Program director for international peace and security at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Stephen Del Rosso, writes in The Chronicle of Philanthropy on the increasing need for philanthropists to help further public understanding of the societal implications of quantum innovation, highlighting Project Q’s leading role in the effort.

Del Rosso writes, “Quantum presents a ripe target of opportunity for foundations that have long supported efforts to explore and explain complex notions rooted in science — from nuclear security to climate change — that affect our everyday lives. Moreover, through its grant making to scholars and policy experts and increasing interest in broadly disseminating their findings, philanthropy is well-positioned to take on this challenge.”

The article describes research endeavours by tech giants Microsoft, Google and IBM, as well as government agencies and major universities such as the University of Sydney’s Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST) who are working on different developmental paths to a fully functioning quantum computer.

“Philanthropy is unhindered by the crisis-to-crisis mode of government operations or the disciplinary imperatives of the academy, so it is ideally suited to sponsor investigation into the relevance of quantum approaches today and in the future.”

Del Rosso highlights Project Q, which is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York: “Under the leadership of its director, political scientist and documentary filmmaker James Der Derian, the center [CISS] organized a Project Q symposium in early 2016, the most recent of three such gatherings. The event brought together an eclectic mix of scientists, philosophers, diplomats, soldiers, scholars, writers, artists, and futurists to, according to its website, ‘explore the origins, elements, and outcomes of a quantum age,’ especially as they relate to matters of international peace and security.”

Likening grant proposals to a quantum “potentiality whose true state is unknown until its implementation is observed and measured”, Del Rosso advocates philanthropic support to build a “greater public understanding of this powerful concept and its many possibilities boding both good and ill.”

To read the full article, visit the Carnegie Corporation website here

Image: Stephen Del Rosso and James Der Derian (from left) on the final roundtable event at the third annual Q Symposium (by Gilbert Bel-Bachir)