Elsewhere online
September 30, 2015

Science Donor Gives to Learn 'What Makes Humans Different'

Billionaire philanthropist Paul Allen talks to The Washington Post about the causes and processes that guide his science-related giving. The interview focuses primarily on Mr. Allen's support of research into brain function and artificial intelligence.

The 62-year-old Microsoft co-founder says his gifts are intended to advance treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and to improve understanding of "what makes humans different from other animals and how evolution happened." In investigating new arenas for research, he says, he arranges brainstorming sessions with top scientists in a relevant field to explore how to "start to get traction" in tackling a particular problem.