A building behind trees
Ford Foundation Sunsets Diversity Fellowships
For more than 50 years, the program has served as a pipeline to get more scholars of color into academic institutions.
Ford Foundation Sunsets Diversity Fellowships
Ford Foundation Sunsets Diversity Fellowships

For more than 50 years, the program has served as a pipeline to get more scholars of color into academic institutions.

For more than 50 years, the program has served as a pipeline to get more scholars of color into academic institutions.

Foundations
A photo of soybean pods
The Right Chemistry, 1935
Catherine Offord | Mar 1, 2022
Percy Lavon Julian, a young, Black scientist working in Jim Crow America, gained international recognition after beating chemists at the University of Oxford in the race to synthesize the alkaloid physostigmine, used for decades as a treatment for glaucoma.
A lithograph of a woman sitting up in bed while a nurse attends to her.
Death by Nostalgia, 1688
Lisa Winter | Feb 1, 2022
Before its association with a pining for the toys or TV shows of yesteryear, nostalgia was deemed a dangerous psychiatric disorder.
Formed of various flowers, this personification cartoon of a female botanist, painted by George Spratt, was pasted into Allen’s copy of The English Flora.
La Botaniste, 1810–1865
Sukanya Charuchandra | Jan 4, 2022
Elaborate annotations hidden in a copy of Sir James Edward Smith’s The English Flora hinted at the life of a mysterious woman botanist.
In one of the only known photos of Abraham Lincoln taken on the day of the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln can be seen seated, hatless, just below and to the right of the flag. Lincoln began developing symptoms of smallpox on the train home to Washington, DC.
Presidential Pox, 1863
Annie Melchor | Dec 1, 2021
Researchers continue to debate whether US President Abraham Lincoln was coming down with smallpox as he delivered his famous Gettysburg Address, and if he had been immunized.
Photograph of drought land due to climate change
An Earthy-Smelling Substance, 1964
Lisa Winter | Nov 1, 2021
How the pungent odor that occurs after a light rain became a well-studied phenomenon
Photograph of a waterfall
Falling Water, Rising Rocks, 1834
Catherine Offord | Oct 1, 2021
Intrigued by an optical illusion he experienced while traveling in Scotland, Robert Addams wrote what is now considered one of the definitive observational accounts of so-called motion aftereffects.
A black and white photo of two sets of flowers in test tubes, one of which is wilting
Posies, Poison, and Periods, Early 1920s
Annie Melchor | Sep 1, 2021
Centuries of folklore backed by scientists in the early 1900s have perpetuated the idea that menstruating women can exert dangerous forces.
Birth of Midwifery, Circa 100 CE
Lisa Winter | Aug 1, 2021
Soranus of Ephesus’s manual shaped the way midwifery was practiced for more than a millennium.
two black-and-white microscope images, one with a few black dots, the other with many rod-shaped bacteria
Identifying a Killer, 1895
Catherine Offord | Jul 1, 2021
A contaminated ham put bacteriologist Émile Pierre-Marie van Ermengem on the path to discovering the microbe that produces botulinum toxin.
Stamping Out Science, 1948
Catherine Offord | May 1, 2021
Trofim Lysenko’s attacks on geneticists had long-term effects on Russian science and scientists, despite a lack of evidence to support his beliefs about biological inheritance.
Bile and Potatoes, 1921
Jef Akst | Apr 1, 2021
One hundred years after its invention, BCG has stood the test of time as a vaccine against tuberculosis.
Identity Crisis, 1906
Catherine Offord | Mar 1, 2021
A famous account of multiple personality disorder in the early 20th century foreshadowed a century of controversial diagnoses and debate among psychiatrists.
Viral Discoveries, 1929
Max Kozlov | Feb 1, 2021
The “mother of plant virology and serology,” Helen Purdy Beale, developed techniques to understand the nature of viruses that went unappreciated for decades.
Introducing Inoculation, 1721
Max Kozlov | Jan 1, 2021
As a deadly smallpox outbreak ravaged Boston, one of the city’s leaders advocated for a preventive measure he’d learned about from Onesimus, an enslaved man.
Action at a Distance, Circa Early 1950s
Diana Kwon | Dec 1, 2020
Neuroscientist Rita Levi-Montalcini began her Nobel Prize–winning work in a makeshift laboratory in Italy during the Second World War.
Octopod Sailors, 300 BC–present
Jef Akst | Nov 1, 2020
Lore has always surrounded argonauts, pelagic octopuses that build shells and travel the seas.
Scientist as Subject
Amanda Heidt | Oct 1, 2020
In the past, it was not uncommon for researcher to test their experimental therapeutics and vaccines on themselves. Some even volunteered to be exposed to pathogen-carrying vectors.
Coronavirus Closeup, 1964
Ashley Yeager | Sep 1, 2020
Electron microscopy revealed that a deadly disease of birds was not a form of flu, but a different type of virus entirely.
Jean Macnamara’s Multiple Causes, 1931
Catherine Offord | Jul 13, 2020
The medical scientist made important contributions to polio treatment and Australian environmental policy—despite substantial resistance.