Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla announced in a press conference in San Francisco that they are willing to donate $3 Billion to eradicate illnesses by the end of the century.
According to Financial Times, the couple cited three ways on how the money would be spent: first is to bring scientists and engineers together through collaborations in research, second is build tools and technology to combat illnesses, and third is to inspire others around the world to increase funding for science.
Zuckerberg mentioned that it would take time for these projects to materialize but its importance cannot be underestimated. He added that $3bn was just an initial donation, adding that they "plan to invest billions of dollars over decades." Part of this initiative will fund a new research center in San Francisco, where scientists, engineers, and medical experts are expected to collaborate on long-term projects which would last for years or decades.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Zuckerberg mentioned that they are hoping efforts like theirs would bring about collaborations among the different sciences. He added that there is a need to spend more on science research dedicated to find cure for diseases "so that people don't get sick in the first place."
The couple's philantrophy plan is not expected to affect their controlling shareholder on giant network Facebook. In 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg initiative pledged 99 percent of their Facebook shares to charity to "cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century." At the time, their valued Facebook stock is at $45 billion.
Chan and Zuckerberg's initatives are often compared to Bill and Melinda Gates' commitment to combat malaria, tuberculosis and Aids. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $3.6bn so far to fund research on the mentioned health diseases.
Tech giants are slowly focusing on funding research for health. Such initiatives of sharing private wealth for the public good is a long standing culture among US businesses.