Distinguished Research Scholars in residence at the Lemelson Center are senior experts in their fields who maintain a formal scholarly affiliation with the Smithsonian. In exchange, they bring their outside expertise and knowledge to the Smithsonian for the increase and diffusion of knowledge. Often, they are professional scholars who formally and actively collaborate with Lemelson Center and National Museum of American History staff through joint projects, proposal submissions, co-authored publications, etc., and whose work includes the regular use of the Smithsonian's archives and collections. Distinguished Research Scholars have achieved senior status within their academic community, are generally affiliated with a recognized academic institution as active or retired staff, and have an active publication record.
The Lemelson Center is proud to host the following Distinguished Research Scholars:
Len Polizzotto is the Distinguished Executive in Residence and an Affiliate Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; a partner in The Practice of Innovation; and a Distinguished Research Scholar at the Lemelson Center. Polizzotto’s career included positions as Vice President for New Programs at Draper Laboratory, Vice President at SRI International, Director of the Center for the Globalization of Technology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and Vice President for New Business Development at the Polaroid Corporation. He holds twelve patents and is the author of articles on human color perception, digital imaging, microphotography, and innovation and value. He earned MS and BS degrees in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and holds a PhD from Tufts University.
Ed Tenner is an independent author and speaker, Distinguished Research Scholar at the Lemelson Center, and Visiting Scholar in the Interdisciplinary Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study. In addition to publishing more than 100 articles and essays on topics in the history of technology and human-technology interfaces, he is the author of The Efficiency Paradox: What Big Data Can't Do (2018), Our Own Devices: How Technology Remakes Humanity (2003), and Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences (1997). After receiving an AB from Princeton, a Junior Fellowship of the Harvard Society of Fellows, and his PhD from the University of Chicago, Tenner was the longtime science editor of Princeton University Press.
Chris Weaver is Distinguished Professor of Computational Media at Wesleyan University, and a Distinguished Research Scholar at the Lemelson Center. He carries out research into the history of interactive technologies and is co-director of the Videogames Pioneers Initiative at the Lemelson Center. In addition, he teaches and mentors students at Wesleyan and elsewhere about the creation of instructional simulations that promote STEM learning. Weaver has written and contributed to over twenty-five books and publications and holds patents in telecommunications, software methods, device security, and 3D graphics. He previously held positions as Director of Technology Forecasting for ABC network, Chief Engineer to the Subcommittee on Communications for the US Congress, founder of the video game company Bethesda Softworks, and cofounder of ZeniMax Media. Weaver holds degrees from MIT and Wesleyan University.