International Science Foundation: Soros Foundations/Open Society Institute, 1992

Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (Duke)



Case Study Sector


When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the financier and philanthropist George Soros and his philanthropies stepped in, playing a major role over the next three years in keeping afloat the scientific communities of Russia and the other former Soviet republics at a time when they were critically endangered. Soros set up the International Science Foundation (ISF), which worked out of Moscow and New York. The Foundation’s first undertaking was the Emergency Grants Program, which provided $500 to any scientist in the former Soviet Union who, in the past five years, had published at least three articles in any of the more reputable scientific journals. Throughout its four years of operation, the International Science Foundation operated in all the former Soviet republics, offering equal consideration to each. and giving out nearly $130 million.



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