The Crick has received a significant £1.2 million gift from Dangoor Education for its work in engaging people with biomedical science at the institute.
The donation will be used over five years to boost the Crick’s ability to reach many different audiences around the world, from scientists to schoolchildren. Plans include new public-focused website content and a very large LED screen outside the Crick for passers-by, to promote awareness and understanding of the institute’s work.
One of the Crick’s strategic aims is to engage and inspire the public with biomedical science and why it matters to the nation’s health, economy and society. This is achieved through a comprehensive in-person programme which reaches thousands of schoolchildren, teachers, families and local residents each year, as well as those that visit the Crick’s on-site events and exhibitions.
Alongside this, the Crick now aims to expand its digital reach. The coronavirus pandemic has placed increased attention on the scientific community, as well as promoting a worldwide shift to accessing information via digital means. There has never been a greater need to expand the role of digital platforms.
Dangoor Education is a philanthropic arm of the Dangoor family’s Exilarch’s Foundation. David Dangoor CBE DL, one of the trustees of the Exilarch’s Foundation, said: “By sharing knowledge, you can help people help themselves. It empowers people beyond their own expectation.”
With backgrounds in science, David, who studied physics, and his wife Judy, who has a PhD in photosynthesis, have been supporters of the Crick via Cancer Research UK since its inception. They donated £5m towards building the institute.
And this isn’t the first time that Dangoor Education has supported digital content. The organisation has funded Cancer Research UK’s About Cancer pages for 12 years, reaching an estimated 19 million people in 2019/20.
Its focus on education stems from David’s father, Sir Naim, and his experience of fleeing Iraq in the 1960s when the situation for Jews worsened to the point where their lives were under threat. “All he took with him was his family and his education,” said David. Once in the UK, Sir Naim built a property business and when that became successful, he started giving back.
“He had developed a different perspective on the transience of wealth, and he wanted to show thanks to the UK for having taken us in by helping others,” said David. “So, education was a very visceral choice for our family. It’s a treasure that you give someone, and they carry with them all their life.”
In response to the donation, Crick Director Paul Nurse said, “This support will ensure that we can continue to encourage and advocate for meaningful public engagement in science. I’d like to say a big thank you to David and his family for their ongoing commitment to our institute and for championing our mission.”