National Air and Space Museum 2015 Annual Report

Aviation and Space Research and Scholarly Activities

Michael Neufeld
Space History Senior Curator Michael Neufeld gives a lecture on the Apollo 8 mission at History Colorado in Denver, April 21, 2015. The talk was in conjunction with a traveling show on the year 1968..

Research in the Aeronautics Department is related to all aspects of flight in the atmosphere. In the Department of Space History, research is conducted on the history and technology of spaceflight, space science, and exploration. This research provides an invaluable foundation in developing exhibits for the public, in selecting artifacts for the Museum's collection, in writing publications, and in educating the public through lectures and other means.

Aeronautics and Space History curators published 16 book chapters, 50 articles, and 52 blog posts in 2015.

These five items are just a sample of the scholarly activities performed in 2015 in the Aeronautics and Space History Departments. A link to a more complete list of activities is below.

  • Aeronautics curator Jeremy Kinney served as an adjunct faculty member in the History and Art History Department of George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, teaching an undergraduate course on aviation history from its origins to the present day.
  • Space History Curator Martin Collins presented, “What do historians want from “Materiality”? Reflections on Theory and the Humanities since the 1970s,” at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science, Berlin, March 2015
  • Space History Curator James David wrote an Electronic Briefing Book, NASA’s Secret Relationships with U.S. Defense and Intelligence Agencies, posted on the National Security Archive website, based on his book, Spies and Shuttles: NASA’s Secret Relationship with the DoD and CIA.
  • In a four-part blog series appearing on the Museum’s website, Chair of the Aeronautics Department, Russ Lee, and Aeronautics Curator, Evelyn Crellin, presented an in-depth look at the Lippisch DM 1, an experimental German glider that played a vital role in the development of the first jet-propelled delta wing aircraft to fly, the Convair XF-92A. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
  • Recurring Scholarly Event: The Smithsonian Institution History Seminar on Contemporary Science and Technology meets monthly, October through June, at the National Air and Space Museum. It draws together academics from many local agencies, universities, Smithsonian staff, and Smithsonian fellows, serving as a forum for discussion and analysis of recent scholarship relevant to the history of science and technology.

Complete list of scholarly activities, writings, and presentations in the Aeronautics and Space History Departments

List of Aeronautics staff and their areas of expertise

List of Space History staff and their areas of expertise