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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as Author

Lewis M. Branscomb

Photo

Dates

August 17, 1926 – present

Authorized Form of Name

Branscomb, Lewis M., 1926-

Additional Forms of Names

Branscomb, L. M.

Branscomb, Lewis

Biography

Abstract

Lewis M. Branscomb is an American physicist and government policy advisor. He was appointed director of the National Bureau of Standards by President Nixon (1969-1972). His current research focuses on information infrastructure and the management of technology to promote democratic governance.

Important Dates

August 17, 1926Birth, Asheville (N.C.).

1944 – 1949Officer, United States Naval Reserve.

1945Obtained AB in Physics, Duke University, Durham (N.C.).

1947Obtained MS in Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1949Obtained PhD in Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1949 – 1951Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1950 – 1951Instructor in Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1951 – 1972Physicist (1951-1954); Chief, Atomic Physics Section (1954-1960); Chief, Atomic Physics Division (1960-1962); Fellow and Chair, Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (1962-1969); Chief, Laboratory Astrophysics Division (1962-1969); and Director (1969-1972), National Bureau of Standards, Boulder (Colo.).

1952 – 1954Lecturer in Physics, University of Maryland.

1957 – 1958Visiting Staff Member, University College London.

1962 – 1969Member, JASON Defense Advisory Group.

1962 – 1969Adjoint Professor of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder.

1963 – 1969Editor, Reviews of Modern Physics.

1965 – 1967Member, President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC).

1972 – 1982Member, Board of Directors, RAND Corporation.

1972 – 1986Vice President and Chief Scientist, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Armonk (N.Y.).

1972 – 1986President, R&D Incorporated (IBM subsidiary).

1973 – 1989Member, Board of Trustees, Carnegie Institution of Washington.

1975 – 1985Member, Board of Directors, General Foods Corporation.

1978 – 1999Member, Board of Directors, Mobil Corporation.

1979President, American Physical Society.

1979 – 1984Member (1979-1984) and Chair (1980-1984), National Science Board.

1983 – 1986Member, Corporate Management Board, IBM.

1984 – 1986Member, Board of Overseers, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1984 – 1987Director, World Trade Europe Middle East Africa Corporation, IBM, Armonk (N.Y.).

1986 – presentDirector, Science, Technology and Public Policy Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government (1986), Professor of Public Service, John F. Kennedy School of Government (1986-1988), Albert Pratt Public Service Professor (1988-1994); Aetna Professor in Public Policy and Corporate Management (1994-1996); and Aetna Professor in Public Policy and Corporate Management Emeritus (1996-present), John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1987Awarded Arthur Bueche Prize, National Academy of Engineering.

1987 – 1999Member, Board of Directors, MITRE Corporation.

1988 – 1998Member, Board of Directors, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory.

2005 – presentResearch Associate, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.).

2005 – presentAdjunct Professor, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.).

Occupation

Atomic physicist.

Places

Birth

Asheville (N.C.)

Undergraduate Education

Durham (N.C.)

Graduate Education

Cambridge (Mass.)

Employment

Cambridge (Mass.)

Boulder (Colo.)

Armonk (N.Y.)

La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.)

Subjects

Atomic and molecular physics.

Ions.

Science and state.

Relationships

People

Family

Branscomb, Anne Wells

Wife.

Branscomb, Harvie H.

Son.

Advisors & Collaborators

Menzel, Donald H. (Donald Howard), 1901-1976

PhD advisor at Harvard University, "Anomalous rotation of molecules with applications to the temperature of the upper atmosphere, and a note on maximizing the ratio of "signal to noise" in spectrophotometry of weak light sources."

Colleagues

Armstrong, J. A. (John A.)

Both employed at IBM.

Bainbridge, Kenneth T. (Kenneth Tompkins), 1904-1996

Both employed at Harvard University.

Bloembergen, N.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Bridgman, P. W. (Percy Williams), 1882-1961

Both employed at Harvard University.

Brillouin, Léon, 1889-1969

Both employed at Harvard University.

Brooks, Harvey

Both employed at Harvard University.

Chaudhari, Praveen, 1937-

Both employed at IBM.

Coblentz, William W. (William Weber), 1873-1962

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978

Both employed at Harvard University.

Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards and University of Colorado, Boulder.

Demuth, Joseph, 1946-

Both employed at IBM.

Drell, Sidney D. (Sidney David), 1926-

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Dunn, G. H. (Gordon H.), 1932-

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards and Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA).

Eastman, Dean E. (Dean Eric)

Both employed at IBM.

Eigler, Donald

Both employed at IBM.

Fano, Ugo

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Ference, Michael, 1911-

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Fletcher, James Chipman, 1919-1991

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Fowler, Alan, 1928-

Both employed at IBM.

Frosch, Robert A. (Robert Alan), 1928-

Both employed at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Furry, W. H. (Wendell Hinkle), 1907-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Gamow, George, 1904-1968

Both employed at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Garwin, Richard L.

Both employed by President's Science Advisory Committee.

Gutzwiller, M. C. (Martin C.)

Both employed at IBM.

Hall, J. L. (John L.), 1934-

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Hellman, Frances

Both employed at IBM.

Holdren, John P.

Both employed at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Horn, Paul (Paul M.)

Both employed at IBM.

Julienne, Paul S.

