Philanthropy and the Health of Society

Lectures for the Wolfson Foundation's 60th Anniversary

David Cannadine, Neil MacGregor, Shirley Tilghman

    ISBN: 978 1 78551 076 2

    Size: 228 x 178 mm / 7 x 9 in.

    Binding: Paperback

    Pages: 80

    In association with:

    Date published: November, 2016

    UK £ /US $


The two decades following the Second World War were a golden era for British philanthropy, faced with the challenges and opportunities of rebuilding British society after the traumas of war. In 1955, within this climate, the Wolfson Foundation was established by Sir Isaac Wolfson, his wife, Edith, and their son, Leonard (later Lord Wolfson of Marylebone). The Foundation was one among a cluster of grant-giving bodies created around that time that would have a profound impact on British society.

Sixty years later (and with Sir Isaac’s granddaughter the third generation of the family to chair the charity) the Foundation had awarded more than £800 million (£1.7 billion in real terms) to some 10,000 projects around the United Kingdom in the fields of science, health, the arts and education. To celebrate this anniversary in 2015, the Foundation held a series of commemorative lectures, delivered across three memorable evenings by internationally acclaimed thinkers speaking about the Foundation’s key areas of funding: Neil MacGregor, David Cannadine and Shirley Tilghman.

Author information

Neil MacGregor OM is a British art historian and renowned museum director. He served as Director of the National Gallery in London from 1987 to 2002, and is widely regarded as having transformed the British Museum during his tenure as Director from 2002 to 2015.

Professor Sir David Cannadine FBA FRSL is Dodge Professor of History at Princeton and Visiting Professor of History at the University of Oxford, having previously taught at Cambridge, Columbia and London, where he was Director of the Institute of Historical Research.

Shirley Tilghman OC FRS served as Princeton University’s 19th President from 2001 to 2013. As a leading scholar in the field of molecular biology, she is renowned not only for her national leadership on behalf of women in science and for promoting the early careers of young scientists.