“The Next Exciting Phase.” What a Big Science Research Donation Says About Higher Ed Giving

“The Next Exciting Phase.” What a Big Science Research Donation Says About Higher Ed Giving

With donors giving big for trendy areas like data science and artificial intelligence, a gift out of Chicago finds the Pritzker Foundation going against the grain. We dig into its $75 million gift earmarked for the nascent field of molecular engineering.

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Behind a Search for Breakthrough Ideas to Capture River Plastic Before It Reaches the Ocean

Behind a Search for Breakthrough Ideas to Capture River Plastic Before It Reaches the Ocean

An estimated 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year, threatening vital marine ecosystems, and most of it comes from rivers. Can a new partnership between the Benioff Ocean Initiative and Coca-Cola “turn off the tap” of river plastic?

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Building a Talent Pipeline: Who’s Giving Big for Data Science on Campus?

Building a Talent Pipeline: Who’s Giving Big for Data Science on Campus?

Funder interest in data science shows no signs of abating, and it isn’t just tech funders leading the charge. Given the field’s potential to revolutionize risk management, insurance companies are also digging deep to support data science initiatives.

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As Millions Flow for Campus Research on Health and AI, What Might Be Some Downsides?

As Millions Flow for Campus Research on Health and AI, What Might Be Some Downsides?

The latest installment in the higher ed artificial intelligence gold rush finds a corporate funder backing new research on health and AI. Other campus donors will likely follow, even as some experts warn that this new technology could exacerbate health inequities.

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Important But Neglected: Why an Effective Altruist Funder Is Giving Millions to AI Security

Important But Neglected: Why an Effective Altruist Funder Is Giving Millions to AI Security

Open Philanthropy Project’s unique approach has led it to animal welfare, global health and curbing the risks of artificial intelligence—most recently with a $55 million grant for research and policy analysis on AI. What’s the thinking behind this big investment?

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How a Major Research Funder Decided to Wrap Up its Longest-Running Science Initiative

How a Major Research Funder Decided to Wrap Up its Longest-Running Science Initiative

Having funded marine microbiology since 2004, the Moore Foundation has announced it will wrap up its initiative in 2021. We talked to program director Jon Kaye about the initiative’s impact, how it decided to move on, and what’s next.

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“We Need to Open the Doors.” A Campus Gift to Boost Diversity Among Environmental Leaders

“We Need to Open the Doors.” A Campus Gift to Boost Diversity Among Environmental Leaders

A $20 million gift seeks to increase accessibility for underrepresented and first-generation students to Duke’s School of the Environment. It comes at a moment when there’s growing acknowledgement that green groups must do more to diversify their ranks in an era of rapid demographic change.

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Dept. of Disruption: Can Philanthropy-Backed Oversight Keep Up With the AI Boom?

Dept. of Disruption: Can Philanthropy-Backed Oversight Keep Up With the AI Boom?

Another huge campus gift for artificial intelligence research leaves us wondering: Can donors concerned about the ethical, social and humanitarian consequences of the AI revolution keep pace with rapid technological change and the forces of private enterprise?

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Dept. of Big Questions: Millions in Grants Flow to Research the Origins of Life

Dept. of Big Questions: Millions in Grants Flow to Research the Origins of Life

How life springs up from chemical soup is one of the biggest mysteries in science. The Templeton Foundation is one of a couple of funders backing exciting work springing up in related disciplines.

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As Money Moves Offshore, New Questions About How Foundations Invest Their Assets

As Money Moves Offshore, New Questions About How Foundations Invest Their Assets

A report by Science found top research funders make billions in shady offshore investments, at times contradicting their missions for public good. It’s the latest example of philanthropy’s swelling assets and investments under fire.

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For a University and a Top Billionaire Donor, a Huge Bet on Artificial Intelligence

For a University and a Top Billionaire Donor, a Huge Bet on Artificial Intelligence

MIT is making its largest structural change since the 1950s, fueled in part by a historic gift from Stephen Schwarzman of $350 million. The campaign underscores a number of trends in academia and philanthropy amid a surge of interest in AI.

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Vision, Daring, and Compassion: Paul Allen's Legacy of Philanthropy

Vision, Daring, and Compassion: Paul Allen's Legacy of Philanthropy

Paul Allen, who died recently, exemplified the best of big philanthropy. He embraced risk taking and cared deeply, journeying to the outer frontiers of scientific knowledge and to the front lines of the world’s biggest challenges. IP editor David Callahan assesses his legacy.

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What a Top Science Funder is Learning From Its Deep Dive Into a Risky Area

What a Top Science Funder is Learning From Its Deep Dive Into a Risky Area

A key strength of philanthropy is that it can play the long game, taking risks in a quest for transformative change. A great example is the Moore Foundation’s huge investment in the study of quantum materials. How’s that effort going?

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From the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Support for Young Biomedical Researchers

From the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Support for Young Biomedical Researchers

The foundation has pledged $10 million to Stanford Medicine for the training of graduate students in the biomedical sciences, increasing the pipeline of talented young researchers who might otherwise struggle.

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A Science Funder Connects STEM Grad Students to Global Health—and the Gates Foundation

A Science Funder Connects STEM Grad Students to Global Health—and the Gates Foundation

The Hertz Foundation has been awarding fellowships to STEM postdoctoral students for more than 60 years. A new program is sending students in diverse scientific fields to work in health and development at the Gates Foundation.

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