The Madoff Scandal's Impact on Science

The Science Careers Blog has a nice summary of what we know so far about the impact of the Bernard Madoff scandal on scientific institutions and philanthropies that donate to scientific research. Many organizations invested in Madoff's hedge fund, which prosecutors allege was a $50 billion scam. The blog reads:

Yeshiva University in New York, home to the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, has apparently taken a significant hit. … Sources [say] that the school has lost at least $100 million from its endowment. …

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa, Israel, invested in Madoff's securities, according to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, which estimates its losses at about NIS 25 million ($6.5 million). Victims of Madoff's apparent fraud include foundations headed by household names such as Nobel laureate Elie Weisel, Senator Frank Lautenberg, and film director Steven Spielberg, as well as many smaller family foundations and institutions that serve Jewish communities in North America, Europe, and Israel. Madoff managed most of the investment income of Spielberg's Wunderkinder Foundation, which donated some $3.3 million for medical research to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. …

The Madoff scandal has further shaken an already nervous environment for philanthropies. John Ruskay, executive vice president and CEO of the UJA-Federation of New York [said], "Already in the context of a very challenging economic environment this will present another significant difficulty. We don’t know yet the extent of the wreckage."

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