Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Keith Seinfeld / KPLU

If you’ve ever been past the huge new Gates Foundation campus near Seattle Center and wondered what goes on inside – your time has come.

The foundation is opening up its doors, at least a little bit. This weekend, a new visitor center opens to the public.

Read more at KPLU's Humanosphere.

“These are not neglected diseases but diseases of neglected people.”

For the London Declaration on Neglected Diseases, the Gates Foundation pledged $363 million to support research into new treatments.

Drug makers pledged to step up research as well as to expand donation programs of medications to poor countries. And others such as the World Bank, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. and U.K. have brought the total estimated commitment to $785 million.

But we and others are wondering, What is a neglected disease? Some say cancer and mental illness are two of the largest neglected diseases that don’t normally get lumped in the ill-defined category.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Tom Paulson / KPLU

The BBC report is a nice overview of how the Seattle philanthropy, in the last decade-and-a-half, has emerged to dominate the humanitarian arena. But it doesn’t really break much new ground and follows on a number of similar, or harder-hitting reports, such as this much-cited series done last fall by Alliance magazine called Living with the Gates Foundation.

“What we think is global health, how we define this mission, is increasingly decided by a relatively small number of Americans living in Seattle, Washington,” Laurie Garrett, with the Council on Foreign Relations, told the BBC.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Talking to the BBC about global health and poverty, Bill Gates also discussed the issue of the Greek crisis overwhelming the G20 talks and how nervous he was because of the opportunity to move the agenda of nations.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Technology can triumph over one of the oldest plagues of humanity. That was the underlying theme of Bill Gates’ pep talk to malaria researchers gathered this week in Seattle:

"A key reason I think we will succeed is that we have the ability to innovate. This is really behind most of the improvements in the human condition. Innovation is one of  the most powerful forces in the world. 

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Leaders at the Seattle non-profit group PATH – and their sponsors at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation– say they’re excited about the latest results from a malaria vaccine trial in Africa. The interim results don't guarantee it will be a success, but it’s the best any malaria vaccine has ever done.

Matt Handy / Flickr

Four years ago the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation called for the eradication of malaria. Since then it has spent nearly $2 billion in the effort.

While there has been success, many still wonder: What factors are driving malaria away? What's causing the success? There are also many confounding factors at play ranging from climate change to the mysterious disappearance of mosquitoes in east Africa.

Joshua Trujillo /

“Charity begins at home” and hundreds of people in Seattle are now looking at a wet, cold winter with no place to sleep.

That’s what homelessness advocate Jarvis Capucion said to me when I asked him why protesters decided to camp outside the Seattle campus of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this week.

“Jimmy Buffett’s 'Singing for Change' project gave us $10,000 a few months ago,” said Capucion. “I want to know why Warren Buffett and Bill Gates can’t do the same.”

SEATTLE — The Gates Foundation says its headquarters campus in Seattle has been certified at the highest level of green buildings.

El patojo / Flickr

What do coffee drinkers and teachers have in common?

A shared passion to educate local school kids. At least, that’s what the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Starbucks are counting on. The two mega-institutions have teamed up to help King County public school teachers get money for unfunded classroom projects.