Brains Institute, 425 Moraga Avenue, Piedmont, California 94611, Contact: 415.309.3505 or


Lawrence M. Krauss - Internationally known theoretical physicist, author of over 300 scientific publications and many acclaimed best-selling books, recipient of numerous awards including 2015 Humanist of the Year. Director, The Origins Project; Co-Director, Cosmology Initiative; Foundation Professor: School of Earth & Space Exploration and Physics Department, Arizona State University

Martine Aliana Rothblatt is Chairperson & Co-CEO of United Therapeutics (UTHR), and President & CEO of its Lung Biotechnology public benefit company. She previously created and led Sirius XM as its Chairman & CEO, after launching satellite navigation and international satellite television systems. She has JD and MBA degrees from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Medical Ethics from the Royal London School of Medicine & Dentistry. Her patented inventions are in satellite communications, pharmaceuticals and cognitive software. Dr. Rothblatt’s recent books are on transplantable organs (Your Life or Mine) and cyber ethics (Virtually Human).

Douglas Rushkoff is a writer, documentarian, and lecturer. He is the author of fifteen bestselling books on media, technology, and society, including Program or Be Programmed, Present Shock, and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus. He made award-winning PBS Frontline documentaries Generation Like, Merchants of Cool, and The Persuaders, and is the author of the graphic novels Testament and Aleister & Adolf.

Christina Manansala West - Co-Founder of Zep Solar, a manufacturer of solar photovoltaic mounting and grounding equipment. Zep Solar was acquired by SolarCity in 2013, and today operates as an independent business unit of SolarCity. Zep Solar invented a “railless” system that allows PV installers to install solar panels on the roof quicker than other installation approaches.

Roslyn Mould is President of the Humanist Association of Ghana (HAG) & Chair for the African working group, International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organization (IHEYO). She helped organize the first ever West African Humanist Conference, with HIVOS and IHEYO. She is in constant contact with multiple African humanists and humanist organizations as their advisor and guide.

Bwambale Robert Musubaho is the founder/director of the Kasese United Humanist Association, in western Uganda. He is also the director of Kasese Primary Humanist School, BiZoHa Orphanage Humanist School, and Kahendero Nursery Humanist School, plus the Andrea Vogt Clinic, the Jane Shrimpton Clinic, and the Pellissier Science Laboratory.

Tanya Zelevinsky is Associate Professor of Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics at Columbia University. She lectures on mechanics, electromagnetism, and atomic physics. Her research interests involve precision measurements and metrology, particularly state-of-the-art optical spectroscopy with diatomic molecules. She graduated from MIT in physics and math, and received her physics PhD at Harvard University.

Leo Igwe has been the Western and Southern African representative to IHEU, (International Humanist and Ethical Union). He has bravely worked to end a variety of human rights violations, including anti-gay hate, sorcery, witchcraft, ritual killing, human sacrifice, “untouchability”, caste discrimination, “child witch” superstition, and anti-blasphemy laws. 

David Thompson, is an IBM Fellow in the Inventors Hall of Fame for co-inventing the first practical magnetic thin film storage heads (US Patent No. 4,295,173). Thin film technology increased the density of data stored on magnetic disks; this technology keyed the success of the disk drive industry that generates $35+ billion in annual sales.

Kabugho Victorina is the Chair Person of Buhanga Thulibaghuma Women’s Group and chair person of the school committee of Mother Givers Humanist School, in the small village of Buhanga, in the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains in western Uganda. In her village, she directed construction of the Future Path Classroom, the Buhanga Chicken Project, MicroLoan Project, and Clean Water Project.

Russell Blackford is an Australian science fiction writer, philosopher, literary critic, public intellectual, and lecturer at the University of Newcastle. He co-edited 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists and was a contributor to The Australian Book of Atheism. His writing has appeared in many magazines, journals, and reference books, and has been featured most prominently in Quadrant, a monthly journal of literature and policy.

Kenneth Beckman - Director, Biomedical Genomics Center, University of Minnesota; it provides genomics research services, offers an array of services including sequencing, expression, genotyping, nucleic acid extraction and related support.

Hank Pellissier serves as IEET Managing Director and is an IEET Affiliate Scholar.

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