On September 2, 2022, the astronomer Frank Drake passed away. Drake was a founding father of SETI and one of its most influential figures for sixty years. In 2015. He stood alongside Yuri at London’s Royal Society to launch Breakthrough Listen, and he was an esteemed a member of its Advisory Committee for seven years. Yuri wrote this obituary about him for Scientific American.
In September 2020, Yuri wrote this article for Forbes Israel, about his motivations and hopes for the Friends of Israel MBA – a new fellowship at his alma mater, the Wharton School of Business, for Israeli students, which is sponsored by the foundation that he and his wife Julia established.
In April 2020, Milner Foundation announced a donation of 3 million face masks for people of Israel. Yuri Milner in his open letter published by Calcalist wrote that “a significant fraction of these masks will go to organizations providing essential services, whose frontline workers are still required to do their jobs during the lockdown”.
Scientific American 2018
In March 2017, Stephen Hawking passed away. The world-famous cosmologist had been an inaugural winner of the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics; and he had partnered with Yuri in launching the Breakthrough Initiatives in 2015, and Breakthrough Starshot in 2016. Yuri wrote this obituary for Scientific American, dwelling on Hawking’s greatness both as a physicist and as a man.
New York Times – Turning Points 2017
The NYT’s Turning Points explores what critical moments from this year might mean for the year ahead. In 2017, Yuri contributed an article looking at some major scientific advances of the previous year – the discovery of an Earth-sized planet in our nearest star system, the genomic analysis of the last universal common ancestor, and the detection of gravitational waves – what they meant to him and how they can inspire us all.
May science go Gangnam (Paywall)
The Economist, “The World in 2017”
The Economist’s special edition, The World in 2017, contained predictions for the year ahead. Yuri’s contribution discussed the high likelihood of major scientific breakthroughs in the coming year, and whether the general public would pay attention to them.
Edge Question 2017
In 2017 Yuri made his second contribution to the annual Edge question, considering the potential lifespan of our civilization and physical challenges to the survival of life in the far future of the Universe.
Edge Question 2016
In 2016, Yuri contributed an article to the annual Edge question, looking at the recent excitement over the mysterious “Tabby’s Star,” and the light it cast on astrobiology as a serious scientific field.
In 2015, Yuri joined a stellar group of scientists and intellectuals to sign an open letter about the importance of the search for life in the Universe. The letter appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian and [other publications].