Friday, December 21, 2018
Science just published an article highlighting how the grantmaking priorities of some research funders may be undermined by the investments those same funders make. It focuses especially on offshore investments, including those revealed by leaked confidential documents. Organizations discussed include the Wellcome Trust, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others. This article reflects a larger trend of questioning whether large scale philanthropic efforts may be counterproductive, in that they tend to reinforce existing socioeconomic structures and systems as opposed to challenging them; for the most prominent recent example of this work, see Anand Giridharadas' Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World book.