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Edward Tenner Biography

Edward Tenner is an independent writer, speaker, and consultant on technology and culture. His book "Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences" has been an international bestseller. His most recent book is "Our Own Devices: The Past and Future of Body Technology".

After receiving the A.B. from Princeton, a Junior Fellowship of the Harvard Society of Fellows, and the Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, Tenner held teaching and research positions in Chicago and became science editor of Princeton University Press, publishing general interest books and launching competitive series in astrophysics, animal behavior, and earth sciences. Among the works he sponsored were Richard Feynman's last scientific book, "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter", and "The History and Geography of Human Genes" by L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi, and Alberto Piazza, which began a new era of human genetics and received the 1994 R.R. Hawkins Award of the Professional and Scientific Division of the Association of American Publishers as the best scientific or professional book of the year.

Developing programs in the history of science and technology, Tenner became engaged with these fields and resumed a writing career that began when he was an undergraduate and contributor to the Daily Princetonian, the Tiger Magazine, and the Princeton Alumni Weekly. His essay on the differences among Harvard, Yale, and Princeton was published simultaneously by all three alumni magazines.

In 1991, Tenner received a Guggenheim Fellowship and was appointed a visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study, where he began a project on unintended consequences of technology that was published as "Why Things Bite Back". As a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 1995-96, he turned to the history of human interactions with everyday objects, which has led to "Our Own Devices".

Tenner is a Distinguished Scholar of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History. He is also a visiting scholar of the History Department of Rutgers University and a Research Affiliate of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies of the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. He has taught a course in the history of information as a visiting lecturer in the Princeton University Council of the Humanities and has also held visiting positions in the Princeton Departments of Geosciences and English, and in the University of Pennsylvania Department of the History and Sociology of Science. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), a not-for-profit rights licensing organization and a member of the advisory board of the non-profit environmental group WeForest.

Tenner has contributed essays and reviews to many of the leading newspapers and magazines of the U.S. and the U.K., including U.S. News, the Wilson Quarterly, Technology Review, Raritan Quarterly Review, American Heritage of Invention and Technology, Metropolis, the former Industry Standard, and Designer/ Builder. He has also contributed to the Web publications Microsoft Slate, and Forbes.com.

He has contributed essays on technology to the Atlantic and blogged for theatlantic.com. He has also written frequently for the AEI's American Magazine online. These essays and posts are available by searching the respective sites.

He is a member of the editorial board of Raritan Quarterly Review and a contributing editor of the Wilson Quarterly.

He has spoken to meetings of many leading educational, corporate, government, and professional organizations, including Amherst, Caltech, Case Western, Drexel, Furman, Messiah College, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Rensselaer, St. John's (Santa Fe), University of Washington, Western Washington, and Yale; AT&T, IDEO, Intel, Microsoft, TED Conferences, Warburg Pincus Summit; Highlands Forum, In-Q-Tel, Library of Congress, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, National Summit on White Collar Crime, Smithsonian Associates, and the State Department Overseas Advisory Council; and American Institute of Architects, American Library Association, American Society of Safety Engineers, NORWESCON (science fiction, Science Guest of Honor), and Society for the History of Technology.

All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Edward Tenner for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Edward Tenner speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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