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Scientific persona and internalization of research – the role of the Rockefeller Foundation in creating scientific and scholarly identities and promoting academic careers in early twentieth century Sweden

American philanthropy, notably the Rockefeller Foundation (RF), played an important role in the internalization of research in Europe after the First World War. This project investigates the contribution of the RF in creating new research areas and disciplines in the social and natural sciences at Stockholm University between the 1920s and the 1950s. The aim of the RF funding was to create academic leaders. The project therefore focuses on three questions: What notions of intellectual talent and expectations of academic performance can be seen in the Rockefeller Foundation´s funding policy? Which researchers, men and women, were appointed to the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation programs? What were the implications of the funding practices in terms of scientific personae, epistemologies, careers and gender? The study is situated at the intersection of several contexts and research fields: internationalization of research and higher education, social history of science and university history, and feminist theory of science. The project develops the argument that a deep-rooted idea of the scientist or the scholar as a genius, a person with extraordinary mental skills, originality and creativity, characterized the Rockefeller Foundation and its research policy.


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