Decade: 1920s

Legitimizing the Social Sciences: The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial in the 1920s

What began as a philanthropic fund to honor its namesake became an early force in the social sciences.

History of the Social Science Research Council

A new organization played an important part in assisting the Rockefeller Foundation by assembling cooperative studies on the issues of the day.

Philanthropy and Good Government: The Rockefeller Foundation and Public Administration

Partnering with public agencies to encourage efficient administration in state, county, and local governments.

Early 20th Century Reforms of Medical Education Worldwide

Working to change US medical education was one of the Rockefeller Foundation’s biggest endeavors in the 1910s and 1920s, extending from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to Beijing, China.

Sex Problems as Social Problems: The Bureau of Social Hygiene, 1911-1934

One philanthropist’s interest in reforming prostitution created a scientific organization focused on connecting sex and crime.

“A Very Broad Field”: Building the Rockefeller Foundation’s Humanities Program

The Rockefeller Foundation evolved to bring the arts and humanities together, from classical archaeology to contemporary museums.

Building the Hale Telescope

A 20-year-long project, funded by Rockefeller philanthropies, took technologies enabling astronomy to an unprecedented scale.

“For Initiative and for Experiment”: The International Education Board, 1923-1938

Incorporated in 1923 with funding from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the IEB built a major scientific network in Europe and the US in only five years.

The Women Pioneers of Global Nursing Education Who Built the Rockefeller Foundation Program

A massive program in nursing education extended to 53 schools across the globe. But it never became a top priority of the foundation that supported it.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s 20th-Century Global Fight Against Disease

Programs designed to build public health infrastructure, eradicate disease, and increase access to healthcare have formed the core of more than a hundred years of one foundation’s strategy.