"And I was just, like, why would anybody pay $35 for 11 sheets of paper?"


— 15 year old Jack Andraka, at the White House Champions of Change event on June 20, 2013.

Jack said,

Essentially, what I did was, In 9th grade I created a new way to track pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer that costs 3 cents and takes 5 mins to run. It’s 168 times faster, over 126,000 times less expensive, and over 400 times more sensitive than current methods of diagnosis. And, currently, it has close to 100% accuracy in diagnosis, and it can detect the cancer in the earliest stage when the patient has close to 100% chance of survival. [applause]

I did my first science fair when I was 11 years old. I had a bowl cut and glasses… And that was the first time I ran into open science, because I ran into these pay walls, and I was just, like…it asked me for $35. This was the first time ever. And I was just, like, why would anybody pay $35 for 11 sheets of paper? And it turned out that that would be me, because I couldn’t find it anywhere else. And then it asked me for my login info, so I typed in my email login and it said it was invalid. And then my 7th grade self took immediate offense and thought “you’re invalid.” And eventually I begged my mom and my dad to finally pay for that article and it turned out it had nothing to do with the research I needed. And the unfortunate thing is that these articles don’t have return policies.

(Jack is second from the left in the photo.)