The Rockefeller Foundation and German Biomedical Sciences, 1920–40: from Educational Philanthropy to International Science Policy

  • Paul Weindling


The Rockefeller Foundation has been one of the most powerful forces shaping twentieth-century science and medicine.1 It has enriched the world with magnificently equipped institutes, provided fellowships and shaped national science and health policies.2 The Foundation has been influenced by social trends that have been fundamental to the twentieth century: these forces include professionalisation and modern notions of management, the rising prestige of science, with the claim that it could provide socio-economic progress, and the United States’ assumption of a global trusteeship of democratic and civilised values. Whereas during the nineteenth century Germany was regarded as leading the world in scientific and medical education, this role has been increasingly assumed by the United States. The course of the Rockefeller’s relations with Germany is instructive, not merely as a case-study of the role of international agencies in a national context, but as giving insight into the emergence of overall policies and the organization of the Foundation.


Human Biology Rockefeller Foundation German Science Emergency Fund Global Trusteeship 
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Copyright information

© Nicolaas A. Rupke 1988

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  • Paul Weindling

There are no affiliations available

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