Friday, January 28, 2011

January 28, 1902 – Carnegie Institution for Science (in Man) Founded

Famed industrialist Andrew Carnegie founded many institutions to promote education, art, free libraries, and technological development. Most famed would be his Institute for Science in Washington, D.C., to which he would give, along with $10,000,000 in registered bonds yielding five percent interest per year, the instruction, “that the objects in the corporation shall be to encourage in the broadest and most liberal manner investigation, research, and discovery, and the application of knowledge to the improvement of man.”

The twenty-four trustees on the board would determine toward what the investigation and research would be, and, soon after the endowment, an argument broke out over the Scotsman's choice of the word “man.” First President Daniel Coit Gilman (later to be founder of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) held that the word should be taken literally to mean the betterment of the human body. Others thought more figuratively, expecting the institutional grants to go toward more widespread sciences such as astronomy and materials science. It was rumored that Gilman demanded those who disagree ask Carnegie for a clarification, which no one did for fear it would insult his accent or make them look foolish. Whatever the reality, Gilman eventually won the argument, and the dedicated sciences toward the improvement of humans began.

In their first years, the Institute worked with research in determining the proper activity and diet of individuals. Healthy consumption of eggs and milk in prisons outlined the need for what would become known as Vitamin D as well as the general knowledge of vegetables and fruits opposing rich foods, leading to problems such as diabetes and gout. They duplicated much of the research of Dutch scientist Christiaan Eijkman performed in the 1880s on animals and began a mutually beneficial discourse with British doctor Frederick Hopkins. Building from the research, the Institute helped to design numerous meal programs for schools and workers across the nation, along with publishing articles to help families live their healthiest. Production of pills and oils containing the necessary vitamins and minerals

National health improved overall with statistical visits to doctors much decreased. In 1907, Carnegie gave the Institute an additional $2,000,000 to keep up the good work, and they launched into further programs. Over the course of the next decades, the Institute would merge with the Eugenics Record Office of New York and employ numerous anthropologists in determining how to cure hereditary disease. The growth of science in the Netherlands and Nazi Germany found another great connection for human improvement, and the Institute worked diligently to assist in the development of testosterone for medical use. In 1944, with the discovery of the source of much of the experimental date in concentration camps, the Institute fell into a public relations nightmare. President Margaret Sanger (who also served as chairperson of the Birth Control Council of America) handled the situation carefully, denouncing Nazi extremes while upholding what might be done for future generations regardless of race.

Since World War II, the Institute has been instrumental in generating the modern cocktail of vitamins, steroids, physical education, and dietary control that has benefitted man. While the average male height in 1900 was approximately 5’8”, it is today 6’3”, with the typical time of running a mile at around five and a half minutes. The Institute continues many projects in research for the future, working to increase longevity toward a lifespan of 200 years and to cure cancers and genetic weaknesses through viral therapies. Of course, with such a surge of improved humans, population control has become an integral matter, and sterilization toxins are known to be placed in water-systems worldwide with reversal treatments available primarily to those in the First World.

In reality, Carnegie's instruction concluded, "to the improvement of mankind." While dabbling in eugenics during its popular period between the wars, CIW ended its Department of Genetics in 1944. The CIW researches numerous fields such as plant molecular biology, developmental biology, global ecology, astronomy, astrobiology, and many others.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Site Meter