by Jonathan Latham, PhD
Many people date the DNA revolution to the discovery of its structure by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. But really it began thirty years before, conceived by the Rockefeller Foundation. Thus it is fitting, and no accident, that the chemical composition of DNA was first discovered by the Foundation in the 1920s*. The Rockefeller Foundation had become interested in DNA because its trustees feared a Bolshevik-style revolution. Intense public resentment had already compelled the break-up of their Standard oil Company in 1911; so the Foundation sought ways, said trustee Harry Pratt Judson in 1913, to “reinforce the police power of the state”. The Foundation intended no less than to obtain the ultimate key to human behaviour which would allow the resentful and envious mobs to be effectively managed.