The Rockefeller Foundation's Involvement in China's Development of Modern Science in the 1920s

by Wen Heng

Jan 1, 2016
The Rockefeller Foundation (RF) was a significant external force in China's development of modern science throughout the Republican Era (1912-1949). The most influential of its evolving programs in China was the funding and operation of the Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) via the China Medical Board (CMB). This took place mainly in the 1920s, for the PUMC's new campus did not start to function until 1921, and only after that did the RF's activities in China fully unveil. Meanwhile, after the RF's reorganization in 1927 the PUMC and CMB became independent, at least nominally, organizations, while the Foundation's own interest in China took a rather drastic turn in the 1930s, which was later hampered by the eruption of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 and thus achieved much less than the PUMC and CMB.
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