Andrew Carnegie founded the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1902 as an organization for scientific discovery. His intention was for the institution to be home to exceptional individuals—men and women with imagination and extraordinary dedication capable of working at the cutting edge of their fields. Today, Carnegie scientists work in six scientific departments on the West and East Coasts.
The Carnegie Institution for Science is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is an endowed, independent, nonprofit institution under the leadership of President Eric D. Isaacs. Significant additional support comes from federal grants and private donations. A board of trustees, consisting of leaders in business, the sciences, education, and public service, oversees Carnegie’s operations. Each of the six departments has its own scientific director who manages day-to-day operations.
Carnegie investigators are leaders in the fields of plant biology, developmental biology, Earth and planetary sciences, astronomy, and global ecology. They seek answers to questions about the structure of the universe, the formation of our solar system and other planetary systems, the behavior and transformation of matter when subjected to extreme conditions, the origin of life, the function of genes, and the development of organisms from single-celled egg to adult.