The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation has funded a study into how calcified structures of benthic organisms are being affected by ocean acidification as part of its drive to provide funding for scientific research undertaken by young research teams, whose members are all under the age of forty. The study was evaluated for funding by the supervisory board of the Foundation, which is comprised of Latsis family members Henrietta, Margarita, Marianna and Spiro Latsis. Throughout 2014, research teams performed a series of experiments to evaluate the effects of ocean acidification and to raise public awareness of the problem with a view to influencing policy makers at the highest level.
The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation
The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation works to plan, manage and fund projects across a number of scientific, educational, cultural, environmental and social welfare fields, with particular interest in prioritising cases where emergency relief is required for citizens in Greece and throughout the world.
The Foundation evaluates each proposal it receives on individual merit, endeavouring to provide funding in the places where the greatest benefit can be seen in response to current social needs. One of the diverse branches of the Foundation is the Neraida Floating Museum, which seeks to broaden access to information about the Greek maritime profession, in particular raising awareness amongst young people. Visitors are granted free access to a number of events and exhibitions, each of which helps to promote environmental awareness as well as share information about the maritime industry in which John S. Latsis played a prominent role for many years. More information about the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation can be found online.
The Effects on the Calcified Structures of Benthic Organisms of Ocean Acidification
The aim of the 2014 study was to perform a series of experiments designed to quantify the effect on the calcified structures of benthic organisms of ocean acidification. This included using micro-computed tomography to study shell density and structure. Comparisons were made between juvenile vs. adult life stages, benthic organisms using different forms of calcium carbonate, external vs. internal hard structures and short-term vs. long term acidification.
The outcomes of the project were not solely focused on the specific scientific results. Micro-CT videos were also used to create an educational tool accessible to the general public to visualise the effects of ocean acidification. It is hoped that raising public awareness of these effects will place pressure on top level policy makers to make ocean acidification the agenda’s top priority in coming years.
Scientific Funding from the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation
Since 2008 the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation has been funding scientific research projects across three categories for the advancement of research projects within Greece and in collaboration with global universities and scientific research groups. Within these three categories are supported all classification categories as defined by the European Research Council – life sciences, universe and Earth sciences, social sciences and humanities, physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences and information and communication. Each year the number of projects receiving funding in each category has grown, from ten research projects in 2008 to eighteen research projects in 2013. Each individual grant amount ranges from €10,000 to €12,000 including VAT and any other taxes, deductions and fees.
John S. Latsis Philanthropic Legacy
Throughout his life John S. Latsis was renowned throughout Greece for his generous philanthropic nature, establishing numerous scholarships, grants and foundations to assist citizens and organisations within his home country. He was especially active in times of crisis, contributing financial and practical aid in the wake of disasters such as the earthquakes which took place in Kalamata, Pyrgos and Grevena in 1986, 1988 and 1995 respectively. He funded a number of school buildings and donated large sums of money and equipment to various emergency services and to the Seaman’s Pension Fund. He was recognised during his lifetime with a number of honours from institutions such as the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Academy of Athens.
After the death of John S. Latsis in 2003 his family wanted to ensure that philanthropic works would continue under his name for many years to come, hence the establishment of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation in 2005. The supervisory board of family members today includes John’s son, Spiro Latsis, working closely with his mother and two sisters, Marianna and Margarita, to maintain their father’s legacy.