Time 100 by Stephen Hawking

This article originally appeared in TIME Magazine, April 20, 2016

Yuri Milner is something of a visionary. He sees that while there are many good causes and pressing problems, ultimately our chances of thriving as a species depend on tending and feeding the precious flame of knowledge.

His investments take the long view. Shifting the culture toward one more committed to science and its virtues of curiosity and reason. Supporting fundamental but underfunded quests, such as the search for life in the universe and a path to interstellar travel. Moonshot projects that may take decades but, if they succeed, will transform our relationship to the cosmos.

At the core of his vision is a sense of scale. A deep respect for the universe, in its immensity, and for human beings, whose minds can somehow span it.

– Stephen Hawking, Time 100 list 2016