Elon Musk, the outspoken entrepreneur and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, has seemingly channeled his concerns about population collapse into action.
The Musk Foundation made a whopping $10 million donation to the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) back in 2021, Bloomberg News reported, citing the foundation’s tax filings.
The generous contribution reportedly marks one of the foundation’s largest donations and its largest to higher education.
A Twitter user responded to the news, saying, “When you actually care about your species more than country leaders worldwide. Both inspiring and sad.”
Musk replied, “I care very much.”
I care very much
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 15, 2023
The donation is tied to the establishment of the Population Wellbeing Initiative (PWI), an interdisciplinary research program at UT Austin. Led by Dean Spears and assistant director Mark Budolfson, PWI brings together economists, sociologists, philosophers, and population scientists.
Spears and Budolfson’s research has covered utilitarianism, fertility, climate change, and effective altruism— a philanthropic approach aligned with Musk’s views. The Musk Foundation’s support has not only fueled PWI’s exploration of these areas but also facilitated events like the October PWI conference, drawing attention to Musk’s role, according to Bloomberg.
Musk’s views on population collapse have been strongly expressed in the past. He has questioned UN projections on population growth, advocated for the merits of child-bearing, and warned about the risks posed by declining fertility rates.
Several of the research papers produced by the PWI echo Musk’s concerns, particularly those centered around the implications of dwindling fertility rates and the broader concept of “longtermism.”
In 2021, the Musk Foundation donated to three universities, two for long-term issues. Georgetown University got $2 million for AI research, while MIT received $1.5 million for pandemic preparedness, as per Bloomberg.
Produced in association with Benzinga