David Shankbone

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Bloomberg Gift to Endow 50 Chairs at Hopkins

Jeff tries to explain how government works to readers of Science.

Johns Hopkins University intends to hire 50 scientists over the next 5 years to fill endowed chairs funded through a $250 million gift from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The program is the largest component of a $350 million donation announced Saturday, with $100 million earmarked for undergraduate scholarships. The university said Bloomberg, who received an undergraduate engineering degree in 1964 from the Baltimore, Maryland, school before building a media empire that has made him a multibillionaire, has made gifts totaling $1.1 billion.

The Bloomberg Distinguished Professors will tackle such interdisciplinary challenges as clean water, individualized health care, urban revitalization, and the science of learning. "These professors will be the focal points for efforts to tackle complex problems from multiple disciplinary perspectives," said Dennis O'Shea, executive director of media relations. He said Hopkins President Ronald Daniels and interim provost Jonathan Bagger "will be looking for forward thinkers who are comfortable thinking outside out of silos and working across disciplinary lines. Each will have appointments in at least two divisions or departments across the university."

The first professors will be hired this spring, according to O'Shea, and will be chosen at a rate of 10 per year. No more than 20% will be current faculty members, he noted, and all will teach as well as conduct research.

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