The Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg along with his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan has launched an initiative, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. This is a charitable foundation founded last year in the honor of their daughter Maxima. Priscilla Chan is a pediatrician by profession. Being one of the richest couples of the world, they want this money to be used for a good cause. This organization announced on Wednesday that it’ll spend $3billion over the next decade. This fund is in order to find cures for as many diseases as possible. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative focuses its global efforts on four areas which are personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and forming strong communities.
The ideology behind this initiative
Dr. Priscilla Chan made this announcement at the project’s launch event in San Francisco. Sharing her thoughts, she says that this project is to make lives healthier of their daughter’s generation. Apparently, the belief is that it is possible within this lifetime. The company is partnering with doctors, scientists and engineers to achieve this goal. This program hopes to make all diseases treatable or at least easily manageable by the end of the 21st century. The human society spends 50 times more on treating people than on finding cures. This initiative focuses on finding a cure as it’s a long-term solution for the diseases. Mark Zuckerberg believes that all diseases can be cured, prevented or managed by the end of this century. Similarly, this project will work on the same. The company will provide the necessary funding and infrastructure to the scientists so that they can work effectively.
Current targets of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s first donation will be a $600 million investment in a project called Biohub. This will be an independent research center at the University of California in San Francisco. The project will bring together leading scientists and engineers from Stanford University, UC Berkeley and the University of California. According to statistics, heart disease, infectious disease, cancer and neurological disease are the leading causes of death. Although a sudden breakthrough cannot eliminate these causes but a change in the approach to these diseases is essential. An investment in basic scientific research and invention of new tools can help attain advance progress in fighting them faster.
The president of science for this initiative, Cori Bargmann says that they are actively looking for more partners who show interest in this project. On achieving the goal, these tools will be provided to scientists around the world. The types of tools they will create include artificial intelligence tools for mapping the brain. Similarly, invention of a machine learning technology for tracking and learning about all types of cancers might happen. Following this, the creation of a cell atlas will take place to categorize all the cells found in the human body.
Other projects under the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
After the birth of his daughter last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that he would give away 99% of his Facebook shares through such organizations over his lifetime. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has since then invested in various programs. One of them is the Indian education technology company BYJU. After this, they invested in an African software development training program, Andela. Significantly, this initiative also recently backed a program which provides San Francisco Bay Area teachers with money for school supplies.