Topic: Medicine & Public Health

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Issues in Philanthropy

Timeline: American Foundations and the History of Public Health

Key points in the history of American foundations’ engagement with public health.

Black-and-white image of an American Red Cross sanitation vehicle
Medicine & Public Health

Public Health: How the Fight Against Hookworm Helped Build a System

A hundred years ago, hookworm disease was an epidemic across the US South. Northern philanthropy tried to help.

Medicine & Public Health

Funding a Sexual Revolution: The Kinsey Reports

The inside story of the study that first questioned binary sexuality and spurred outcry and controversy.

Left side of the political poster reads "√Čire" (Ireland), right side reads "West Britain". In between both images reads "Seachtain na Saoirse". Bottom of the print reads "On which side are you on? Language Collection Now On."
1920s

The Irish Language Debate: Nationalism and Rockefeller Foundation Medical Education Reform in the Irish Free State

Ireland’s independence revived the nationalist campaign for mandatory Irish language. The debate discouraged Rockefeller Foundation funders.

1990s

Centering Women’s Rights in the Population Field: The Ford Foundation and Sexual Health in the 1990s

A 1994 meeting moved women’s empowerment front and center for grantmaking in global population.

1930s

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Rural Reconstruction Program in 1930s China

In the 1930s, an ambitious program to reshape China was cut short by war, but offered a model for community development.

1910s 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.

1930s 1940s 1950s 1980s 1990s

The Rockefeller Foundation and the Birth of Molecular Biology

A new program in the natural sciences increased funding and attention to the life sciences, and coined a new term along the way.

1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s

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.

1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s

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.

1920s 1930s

“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.

1910s 1920s 1930s

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.

1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 2000s

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.