Make It Rain

Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin Cut Big Checks to Reward ‘Extending Human Life’

You can't sit with us.

Here’s the thing about philanthropy: There’s always plenty of people more than happy to accept a generous cash donation. Hence, Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Prize, which he launched back in August as his very own version of the Nobel Prize for Physics, is branching out. The prize will no longer go to just physicists doomed to toil in obscurity, as Mr. Milner has enlisted several Silicon Valley heavyweights to contribute to a new Life Sciences franchise.

Art Levinson (former Genentech CEO, Apple chairman) has signed on as chairman, while Mr. Milner, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki (of 23andMe and also wife to Mr. Brin), Mark Zuckerberg, and Priscilla Chan are all founding sponsors, as well. (Though it’s not clear who coughed up how much.) They plan to dole out five $3 million prizes annually going forward, with alums selecting the honorees.  Read More