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Lewis M. Branscomb is the Professor, emeritus, of Public Policy and Corporate Management, in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and appointments at the University of California, San Diego in the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Dr. Branscomb is a member of all three National Academies: Science, Engineering and the Institute of Medicine and co-chairs the Academies’ project on Science and Technology for Counter Terrorism.
He is a director of LORD Corporation, and retired director of Exxon-Mobil, IBM Europe Corporation and General Foods Corporation.
Dr. Branscomb’s baccalaureate in physics was from Duke University in 1945, summa cum laude, and Ph.D. degree in physics from Harvard University in 1949. A research physicist at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) from 1951 to 1969, he was appointed Director of NBS by President Nixon, serving from 1969 to 1972. In 1972 Dr. Branscomb was named Vice President and Chief Scientist of IBM Corporation and to its Management Committee, serving until his retirement from IBM in 1986. While at IBM, he was appointed by President Carter to the National Science Board and in 1980 was elected chairman, serving until May 1984. He served on President Reagan’s Commission on Productivity and chaired its technology panel.
In April 2012, Dr. Branscomb donated a gift to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to launch a new Center for Science and Democracy at UCS that will work toward restoring the essential role science, evidence-based knowledge and constructive debate play in the U.S. plicymaking process.