Lisa Ruth Rand

Historian of science and space junk expert
Lisa is a historian of science who brings academic rigor to a fascinating topic few of us ever think about: space junk. Lisa's passion for this offbeat subject comes through very clearly; after talking with her, you're sure to become a space junk obsessive yourself!


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Lisa Ruth Rand is a historian of science, technology, and the environment, with a primary interest in discarded and decaying things. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Science History Institute. Her first book project, currently in progress, explores the history of space junk, tracing the Cold War transformation of Earth orbit from a boundless expanse to a limited natural resource.

Rand earned her PhD in history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania. She recently held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Center for the Humanities and served as a program coordinator and postdoctoral fellow in residence at the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine. She has also held positions at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the RAND Corporation.


"I really liked this event. Space junk is a cool and current topic, and I thought Lisa was excellent, and the presentation was professional (great visuals), engaging, and well-timed."

Speakeasy participant

"Great talk - I was delighted that it was so personal, with lots of time for Q&A."

Speakeasy participant

"Lisa was fantastic. I enjoyed the talk very much. Lively and engaging, had some questions for the audience, obviously passionate about the topic."

Speakeasy participant