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.

1960s

The Birth of International Agricultural Research Institutes in the Mid-20th Century

Rockefeller Foundation agriculture programs begun in Mexico achieved global reach through four major research institutes. Building them was the result of partnership.

1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s

Eradication or Control? The Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Anti-Malaria Campaigns

A foundation set on eradicating mosquito-born diseases had to accept that disease control was good enough.

1930s 1940s

Toward a More Robust Study of Mental Health: Rockefeller Foundation Funding for Psychiatry

Two decades of funding helped legitimize the study of psychiatry as a medical issue, not a problem of character.

1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s

Rockefeller Philanthropy and Population-Related Fields

As the scarcity of global resources became increasingly worrisome in the 20th century, these organizations more boldly approached work in population and family planning.

1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Agriculture Program in India

India was not the first country to take up the new seeds and methods developed by the Rockefeller Foundation, but the story of India’s adoption of them in the 1960s is dramatic.

1940s 1950s 1960s

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Mexican Agriculture Program, 1943-1965

The Rockefeller Foundation’s first intensive agriculture endeavor is now credited with launching the global transformation known as the “Green Revolution.”

Black and white image of the hands of Norman E. Borlaug holding a piece of "Norin" dwarf wheat.
1970s 1980s

For Small Farmers and Food Security: The International Agricultural Development Service

In the 1980s, critics argued that some groups had been left behind by the Green Revolution.

1920s 1930s 1940s

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Role in Creating the Atomic Bomb

In the aftermath, Foundation staff struggled to rectify their organization’s involvement with this weapon of mass destruction.

1930s 1940s

World War II & the Rockefeller Foundation

Saving threatened scholars and confronting a dramatically changed world.

1910s

World War I & the Rockefeller Foundation

Global war drew a new philanthropy into relief work.