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Kemble, Edwin C. (Edwin Crawford), 1889-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Klebanoff, P. S.

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Kohn, Walter, 1923-2016

Both employed at Harvard University.

Lyman, Theodore, 1874-1954

Both employed at Harvard University.

MacDonald, Gordon J. (Gordon James), 1929-2002

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC).

McGroddy, James C.

Both employed at IBM.

Meggers, William F. (William Frederick), 1888-1966

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Meyerson, B.

Both employed at IBM.

Pake, G. E. (George Edward)

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Pinczuk, Aron

Both employed at IBM.

Piore, Emanuel Ruben, 1908-2000

Both employed at IBM.

Plummer, E. Ward

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Pound, Robert V.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Purcell, Edward M.

Both employed at Harvard University and President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC).

Ramsey, Norman, 1915-2011

Both employed at Harvard University.

Schubauer, Galen B. (Galen Brandt), 1904-

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Schwinger, Julian, 1918-1994

Both employed at Harvard University.

Slichter, Charles P.

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC).

Street, Jabez Curry, 1906-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Van Vleck, J. H. (John Hasbrouck), 1899-1980

Both employed at Harvard University.

York, Herbert F. (Herbert Frank)

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC).

Additional

Lubkin, Gloria

Passaglia, Elio

Phelps, Arthur V. (Arthur Van Rensselaer), 1923-

Ruina, J. P. (Jack P.)

Institutions

Major Positions

Harvard University. Department of Physics

Obtained MS (1947) and PhD (1949). Instructor in Physics.

Harvard University. Society of Fellows

Junior Fellow.

IBM Research

Vice President and Chief Scientist; Member, Corporate Management Board; Director (World Trade Europe, Middle East, Africa Corporation); and President of R&D Incorporated (IBM subsidiary).

John F. Kennedy School of Government

Professor of Public Service; Albert Pratt Public Service Professor; Aetna Professor in Public Policy and Corporate Management; Aetna Professor in Public Policy and Corporate Management Emeritus; and Director, Science, Technology and Public Policy Program.

Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics

Fellow and Chair.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Research Associate.

United States. National Bureau of Standards

Physicist; Chief, Atomic Physics Section; Chief, Atomic Physics Division; Fellow and Chair, Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics; Chief, Laboratory Astrophysics Division; and Director.

United States. Naval Reserve

Officer.

University College, London. Department of Physics

Visiting Staff Member.

University of California, San Diego. Department of Physics

Adjunct Professor.

University of Colorado Boulder. Department of Physics

Adjoint Professor of Physics.

University of Maryland at College Park. Department of Physics and Astronomy

Lecturer in Physics.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Physical Society

President and Editor, Reviews of Modern Physics.

Carnegie Institution of Washington

Member, Board of Trustees.

Charles Stark Draper Laboratory

Member, Board of Directors.

Duke University. Department of Physics

Obtained AB (1945).

Exxon Mobil Corporation

Member, Board of Directors.

General Foods Corporation

Member, Board of Directors.

Harvard University

Member, Board of Overseers.

JASON Defense Advisory Group

Member, JASON study group.

Mitre Corporation

Member, Board of Directors.

National Academy of Engineering

1987 Arthur Bueche Prize recipient.

National Science Board (U.S.)

Member and Chair.

Rand Corporation

Member, Board of Directors.

United States. President's Science Advisory Committee

Member.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Lewis M. Branscomb papers, 1950-2004.

Archives. Pusey Library

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Oral history interview with Lewis Branscomb, 1988 July 11-13.

NIST Research Library and NIST Archives

National Institute of Standards and Technology

100 Bureau Drive, MS 2500, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA

Oral history interview with Lewis McAdory Branscomb, 1986 April 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interviews with Lewis McAdory Branscomb, 2009-2010.

Archives. Pusey Library

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Science policy: yesterday, today and tomorrow [sound recording], 2009 May 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Special joint session of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers on coupling of physics and society in the seventies [sound recording], 1968 January 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

The Physical Review [sound recording]: recordings of performances by the Harvard physics department, 1951.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

A Tale of Love, String, and Sealing Wax: the Early History of Negative Ion Photodetachment Studies, 2009 June 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Edward Condon papers, circa 1920-1974.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Great scientists I've met [videorecording] / Norman Ramsey.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Arthur V. Phelps, 2008 October 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Elio Passaglia, 1988 July 19.

NIST Research Library and NIST Archives

National Institute of Standards and Technology

100 Bureau Drive, MS 2500, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA

Oral history interview with Jack P. Ruina, 1991 August 8

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Remembering Edward Condon: oral history interview with Churchill Eisenhart, Reeves Tilley, Robert Huntoon, Jacob Rabinow, Lauriston Taylor, Walter Hamer, 1986 June 20.

NIST Research Library and NIST Archives

National Institute of Standards and Technology

100 Bureau Drive, MS 2500, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA

The Decision to Build the Very Large Array, 1975 May 28.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

Confessions of a technophile / Lewis M. Branscomb.

Investing in innovation : creating a research and innovation policy that works / edited by Lewis M. Branscomb and James H. Keller.

Taking technical risks : how innovators, executives, and investors manage high-tech risks / Lewis M. Branscomb and Philip E. Auerswald ; with contributed essays by Henry Chesbrough ... [et al.].