The 21st century requires 21st century institutions of science.
We tend to think of institutions of science as static entities and of the way science and academia work as simply normal. This is not so.
In the US, although there are many private foundations and nonprofits funding science, universities will pretty much not hire you as a professor if they do not expect you to be able to raise funding from the NIH. But this development is very recent.
The NIH’s budget in 1940 was less than $1 million and it was only after the WW2, that the federal government decided to turn it into a major funding body, being greatly influenced by Vannevar Bush’s 1945 report to the US President Science The Endless Frontier, who can be arguably called the chief designer of the present organization of science.
70 years later the NIH allocates just 2% of its funding to scientists 35 and younger with 98% of the funding going to those 36 and older. We should not be surprised then that the majority of even the most talented young scientists are not supported by the current structures and do not see their future in academia.
New Science’s mission is to facilitate scientific breakthroughs by empowering the next generation of scientists and building the 21st century institutions of basic science.
New Science is a 501c3 research nonprofit incorporated in Massachusetts. We are philanthropically funded and, to date, we have raised more than $1.5m from the Survival and Flourishing Fund (funded by Jaan Tallinn, who co-founded Skype), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and other donors.
The board of directors consists of Alexey Guzey, Mark Lutter, and Adam Marblestone. New Science is advised by Tessa Alexanian, George Church, Tyler Cowen, Andrew Gelman, Channabasavaiah Gurumurthy, Konrad Kording, Tony Kulesa, Raymond Tonsing, and Elizabeth Yin.
In several years, New Science will start funding entire labs outside of academia and then will be creating an entire network of scientific organizations, while supporting the broader scientific ecosystem that will constitute the 21st century institutions of basic science.
As its first major project, in the summer of 2022, New Science will run an in-person research fellowship in Boston for young life scientists, during which they will independently explore an ambitious high-risk scientific idea they couldn’t work on otherwise and start building the foundations for a bigger research project, while having much more freedom than they could expect in their normal research environment but also much more support from us. This is inspired by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which started as a place where leading molecular biologists came for the summer to hang out and work on random projects together, and which eventually housed 8 Nobel Prize winners.
As its second major project, in the fall of 2022, New Science will run an in-person 12-month-long fellowship for young scientists starting to directly attack the biggest structural issues of the established institutions of science. We will double down on things that worked well during the summer fellowship, while extending the fellowship to one year, thus allowing researchers to make much more progress and will strive to provide them as much scientific leverage as possible.
If you'd like to learn more about New Science's next steps and/or are interested in:
- Joining New Science and helping to build the new institutions of basic life sciences
- Supporting New Science financially
- Taking part in the summer fellowship mentioned above as a student, mentor, organizer or otherwise
- Or getting involved in some other way
Please reach out to email@example.com.