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Grant number like: FT-54755-07

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Kersten Jacobson Biehn
Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, TX 77341-0001)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2007 – 8/31/2007

Improving Mankind: Philanthropic Foundations and American University Research between the World Wars

I will complete a chapter on anthropology research for a monograph based on my award-winning dissertation, which interweaves histories of higher education, philanthropy, and science to reveal how philanthropic foundation officers’ faith in the transformative power of scientific research shaped knowledge production in the United States. I demonstrate that assumptions about evolution, heredity, and progress led foundation officers to funnel millions of dollars into university research projects that promised to unlock the secrets of the human mind and body. The anthropology chapter will further illuminate the connection between nature versus nurture debates and foundation policies that facilitated the rapid expansion of American science.