Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has finally announced that their upcoming noble initiaative, will see the Chan-Zuckerberg initiative put out $3 billion over the next decade to help cure, prevent, or manage all diseases, within our children’s lifetimes. This will be part of the newly set up Chan Zuckerberg Science, the initiative was announced through a livefeed on Facebook. The program aims to cure, prevent or manage all diseases within our children’s lifetimes and is one of a few corporate driven programs of this magnitude, working in this particular direction.
The announcement took place in San Francisco. Addressing the gathering, Priscilla Chan said:
“Mark and I believe that this is possible within our children’s lifetime. We are partnering with scientists, doctors, and engineers to help us achieve this goal … We’ll be investing more than $3 billion to achieve our collective vision.”
Major portion of the $3 Billion amount will go towards investments in Biohub, which will be working to unite researchers from Stanford, Berkeley, and UCSF with engineers to find new ways to treat disease. Basic aim here will be get the best minds in the world to sit down together to work upon some of the more pressing of humanity’s concerns. Biohub will be led by Joe Derisi and Stephen Quake, both of whom are quite well known in medical and research circles for their expertise in biophysics and bioengineering.
Both Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan, have always been passionate about the subject of curing diseases. While Chan is a doctor and as such, can be expected to take a professional interest in the matter, Zuckerberg has also been an equally emphatic supporter. If we go back top the time when their daughter Max was born, in a letter to their newborn daughter, they stressed about the importance of research in curing diseases,
“Consider disease. Today we spend about 50 times more as a society treating people who are sick than we invest in research so you won’t get sick in the first place.”
Zuckerberg stressed the exact same words in his speech, reiterating the importance of research in getting rid of diseases and also presented a 3 pointer road map:
- Bring scientists and engineers together
- Build tools and technology
- Grow the movement to fund science
The couple pledged to donate about 99 percent of their total wealth within their lifetimes, which taking the value of the Facebook shares owned by Mark into account, is somewhere in the north of $45 Billion. Zuckerberg, made it clear that it is a long term process and may take more than a decade to be able to see visible results. He said:
“The science initiative is a long term effort. We plan to invest billions of dollars over decades. But it will take years for these tools to be developed and longer to put them into full use. This is hard and we need to be patient, but it’s important.”
All the research and output from the CZS, will be openly available to all doctors and researchers everywhere. Cori Bragmann, head of Chan Zuckerberg Science, stressed that the organization will focus upon building “transformational technologies”. Towards the end of the event Mark invited philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates on the stage, who called the program very bold and ambitious.