XO Files

Extraordinary Opportunities…on the Brink of Discovery.
But what is needed to make that happen?


The XO Files are case studies of basic scientific research opportunities with extraordinary intellectual and social potential, selected by a distinguished editorial board. Visionary long term philanthropic support could unlock that potential and ensure continued U.S. leadership on the frontier of basic science.

Why are the XO Files urgently needed?

  • Because of the sheer novelty of the potential breakthroughs
  • Because of constrained federal research budgets to explore fundamental science
  • Because the proposed research falls between agency mandates

The XO Files is a project of the Science Philanthropy Alliance whose members are dedicated to building a community of supporters to advance and fund basic scientific research.



The XO Files have been published into a booklet. Additional case studies have been assembled by MIT and published as a book, The Future Postponed. Also available at futurepostponed.org.

XO Files Archives


Editorial Advisors
PAUL ALIVISATOS
PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY, UC BERKELEY
ROGER BLANDFORD
PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS, STANFORD UNIVERSITY AND STANFORD LINEAR ACCELERATOR (SLAC)
MARIAN CARLSON
DIRECTOR OF LIFE SCIENCES, SIMONS FOUNDATION
MARK GREEN
PROFESSOR EMERITUS, UCLA
MARC KASTNER
PRESIDENT, SCIENCE PHILANTHROPY ALLIANCE
MARCIA MCNUTT
PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
JAMES POTERBA
PRESIDENT, NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
ROBERT TJIAN
PROFESSOR OF BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, UC BERKELEY
MICHAEL WITHERELL
DIRECTOR, LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY

XO Files Editor: Al Hammond, al.hammond@gmail.com

This project has been made possible by a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.