Carnegie Institution for Science

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The Carnegie Institution for Science is a foundation founded in 1902 by Andrew Carnegie . Its original name, the Carnegie Institution of Washington ( CIW ), was changed in 2007 because only part of the facility is located in Washington, DC .

Main areas of activity

Currently, the CIW supports scientific research mainly in six areas in multiple locations: Plant Biology ( Department of Plant Biology at Stanford University ), Developmental Biology ( Department of Embryology in Baltimore ), Global Ecology ( Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University), Earth Sciences and Planetology and Astronomy ( Department of Terrestrial Magnetism in Washington, DC and at the locations of the institute's observatories ). The astronomical projects are operated by Carnegie Observatories ( OCIW ), a subdivision of the Carnegie Institution for Science based in Pasadena, California .


After retiring from business life as a philanthropist , Andrew Carnegie agreed to donate $ 10 million to a new scientific institute. He informed US President Theodore Roosevelt about his plan and tried 27 people for the board of trustees (one Trustees equivalent) from. The body met for the first session on January 29, 1902. The Carnegie Institution itself was formally established on December 7, 1903 by a founding act of the US Congress . The first president of the CIW was Daniel Coit Gilman , the founder of the Johns Hopkins Medical School .

Astronomy and geophysics

One of the Foundation's first significant beneficiaries in 1904 was George Ellery Hale . The OCIW supported the completion of the 60- inch Hale telescope on Mount Wilson . In 1917 the larger 100-inch Hooker telescope was completed with the support of the OCIW. Another significant telescope made with the help of the Carnegie Institution of Washington was the 200-inch telescope at the Palomar Observatory . The current main observatory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington is the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The OCIW is also the leading institution for the construction work for the Giant Magellan Telescope .

The Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution also had a great reputation in geophysics.

Genetics and eugenics

In 1920 the Eugenics Record Office in Cold Spring Harbor , New York merged with the Station for Experimental Evolution. The newly formed research unit became, so to speak, the genetics department of the CIW. The laboratory was supported by the CIW until 1939 (the laboratory closed in 1944). However, the CIW also supports genetic research. Among the famous beneficiaries of the foundation are e.g. Examples include the Nobel Prize winners Barbara McClintock and Alfred Hershey .

Maya research

The CIW supported archaeological research on the Yucatán peninsula between 1910 and 1940 . This included excavations (under the direction of Sylvanus G. Morley ) of well-known Maya cities such as Chichén Itzá and Copán .

Other Carnegie Foundations

  • In 1910, Carnegie set up a $ 10 million foundation called the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace .

Eminent researchers at the Carnegie Institution of Washington

President of the Carnegie Institution of Washington

Web links


  1. ^ Carnegie Institution for Science: About the Carnegie Institution. Retrieved April 26, 2009 .
  2. ^ Carnegie Institution for Science: Our History. Retrieved January 26, 2012 .
  3. ^ Carnegie Institution for Science: Articles of Incorporation. (PDF; 234 kB) (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on March 9, 2012 ; Retrieved January 26, 2012 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /