Hans Rosling is known internationally for his captivating analysis of global health data, for discovering a paralyzing disease in Africa and explaining its socio-economic causes, and for his intense curiosity and life-long passion for educating students, world leaders and the public.
Now, Hans Rosling — a Swedish doctor, statistician, author and professor — will be a name associated with the University of Washington’s transformative work in population health. Today, the UW Board of Regents approved naming the $230 million building under construction on UW’s Seattle campus the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health.
“Hans Rosling was a visionary scholar who challenged the world to truly understand the health challenges we face, as well as the potential we have to overcome them. It was this unique combination of practicality and optimism that drove his work, and inspired so many to action,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “I hope the faculty, students, staff and partners who come together in the building are equally inspired by Dr. Rosling’s legacy as they work to improve the well-being of people in Washington and around the world.”
In 2016, the UW launched its Population Health Initiative, an interdisciplinary effort across the university to bring understanding and solutions to the biggest health challenges facing communities here in the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. and around the world.
The Hans Rosling Center for Population Health was made possible by a $210 million gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in October 2016 and $15 million in earmarked funding from the Washington Legislature, as well as funding from the university. The Gates family proposed naming the building after Rosling in honor of his rigorous analysis of the true state of the world and passion for improving heath, which spurred a decades-long friendship with the physician and his family.
“Where others saw statistics, Hans saw the chance to tell an incredible human story about our progress against poverty and disease. A data geek through and through, he used numbers to educate, to entertain and to share his special brand of big-hearted, evidence-based optimism,” said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. “This is a fitting tribute to an extraordinary man.”