Man Versus Man

William Wordsworth waxed poetic about “man’s inhumanity to man,” but the more broadminded Harry Frank Guggenheim was interested in studying, as he put it, “man’s relation to man.” In keeping with that idea, the New York foundation that Guggenheim endowed in 1929 has traditionally sponsored a seven-part international program of scientific research aimed at better understanding the causes of dominance, violence, and aggression.

Now an eighth area is being considered: the foundation might make small contributions to charities actively addressing social problems in these areas. Since the program is in its formative stage, unsolicited grant proposals will not be considered; the charity organizations must be nominated in a letter from a current Guggenheim grantee or from a scientist currently involved in related research.

The reason for this procedure, explains program assistant Ellen Agoratus, is twofold: the scientist/nominators act as an unofficial pre-screening mechanism by recommending - nonprof...

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