Our Name

Beginning in 1895, Andrew Carnegie contributed his vast fortune to the establishment of 23 organizations around the world that today bear his name and carry on work in fields as diverse as art, education, international affairs, peace, and scientific research. (See Andrew Carnegie's 23 Organizations). The organizations are independent entities and are related by name only.

Carnegie founded the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1902 as an organization for scientific discovery. Today, these Carnegie researchers work in six scientific departments on the West and East Coasts.

Our legal name, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, has led to confusion because four of our departments are outside Washington and because our legal name does not distinguish us from the other non-profits created by our donor. As a result, the institution adopted a new name in 2007—the Carnegie Institution for Science. The new name closely associates the words “Carnegie” and “science” and thereby reveals our core identity. The institution remains officially and legally the Carnegie Institution of Washington, but now has a public identity that more clearly describes our work.