Many technical breakthroughs that later bear economic fruit in abundance are powered by donations.
Even defense-related innovations like artificial intelligence, rocketry, code-breaking, radar, and sonar that we think of as classic government responsibilities have been initiated by philanthropy.
The new field of “data science” trains people in how to sift, clean, organize, and make practical use of the huge new mounds of information now being produced by computer networks.An epidemiologist might use data science to find commonalities in patients experiencing a rare disease.The economic value of new insights and discoveries made through data science can be very large.— Section research provided by By 2017, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation had already donated more than million to fix a problem the rest of the world was just becoming aware of: a large fraction of all scientific research today is badly flawed, impossible to reproduce, and inaccurate.When it comes to improving the quality of science, says science watchdog John Ioannidis, “the Arnold Foundation has been the Medici.” One beneficiary has been the Reproducibility Project, launched by a University of Virginia professor to test how many of the studies published in top psychology journals could be repeated with the same experimental result by other scientists. With Arnold funding, this has led to new efforts to improve the quality and integrity of research by helping, and pressing, scientists to post their raw data for public study and otherwise be more open about their procedures and assumptions.
It involves not just analysis but also new techniques like machine learning and advanced visualization that help find the patterns in giant data dumps, and then turn them into understandings that can drive actions that will be useful to society.