Bill Gates is an optimist, believing that scientific advances will improve the quality of life around the globe for the foreseeable future. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates is working to help solve many of the world’s interrelated challenges — from energy and clean air to disease and poverty. It’s a joy to follow Gates and his thinking as he tracks and reports on his progress and learning on many of these fronts — subscribe here to Gates Notes to get Gates’ thoughts regularly. Not every battle is equally easy to wage, but Gates believes “overall the trend is good” with increased knowledge, communication, understanding — especially the type of scientific communication that fosters the most valuable results.
Speaking with CNN, Gates talked about eradicating diseases, one of his foundation’s main targets. Gates says “We’ll never get it to zero,” but that one day we’ll have a situation where a “child in a poor country doesn’t have a dramatically increased chance of dying compared to other children.” That comment reveals Gates’ belief that the world’s nations will reach equality in disease penetration and disease prevention before they reach equality in wealth. The ultimate goal, of course, is not to have children in “poor” countries at all.