RCSA pulls together groups of early career scientists to put their heads together around important topics, then cuts checks for the multidisciplinary, potentially groundbreaking projects that emerge.
Funders have been some of the biggest champions of making publication of research faster and more accessible. The latest push supports “preprinting” life sciences research ahead of journal publication.
A botanical garden-led drive to digitally catalog all 350,000+ known plant species has been chugging along for a few years. Now two funders fixated on sharing knowledge are bought in for almost $2 million. But is that enough?
Gary Brinson is considered a living legend among investors, and in his retirement mostly gives to education and Chicago institutions. But he has a soft spot for science, backing some pretty specific areas of research.
Google is well known for its mission to organize the world’s information, as well as side projects like, say, funding private lunar missions. But its latest million-dollar competition and grantmaking program targets an obscure-but-crucial component in energy use. What are they up to?
The family of a large oil and gas company's founder just made a big gift to the University of Kansas. As with similar gifts, a focus will be linking up university research with the energy industry.
The next breakthroughs in consumer electronics, biotechnology, and even sustainable energy often begin with new materials. The hunt for the compounds that will make the next solar panel or iPhone is advancing along with computing power, and one University at Buffalo alum wants to help his alma mater speed things up.
Stores of personal health data accumulating through use of wearable tech, mobile apps and social media stand to offer a scope and versatility researchers rarely see in clinical studies. A major health care funder just made a $1.9 million grant to put such data into action.
In the weeks leading up to philanthropist Fred Kavli’s passing, his foundation’s president Robert Conn said the 86-year-old Norwegian billionaire never wavered in his vision of supporting science research. “In phone conversations over the last 6 weeks, he told me several times—let’s keep going.” And while Kavli passed away in late November, his philanthropy will most certainly keep going.
Despite the current surge in neuroscience research and news coverage, and some tantalizing data points derived from improved brain scan technology, the cold hard truth is that we know very little about how the brain actually works. But we’re trying, and there’s a lot of funding flying about in this realm. Researchers are using all of the scientific disciplines at their disposal to try to cross the giant chasm between understanding the biological structures of brains and the functions of the mind. The Swartz Foundation exists solely to make that leap possible.
In the wake of the massive shale gas boom, another boom is following, in the chemical industry. The explosion in domestic fracking is causing not only an increase in fossil fuel production—not to mention a host of environmental concerns—but also a new day for the petrochemical and polymer industry. And for at least one Texas university, that’s translating into big foundation dollars to expand polymer chemistry research.
Think for a minute, but not too much longer than that, about the fact that even in the most spotless living room, kitchen, hospital or office, there is a complex ecosystem of microbes. Molds, mildews, bacteria, fungi, swarming on every surface. And yet, there is a surprisingly small body of research about the microbial world of the indoors. The Sloan Foundation’s youngest science research program is trying to remedy that, by bolstering the emerging field of Microbiology of Built Environments.