Topic: Technology

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.

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.

Rockefeller Foundation Support for Communications Media in the 1930s and 1940s

The mid-20th century was an era influenced by mass communications, and a handful of philanthropic programs sought to tap into the possibilities of film and radio.

“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.

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.

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.

War of the Worlds: Rockefeller Philanthropies, Disinformation, and Media Literacy in the 1930s

Orson Welles’s 1938 radio performance of The War of the Worlds prompted a foundation to explore issues of media literacy and fake news.