Why Bill Gates Thinks This Is the Most Beautiful Chart in the World

Bill and Melinda Gates lay out the key accomplishments of their philanthropic foundation in response to Warren Buffet. 

Why Bill Gates Thinks This Is the Most Beautiful Chart in the World


In 2006, famed investor and businessman Warren Buffett pledged to give away 85% of his fortune to charitable organizations, with the most sizable chunk, valued at the time at $31 billion, going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private foundation in the world which tackles worldwide issues related to healthcare and extreme poverty.

At the end of 2016, Buffett wrote a cordial letter to the Gateses, asking to outline what impact his gift has achieved so far. The 2017 annual letter from Bill and Melinda seeks to do just that, calling Buffett’s gift “the biggest single gift anyone ever gave anybody for anything.” 

The main accomplishment of the foundation, according to the Gateses, is their work in reducing children’s mortality. In fact, what Bill and Melinda call “Our Favorite Number” is the 122 million children’s lives that have been saved since 1990.  These are children that would have died had the children mortality rate not gone down. The Gates’s philanthropic work makes a particular emphasis on improving global health issues, with reducing the deaths of kids around the world being a goal that inspired them from the beginning.

“Saving children’s lives is the goal that launched our global work. It’s an end in itself. But then we learned it has all these other benefits as well. If parents believe their children will survive—and if they have the power to time and space their pregnancies—they choose to have fewer children,“ writes Melinda Gates.

In a recent tweet, Bill Gates points to the chart showing how the number of children’s deaths was cut in half, calling it "the most beautiful chart in the world”:

This is the most beautiful chart in the world: https://t.co/4R24thLJCS pic.twitter.com/LT5BSnzAri

— Bill Gates (@BillGates) February 16, 2017

Every 27.5 million years, the Earth’s heart beats catastrophically

Geologists discover a rhythm to major geologic events.

Credit: desertsolitaire/Adobe Stock
Surprising Science
  • It appears that Earth has a geologic "pulse," with clusters of major events occurring every 27.5 million years.
  • Working with the most accurate dating methods available, the authors of the study constructed a new history of the last 260 million years.
  • Exactly why these cycles occur remains unknown, but there are some interesting theories.
Keep reading Show less

Which countries are voyaging to Mars this decade?

We are likely to see the first humans walk on Mars this decade.

Mars's Twin Peaks

NASA
Technology & Innovation
  • Space agencies have successfully sent three spacecraft to Mars this year.
  • The independent missions occurred at around the same time because Earth and Mars were particularly close to each other last summer, providing an opportune time to launch.
  • SpaceX says it hopes to send a crewed mission to Mars by 2026, while the U.S. and China aim to land humans on the planet in the 2030s.
Keep reading Show less

How Apple and Nike have branded your brain

A new episode of "Your Brain on Money" illuminates the strange world of consumer behavior and explores how brands can wreak havoc on our ability to make rational decisions.

Apple logo

Vegefox.com via Adobe Stock
popular
  • Effective branding can not only change how you feel about a company, it can actually change how your brain is wired.
  • Our new series "Your Brain on Money," created in partnership with Million Stories, recently explored the surprising ways brands can affect our behavior.
  • Brands aren't going away. But you can make smarter decisions by slowing down and asking yourself why you're making a particular purchase.
Keep reading Show less
Sponsored by Singleton

How Apple and Nike have branded your brain

Powerful branding can not only change how you feel about a company, it can actually change how your brain is wired.

Quantcast