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S.), and offer therapy, criminal defense, and practical help in starting a new life.
The new field of “data science” trains people in how to sift, clean, organize, and make practical use of the huge new mounds of information now being produced by computer networks.
Top lab directors like Eric Lander and Leroy Hood have energetically explained how important philanthropy is as a form of risk capital that lets scientists explore unconventional, unusually hard, or very-early-stage problems.
It involves not just analysis but also new techniques like machine learning and advanced visualization that help find the patterns in giant data dumps, and then turn them into understandings that can drive actions that will be useful to society.
For instance: a data scientist might analyze the millions of requests for rides made by Uber users to discover the most efficient places to stage drivers, or build future roads, or establish mass transit pickups, or site new residences.
Likewise, many charities that might have been included here because of their success in spreading prosperity among Americans—like the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill Industries, etc.—will instead be found on our Religious Philanthropy list.
As common as efforts to extend economic success to widening circles of citizens have been, interventions that encourage economic flourishing more generally have been almost as popular among philanthropists.