Even since our ancestors first crafted stone tools, humanity has seen great leaps in technological progress. The science-technology feedback loop of the last 150 years has led to the digital age and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Now, Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Initiatives are paving the way for advancements in space exploration and astrobiology.
Who Is Yuri Milner?
Yuri Milner is a billionaire, entrepreneur, investor, and science philanthropist. He is also a Giving Pledge signatory and the author of the short book Eureka Manifesto: The Mission for Our Civilization.
When Yuri Milner and his wife signed the Giving Pledge 10 years ago, the couple vowed to support science and scientists. To satisfy their Giving Pledge commitment, the Milners have launched several science-focused projects, including the Breakthrough Initiatives.
What Is Eureka Manifesto About?
In Eureka Manifesto, Yuri Milner explains that humanity needs a shared mission to thrive as a civilization. He suggests that this mission should be “to explore and understand our Universe.”
Yuri Milner takes inspiration from the Universal story, which frames humanity as a rare emergence of consciousness in an otherwise unconscious Universe. With this consciousness comes a responsibility to make sense of our existence and extend the Universal story.
Eureka Manifesto outlines the risks of failing to pursue this mission and the potential rewards if we embrace it. According to Yuri Milner, the mission could lead to unimaginable technological progress. Such technological progress could help us address many of the challenges we face today, such as incurable diseases and climate change.
As the title suggests, Eureka Manifesto’s core themes include discovery and innovation. The book makes the case for a world rich in collaboration and scientific breakthroughs.
Eureka Manifesto also discusses the importance of recognizing contributions from great minds of the past and present. Celebrating scientists in the same way we value athletes and film stars could significantly impact human civilization. By inspiring younger generations to pursue science, we can safeguard the quest for knowledge.
What Are the Breakthrough Initiatives?
In Eureka Manifesto, Yuri Milner describes a plan of action to advance humanity towards a more progressive, enlightened civilization. Part of this plan involves prioritizing research into fundamental science and space exploration. Since 2015, the Giving Pledge signatory has contributed to this research with the Breakthrough Initiatives.
The Breakthrough Initiatives are five scientific programs that seek answers to the profound questions of life and the Universe. Questions like: Are there intelligent aliens out there? Could we communicate with them? And could humanity one day travel to the stars?
In the spirit of Eureka Manifesto’s themes of collaboration and unity, the Breakthrough Initiatives have led to global partnerships across various disciplines. Individuals, organizations, and governments have joined together to advance the programs and our understanding of the Universe.
For example, Breakthrough Listen, a $100 million program searching for evidence of civilizations beyond Earth, works with observatories worldwide. Listen has access to cutting-edge telescopes in countries like Australia, the U.S., China, and South Africa.
Meanwhile, Breakthrough Watch partners with scholars and engineers to improve and build Earth- and space-based telescopes. These telescopes should help Watch identify planets capable of hosting life.
One such new space telescope is the TOLIMAN (Telescope for Orbit Locus Interferometric Monitoring of our Astronomical Neighbourhood). The TOLIMAN mission represents an ongoing collaboration between Breakthrough Watch and partners like the University of Sydney and satellite manufacturer EnduroSat.
Discover Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Initiatives.