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 legal name, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, has led to confusion because four of the school's departments are outside Washington and because their legal name does not distinguish them from other non-profits created by our donor. As a result, the institution adopted a new look and name in 2007—the Carnegie Institution for Science. The new name closely associates the words “Carnegie” and “science” and thereby reveals their core identity. The institution remains officially and legally the Carnegie Institution of Washington, but now has a public identity that more clearly describes our work. The institution is additionally confused with other, unaffiliated Carnegies listed at this link
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.