The Kavli Foundation, based in Oxnard, California, is dedicated to the goals of advancing science for the benefit of humanity and promoting increased public understanding and support for scientists and their work.
The Foundation's mission is implemented through an international program of research institutes, professorships, and symposia in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics, as well as prizes in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.
The Kavli Foundation was established in December 2000 by its founder and benefactor, Fred Kavli (1927-2013), a prominent California business leader and noted philanthropist. The Foundation is currently actively involved in establishing major research institutes at leading universities and institutions in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
To date, The Kavli Foundation has established and endowed research institutes at leading universities worldwide, focusing on the areas of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics. As of today, there are twenty institutes. The Foundation has endowed research institutes in neuroscience at Columbia University, Yale University, the University of California San Diego, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Johns Hopkins University, The Rockefeller University, and the University of California, San Francisco. In nanoscience, there are Kavli Institutes at the California Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Harvard University, the Delft University of Technology and the University of California Berkeley. In astrophysics and cosmology, the institutes are at Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge, Peking University and the University of Tokyo. And in theoretical physics, the institutes are at the University of California Santa Barbara and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The Foundation has also endowed seven university professorial chairs, sponsors science symposia and workshops, supports initiatives to engage the public in science and that help scientists themselves be better communicators, and supports excellence in science journalism. This includes endowing the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The Foundation has also brought together scientists at meetings that facilitate open dialogue and an exchange of ideas. These meetings have precipitated such major initiatives as the Brain Activity Map proposal, which was a major catalyst for President Obama's Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative announced in April 2013.