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Gosney Research Fund



Editor’s Note: The original document included a written approval at the top right side of the page with the date of 1950 and signed by Lois G. Castle.

In 1928 Mr. Ezra Seymour Gosney  founded and endowed a non-profit organization, known as the Human Betterment Foundation, for the purpose of fostering and aiding constructive and educational forces for the protection and  betterment of   the human family. In collaboration vith Dr.  Paul  Popence and other scientists Mr. Gosney carried on an extensive study  in the field of eugenic sterilization, including particularly its medical, legal and social aspects. In 1929 and 1930 an  exhaustive study was made of  6000 cases of sterilization of eugenically unfit. Eight years later a second similar critical study of  10,000 cases was made.  As a  part of  a program  to make  known the results of  such research, three books  covering the findings of these studies were placed in most  of the larger city and  university libraries. For  many years an eight page  summary of the subject of  eugenics sterilization was  supplied free to educators.  The  requests  for these numbered well over one  hundred thousand  each year.  Several foreign countries published translations of the Foundation ‘s studies.

Following the death of  Mr. Gosney  in 1942,  the Trustees of  the Human Betterment Foundation agreed that the best interests of  the Foundation  would  be served by  transferring its activities  to the California Institute of  Technology. As a  consequence in October 1943 an agreement was  drawn  up  according to which the Human Betterment Foundation was to be dissolved as  such and its assets turned over to the Institute. The Institute agreed to use these assets “and  the proceeds thereof to establish the Gosney Research Fund, the income from which  will  be devoted in perpetu1ty to  the promotion of  research into the biological bases of  human qualities  and for making  known the results of such research for the public interest.”

At  the present time the income  of the Gosney Research Fund is used  in support of  postdoctoral fellowships in  those branches of biological sciences basic to our understanding of  human welfare. Gosney Research Fellowships are available to qualified investigators who hold the  Ph.D.  degree or its equivalent and  who have  demonstrated. exceptional ability in original  research.  Preference is  given to  candidates who desire to carry on  research in the general field  of heredity. The Gosney Research Fund  is currently administered by  a Gosney Fund Committee made up  of  Professors A. H. Sturtevant, Chairman, E. G.  Anderson, Max Mason, and  A. van  Harreveld, (inserted in ink: Dr. Ray Owen).

In effecting the transfer of  the material assets of the Human Betterment Foundation to the Gosney Research Fund of the Institute special credit is due  Mrs. Lois Gosney Castle, daughter of  Mr. E.S. Gosney. Mrs. Castle spent approximately two and  a half years in putting the affairs of the Foundation in  good  order and in converting properties and other assets into fluid form.  In addition, she maintained a keen  interest  in the activities supported by the Gosney Research Fund.

Source: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Social Welfare History Archives. Minneapolis, MN:

How to Cite this Article (APA Format): Castle, L.G. (1950). The Gosney Research Fund. Retrieved [date accessed] from /?p=8797.

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