In 2002, the Moore Foundation committed $300 million in funding to the California Institute of Technology to advance Caltech’s position at the forefront of higher education, technological development and scientific research in the life and physical sciences. This funding has supported new research centers, specific research projects, acquisition and maintenance of new equipment, and educational initiatives at Caltech.
The foundation’s commitment has had a significant and positive impact on Caltech, giving the institution an unprecedented ability to maintain and advance its position as a world leader in science and engineering. For example, a significant number of publications from research supported through the Caltech commitment are among the top one percent most cited in their field, suggesting this body of work contributed to groundbreaking discoveries in science and engineering.
“If you provide unfettered resources to fearless and ambitious researchers, then great ideas emerge,” said Caltech’s president Thomas F. Rosenbaum, the Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and professor of physics. “We are deeply grateful to the Moore Foundation for their belief in Caltech’s ability to create knowledge for the ages and to develop technologies that improve human lives today.”
Since 2002, Caltech has maintained its reputation as a world leader in fields where it has traditionally excelled, including astronomy, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and experimental economics. In addition, the commitment helped Caltech strengthen its culture of valuing discovery research, risk-taking and cultivating the environment necessary for significant scientific discoveries.
Several projects funded through the commitment have high potential to result in major transformations in science:
“There's only one Caltech. It is a great place for budding scientists and engineers to work right at the research frontier,” said Robert Kirshner, chief program officer for science at the Moore Foundation, and Caltech alumnus (Ph.D., 1975). “When you give Caltech's amazing students, postdocs, and faculty the resources they need to implement their creative scientific ideas, stand back and prepare for something novel to emerge!”
The Moore Foundation’s commitment to Caltech exemplifies Gordon Moore’s thoughts about his alma mater: “We appreciate being able to support the best science, and that's something that supporting Caltech lets us do.”