The Heising-Simons Foundation is dedicated to advancing sustainable solutions in the environment, supporting groundbreaking research in science, and enhancing the education of the nation's youngest learners.

What We Do

Education: We believe that all of our hopes for progress, innovation, and elevation from poverty lie in a well-educated society.

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Environment: The Foundation supports solutions to environmental challenges founded on sound economic policy and sustainable practices.

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Science: The Foundation supports institutions that seek to advance the frontiers of scientific understanding.

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Policy: The heart of a vibrant democracy is an educated, engaged citizenry. We support organizations that create a forum for dialogue.

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Trustee Interests: The Foundation may provide support to organizations that fall outside of its primary grantmaking areas but are of interest to the trustees.

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Answering One Question to Better Understand the Universe
The Foundation Supports Research Seeking Axion Dark Matter

When considering what makes up the universe, it’s surprising that scientists could focus on just one yes/no question. But that’s exactly what a group of researchers supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation is doing.

“Does axion dark matter exist?”

Scientists across the US are working together to determine if axions—hypothetical subatomic particles—are the leading candidate for what makes up dark matter. Although this is a big question about the universe, Heising-Simons Foundation Science Program Director Cyndi Atherton said that researchers may be able to answer it in just a few years’ time.

“It’s a small range of particle masses to investigate, relatively speaking. So we’ll look for axion dark matter in that small range, and we’ll see it – or not,” Atherton said. “Either way, we will know more about the universe.”

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