Carnegie Institution of Washington, an organization engaged in fundamental research in astronomy, the physical sciences, and the biological sciences. It uses its income from investments to “encourage, in the broadest and most liberal manner, investigation, research, and discovery, and the application of knowledge to the improvement of mankind.” The institution operates observatories in southern California and Chile. It has departments in Washington, D.C., for covering a wide range of subjects in physics, including terrestrial magnetism and geophysics; in Baltimore for embryology, and in Stanford (California) for plant biology. Results of research projects are published in its Year Books and in Spectra (a quarterly), monographs, and articles in scholarly journals.

The institution was founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1902 with an initial endowment of $10,000,000. Carnegie later donated an additional $12,000,000. Administrative offices are in Washington, D.C.