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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in 4 series.
Correspondence, articles, clippings, reports and memos related to William T. Golden's professional career.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
[This collection is located offsite. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Name of Collection; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers processed Rohan Jolly 12/05/2012.
Finding aid written Carrie Hintz 12/10/2012.
2012-12-11 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2019-07-24 2019 addition processed by Patrick Lawlor
History / Biographical Note
William T. Golden was a securies analyst, a philanthropist and a main architect of American science policy in the 20th century. Both his philanthropic and policy work focused on supporting scientific research both through government research agencies and policies, and nonprofit scientific and research institutions.
William T. Golden was born on Oct. 25, 1909, in Manhattan. He attended the University of Pennsylvania as a young man, earning a bachelor's degree in English in 1930, and then heading to Harvard Business School. After leaving Harvard, Golden returned to New York City where he worked as a securities analyst on Wall Street. The work proved sufficiently lucrative to allow Golden to build a second career as a philanthropist and architect of American scientific policy.
He was an advisor to President Harry S. Truman and originated the idea of a Science Advisor to the President, as position that was created in 1957 at his suggestion. Golden was a major force in creating the major government agencies that manage U.S. scientific research and policy; he was instrumental in organizing the National Science Foundation and acted as assistant to one of the Commissioners of the Atomic Energy Commission. In 1991 he, as co-chairman of the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government, inaugurated a series of biannual meetings of science advisors from the G7 nations.
Though Golden was an important force in encouraging a stronger role for the federal government in scientific research, he was also actively involved in research and philanthropy in the private sphere. He sat on the board of organizations as diverse as the American Museum of Natural History and the National U.S. Radiator Corporation. He served on the board of trustees for the Carnegie Institute of Washington, now the Carnegie Institution for Science, for 28 years.
Golden retained his passion for knowledge throughout his life. He returned to school in 1979, at age 70, to earn a Master's degree in biology from Columbia University, and published books and articles on scientific policy throughout most of his life. He died in 2007 at the age of 97.