Our History

It began with one man's passion for scientific discovery and deepest appreciation for his adopted city.

For nearly 40 years, Fondation H. Dudley Wright has been providing financial support for programs introducing the general public to basic science and some of its current scientific challenges.



The Foundation's primary focus on expanding science awareness reflects the personal values of H. Dudley Wright—an entrepreneur, self-taught engineer, and inventor—who believed in the need for an informed public in order to create and sustain prosperous communities.



As a business and civic leader in Pasadena, California—one of the cradles of discovery and industrial technology innovation in post-war America—Dudley Wright (as he was known) recognized the direct connection between science education and economic development—not just for the elites, but for everyone. By the late 1950s, he was a vocal advocate of community and business investment to increase the general public's knowledge about science. In particular, Dudley Wright believed that exposing young people to science and to scientists would inspire them to pursue science as a career—and develop a cadre for innovation for generations to come.



Today, our program focus is on communicating science and advocate broader public discourse about science education, discovery and innovation.
In the early days, however, Dr. Wright chose to establish several awards recognizing achievement in interdisciplinary science research and discovery. These prestigious awards included The Feynman Fellowship (California Institute of Technology), The Wright Prize (Harvey Mudd College), The H. Dudley Wright International Student Contest, “Together to Mars” (The Planetary Society), the Dudley Wright Research Award (The Weizmann Institute), and The Wright Fellowship in science education and teaching (Tufts University)..


1964 H. Dudley Wright retires from the pioneering company he founded in Pasadena, California in 1947 to engineer and manufacturer piezo-electric instruments used in the aerospace and other industries for precision physical measurements.

1965 Dr. Wright relocates to Geneva, Switzerland.

1967 The Feynman Fellowship in interdisciplinary science is established at California Institute of Technology (CalTech, USA) with Foundation funding.

1981 Planning begins for creation of a week-long science festival ("Colloquium") in Geneva for public enlightenment and enjoyment.

1984 The Wright Science Colloquia launch with "MAN AND HIS UNIVERSE | Science for the Non-Scientist", presented in association with the University of Geneva (UNIGE).

1984 The Foundation begins to provide seed funding grants to programs promoting science education and innovative field training, including CalTech's "Project Pahoehoe", a geologic study of volcanism in Hawaii.

1990 The biennial H. Dudley Wright Conference on Cell Biology is organized to foster multidisciplinary international collaboration, co-produced by the American Society of Cell Biology and the European Molecular Biology Organization. Initially funded by Dr. Wright personally, the Foundation continues its support through the 1990s.

1992 Dr. Wright passes away at age 70.

1992 The Wright Center for Innovative Science Education is created at Tufts University (USA), dedicated to training science teachers on innovative methods to stimulate young minds, with seed funding from the Foundation.

1999 The Foundation sponsors its first Colloquium in Germany (Göttingen) on "GENES AND THE UNFOLDING OF LIFE" in association with The Max Planck Institute.

2000 Funding of traveling exhibits to expand broader public awareness of science begins with support for the Max Planck Society's "Science Tunnel", premiering at the World Exposition | EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany.

2009 The University of Geneva builds its bright purple cell nucleus "Genome" dome exhibit with imaginative visualizations explaining science, located prominently in the heart of Geneva, with funding from the Foundation.

2011 Science on Stage Europe, a network of and for science and technology teachers of all school levels, receives a grant from the Foundation for its 2011 Copenhagen festival.

2013 The "PlanetSolar DeepWater" expedition on a solar powered vessel coordinated by the University of Geneva's Institute of Environmental Sciences receives funding from the Foundation, to support educational resources making young people aware of climate change and its impact.

2014 As a gesture to Geneva's citizens and to present science infused with art, ideas and music, the Foundation sponsors a Spectacle Son et Lumière (sound and light show) projected on UNI Bastions, the University's oldest building.


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