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“If we assist the highest forms of education – in whatever field – we secure the widest influence in enlarging the boundaries of human knowledge.”
—John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
Philanthropic Foundations and the Globalization of Scientific Medicine and Public Health
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In November 2003, the Rockefeller Archive Center and Quinnipiac University, with generous support from the Dreyfus Health Foundation, co-sponsored an international conference, "Philanthropic Foundations and the Globalization of Scientific Medicine and Public Health."

The conference brought together planning or policy level personnel from foundations and international health organizations that have been involved in the establishment of the institutions of "scientific" medicine and public health in various parts of the world, and historical scholars of such work, including scholars from recipient countries, to explore both historically and critically the work of philanthropic foundations and other non-governmental organizations that have been involved in the global spread of scientific medicine and public health, with a view to gleaning insights for the future from past experience.

The emphasis was on foundation work since ca. 1980, the beginning of the large-scale shift toward privatization and market economics and of the end of the cold war, but with historical grounding going back to the earliest international work in health and medicine. Particular attention was given to health-related foundation work.



Theme and Issues

Throughout much of the past century philanthropic foundations have sought to respond to the health-related issues that have affected large parts of the world, by applying the values, assumptions, methods, and instrumentalities of what has become known as scientific medicine and public health. Although this has undoubtedly brought great benefit to many peoples and nations, it also raises several serious questions, among them:

Evaluation and Critique (what have the foundations accomplished in terms of medicine and health; what alternatives were not pursued; can health be meaningfully pursued as a goal independently of social and economic conditions in the target countries)

Accountability (should foundations be accountable to any agency external to themselves; if so, to whom or to what, including the issues of who should undertake evaluation and critique, and to what ends)

Equity (is or should this be more than a subsidiary goal of foundation work; equity with regard to what)



Conference Papers

Papers from the conference are presented here by permission of the authors and the cosponsoring institutions who retain all rights and privileges of copyright. Papers may be downloaded or printed out solely for personal study. Additional papers by other presenters will be added on a continual basis.



Keynote Speakers

Peter Goldmark, Environmental Defense, Director of Global and Regional Air Program Racing Against the Global Industrial Hangover - Thoughts on Surviving the Morning After

Carl Taylor, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Henry G. Taylor Community Based Primary Health Care, Empowerment and Equity



Presenters Included:

Soma Hewa, Principal Investigator, (Sociology), Research in Philanthropy and Social Development Globalizing Primary Care: Rockefeller Philanthropy and the Development of Community-Based Approach to Public Health in Sri Lanka: What Can We Learn?

Marianne P. Fedunkiw, Associated Scholar, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST), University of Toronto
The Rockefeller Foundation’s 1925 Malaria Film

Stephen R. Latham, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Health Law & Policy, Quinnipiac University School of Law
Obligations and Accountability in International Public Health

Socrates Litsios, World Health Organization (retired) Malaria and International Health Organizations (A brief overview of the 20th century)

Thomas Rathwell, Professor, Dalhousie University Health Systems Reform - Seeking the Holy Grail!

Ronald T. Rozett, Executive in Residence and Director, Master of Health Administration Program, Quinnipiac University
Agenda Setting Diseases

David Valone, Director of Cultural Programming, Quinnipiac University Foundations, Eugenic Sterilization, and the Emergence of the World Population Control Movement



Selected readings from scholarship at the Rockefeller Archive Center on foundations, scientific medicine and public health:

Arbona, Guillermo, and Annette B. Ramirez de Arellano. Regionalization of Health Services: The Puerto Rican Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Bell, Heather. Frontiers of Medicine in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1899-1940. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Berliner, Howard S. A System of Scientific Medicine: Philanthropic Foundations in the Flexner Era. New York: Tavistock, 1985.

Brown, E. Richard. Rockefeller Medicine Men. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979.

Cueto, Marcos. The Return of Epidemics: Health and Society in Peru during the Twentieth Century. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2001.

Cueto, Marcos, ed. Missionaries of Science: The Rockefeller Foundation and Latin America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994.

Ettling, John. The Germ of Laziness: Rockefeller Philanthropy and Public Health in the New South. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1981.

Farley, John. Bilharzia: A History of Imperial Tropical Medicine. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Farley, John. To Cast Out Disease: A History of the International Health Division of Rockefeller Foundation (1913-1951). New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Fee, Elizabeth. Disease and Discovery: A History of Hygiene and Public Health, 1916-1933. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.

Fox, Daniel M. Health Policies, Health Politics: The Experience of Britain and America, 1911-1965. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986.

Gallagher, Nancy E. Egypt's Other Wars: Epidemics and the Politics of Public Health. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1990.

Gemelli, Giuliana, Jean-François Picard and William H. Schneider, eds. Managing Medical Research in Europe: The Role of the Rockefeller Foundation (1920s-1950s). Bologna: CLUEB, 1999.

Hewa, Soma. Colonialism, Tropical Disease and Imperial Medicine: Rockefeller Philanthropy in Sri Lanka. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, Inc., 1995.

Kavadi, Shirish N. The Rockefeller Foundation and Public Health in Colonial India, 1916-1945: A Narrative History. Pune/Mumbai, India: Foundation for Research in Community Health, 1999.

Picard, Jean-François. La Foundation Rockefeller et la Recherche Medicale. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1999.

Rodriguez-Ocaña, Esteban, ed. The Politics of the Healthy Life: An International Perspective. Sheffield, United Kingdom: EAHMH Publications, 2003.

Schneider, William H., ed. Rockefeller Philanthropy and Modern Biomedicine: International Initiatives from World War I to the Cold War. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.

Weindling, Paul, ed. International Health Organizations and Movements, 1918-1939. Cambridge History of Medicine. New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

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