Merritt Roe Smith
Cutten Professor of the History of Technology, Program in Science, Technology. and Society
areas of expertise: history of technology, role of the military in technological change, technology in the civil war era
Merritt Roe Smith is Cutten Professor of the History of Technology at MIT and a member of the Institute’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society, History Faculty, and Center for International Studies.
His primary research and teaching interest is American industrialization, particularly the role of the military as a catalyst of technological change. He is the author or editor of seven books, the most recent being Reconceptualizing the Industrial Revolution (MIT Press, 2010) and Inventing America: A History of the United States (2nd edition, W. W. Norton, 2006). He is currently working on a book about technology and its implications during the American Civil War. His book on Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology (Cornell UP, 1977) received numerous honors, including the Frederick Jackson Turner Award (Organization of American Historians), the Pfizer Award (History of Science Society), and nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in History.
He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Other recognitions include an honorary doctorate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Regents Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Senior Fulbright Scholarship (Sweden), and a Thomas Newcomen Fellowship at the Harvard Business School. Smith is past president of the Society for the History of Technology, from which he received the Leonardo da Vinci Medal, the Society’s highest honor. He is married to Bronwyn Mellquist, an editor, and currently resides in Newton, Mass.
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