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The Kevin Xu Initiative

2019-01-24 02:40

A new gift for the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago - a global initiative on science, technology and inequality

From left, Dr. Abhilash Mishra, Kevin Xu, Professor Katherine Baicker, Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy, and Anup Malani, Chicago Law Professor.


On April 2, 2018, Mr.Kevin Xu, a biotechnology entrepreneur and social charity activist in Los Angeles, donated a special gift to the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, set up “Kevin Xu Global Initiative on Science, Technology and Inequality” at the International Innovation Society of the Harris School of Public Policy.

The Kevin Xu Global Initiative supports policy research in the areas of science, technology and inequality, and works with public and non-profit organizations to nurture the next generation of global science leaders.

In the past 20 years, although the developing countries have almost achieved universal enrollment, in the technology-driven economic environment, students' performance in scientific skills lags far behind other countries. According to a recent study by the Brookings Institution, at the current rate, the scientific skills of Indian students need to take 100 years to catch up with the average in developed countries.

Kevin Xu said that the acceleration of technology-driven global inequality requires bold and innovative policies. I am very happy to support multidisciplinary approaches, gathering scientists and policy researchers to develop such policies.

The “Kevin Xu Global Initiative” will work closely with the International Innovation Society of the Harris School of Public Policy to develop policies and provide scholarships for Harris students and graduates to solve their challenges on science and technology policy.

The first phase of the “Kevin Xu Global Initiative” will focus on improving the quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in developing countries. In addition, it will work with Indian non-profit organizations to design and evaluate low-cost methods to improve the performance of public schools in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Professor Katherine Baicker, Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy, said that the “the Kevin Xu Global Initiative” aims to improve the quality of education in developing countries by improving data access channels and cultivating technical literacy. Xu’s generous gift will enable Harris and the International Innovation Society to empower the new generation of leaders in developing countries with the tools they need to develop better policies.

Kevin Xu added that the Harris School of Public Policy is one of the world's leading policy research centers. The University of Chicago community has excellent faculty and resources in many disciplines in studying global policy challenges, which makes the Harris School of Public Policy an ideal environment for spreading new technology policy.

“The International Innovation Community focuses on addressing the challenges of systemic global development, and this partnership transforms the university’s leadership and excellence in science, technology and inequality into implementation initiatives. "We are very pleased to promote the development of field projects under the initiative of Kevin Xu global initiative on science, technology and inequality," said Anup Malani, director of the International Innovation Society and professor of Lee and Brena Freeman at the Chicago School of Law.

The initiative will be directed by Dr. Abhilash Mishra, a physicist working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in India. As the founder of the National Science, he played an important role in launching and evaluating India's first science, technology, engineering and mathematics teacher internship program.

Abhilash Mishra said: “The University of Chicago is an excellent place for physicists like me to help bridge the gap between policymakers and social scientists in response to emerging technology policy challenges. I look forward to establishing a research and development partnership among Kevin Xu Global Initiative, the Harris School of Public Policy and the University of Chicago Asia Center”.


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