Topic: Issues in Philanthropy

Building Global Understanding: Area Studies, Language, and History

Encouraging cross-cultural knowledge in an interconnected postwar world by shaping new interdisciplinary programs and retooling traditional academic fields.

The Rockefeller Foundation Makes its First Foray into Environmentalism

A short-lived environmental research program in the 1970s was an early foray into climate change funding.

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.

An Overview of Rockefeller Foundation Support for the Performing Arts in the 20th Century

Although known for its work in science, medicine, and health, the Rockefeller Foundation supported a surprising number of performing arts activities.

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.

“A Roomful of Brains”: Early Advances in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence

At midcentury, Rockefeller Foundation staffers hoped new technologies might find solutions to complex problems.