76 scientists in 16 countries call for a philanthropic foundation
For faster action during crisis
June 24, 2020
The scientists write in Nature:
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the limited coordination among European countries when they need to act quickly and forcefully. As scientists and national academy members from 15 European countries, we endorse a call for a European Foundation for the Prevention of Environmental and Health Crises. Its aim would be to forge an alliance between European scientists and philanthropists so that we are better prepared for our shared future.
Individual donors and foundations established by benefactors account for 1.95% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the United States, but only 0.65% of the GDP of the European countries for which data are available (see go.nature.com/2ykyarb).
The new European body would be similar to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation set up in Seattle, Washington, 20 years ago. It would need an initial endowment of about 20 billion (US$22.5 billion) from European philanthropists (see https://europe-foundation.eu).
With advice from an independent scientific advisory committee, the foundation’s council of donors would support European research into technology and therapeutics to help counter epidemics and environmental threats in the future.
Nature 582, 488 (2020); doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-01869-6