The Emergency Program of the RF After 1933 and Changing Attitudes of the RF Vis-À-Vis Mathematics Before the War: Mathematics Caught Between New Scientific Orientations and Catastrophic Political Developments

  • Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze
Part of the Science Networks. Historical Studies book series (SNHS, volume 25)


The main contribution of Rockefeller philanthropy to international and to national (American) mathematical communication in the 1930s and early 1940s was the emergency help provided to refugee mathematicians from Europe. The Rockefeller Foundation gave support to mathematics as a discipline as well, particularly in applied mathematics and in mathematical reviewing. The overall changes in the support for mathematics by Rockefeller philanthropy had to do with the rising interest in molecular biology in the 1930s; these changes have been partly discussed in chapter IV. Adding to them were the economic depression which began in 1929 and the radically new political situation after the seizure of power by the Nazis in Germany in January 1933. It is these two factors — the specifics of the situation of mathematics and the Foundation’s reactions to the new political and economic developments — which have to be examined in order to understand the changes in the kind of support given to mathematics in the 1930s and early 1940s.


York City ROCKEFELLER Foundation French Mathematician Matching Fund Emergency Program 
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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsAgder University CollegeKristiansandNorway

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