Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan want to rid the world of disease, and they've just pledged $3 billion over the course of the next decade toward curing, preventing and treating diseases via the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, USA Today reports.
This coincides with a pledge the couple made after their daughter Max was born to donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares to charity, philanthropic efforts and public advocacy.
On Wednesday, Dr. Chan, who is a pediatrician, gave an emotional and personal speech to announce this health initiative at an event in San Francisco. She said,
We are the limit of what we understand about science and disease. We want to push back that boundary. By investing in science today, we hope to build a future in which all of our children can live long and rewarding lives.
The couple realize their goal is lofty, and don't believe they can fully eradicate disease from the world.
As Chan put it,
We believe we can cure, prevent or manage all disease within our children's lifetime. It doesn't mean that no one will get sick, but they should get sick a lot less.
Chan and Zuckerberg will collaborate with scientists, doctors, engineers and universities as they strive toward this bold, but benevolent, goal.
The $3 billion initiative is to be led by Cori Bargmann, a neuroscientist at Rockefeller University in New York.
In Zuckerberg's words,
If we can develop new tools, we can empower scientists all around the world to make much faster progress and breakthroughs.
But he doesn't think this will happen overnight,
We need to be patient. We can make a better world for our children and for generations to come.
Zuckerberg also posted about this on Facebook.
The initiative's first project will be the Biohub, a $600 million investment that will bring scientists together from UC San Francisco, Stanford University and UC Berkeley.
According to Forbes, Zuckerberg is worth an estimated $55.8 billion. It's nice to see him putting some of that money to good use.