Innovators

The National Museum of American History and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum announced the joint acquisition of the historic kit envisioned by activist Martha Goddard.

Invented by a Woman Activist, an Early 1970s Rape Kit Arrives at the Smithsonian

Martha Goddard didn’t receive much recognition—instead she got the job done

Materials and manufacturing details of the specially made suit of America's first space traveler were extensively analyzed before being prepared for display on a customized mannequin.

The Second Man in Space Had a Wee Wish—That He'd Used the Bathroom Before Blasting Off

Alan B. Shepard's historic Mercury spacesuit undergoes hours of conservation work for its debut when the National Air and Space Museum opens this fall

This fall, visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., can see the glider and other treasures, when the “Early Flight” exhibition opens in the museum's newly transformed west wing.

This Quirky Contraption Lifted 19th-Century Pilots Into the Air for a Short, Exhilarating Glide

The rare Lilienthal glider, one of only a few originals known to exist, is newly conserved and ready for its public debut

When medical equipment was scarce in spring of 2020, an engineering firm in Northern Italy posted 3-D printing files online that allowed hospitals to produce venturi valves that could be retrofitted to snorkel masks for use in assisted ventilation.

Innovation for Good

How Good Design Promotes Good Health

Cooper Hewitt dives into the surprisingly creative ways doctors, nurses, engineers, designers, artists and, even your neighbors, responded to the pandemic

In the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver, the USA's Hannah Teter (above: in action during the women's snowboard halfpipe competition) took home silver. Her boots are now in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Beijing Winter Olympics

Meet the Trailblazers in Women’s Olympic Snowboarding

The careers of Shannon Dunn-Downing, Kelly Clark, Amy Purdy and Hannah Teter are recognized in the Smithsonian collections; learn their stories

Ben Franklin by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis, ca 1785

Ben Franklin Lives in Your Smartphone

The 18th-century inventor discovered concepts that impact modern technology

Elon Musk, after securing a $2.9 billion NASA contract for SpaceX, recently hosted an episode of “Saturday Night Live.”

The Return of America's Celebrity Inventor

In a new book, Smithsonian historian Eric S. Hintz traces the rise and fall, and rise again, of the maverick inventor

"As soon as this idea of aerial application for farming began to take shape, nearly everyone agreed this was the way to go,” says Dorothy Cochrane, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, where one of only two known to exist, is on view.

The Little 'Puffer' That Could, and Did, Change an Industry

The Huff-Daland Duster ushered in the era of agriculture aviation

The much-lauded exposition-style celebration invites “all dreamers, makers, and changers of tomorrow to imagine a more exciting, equitable, and sustainable future.”

Futures

At New 'Futures' Show, Big Dreamers and Changemakers Activate a Better Way Forward

Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary exposition opens with big-name speakers, family fun and a 21st-century peek into the world ahead

Laurie Anderson’s singular artistic path has included books and movies, and an influential performance style whose loops, tapes and style has informed generations. 

The Multiple Arts and Artistries of the Inimitable Laurie Anderson

A Hirshhorn retrospective opens with ten new works from the pioneering artist, composer, poet and musician

Rasha Alqahtani, an 18-year-old from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, won a third award in the behavioral and social sciences category of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair for her prototype of a video game feature to assess anxiety. In addition to her STEM research, Alqahtani is a poet and artist.

Innovation for Good

This Teenager Is Developing a Video Game That Assesses Your Mental Health

Rasha Alqahtani, an 18-year-old from Saudi Arabia, is determined to help her peers learn about their anxiety—in the wildly popular setting of 'Minecraft'

Rea Ann Silva with an oversized version of the Beautyblender sponge

Smithsonian Voices

Rea Ann Silva Invented the 'Beautyblender' and Changed Makeup Forever

Silva’s work as a makeup artist on "Girlfriends" unexpectedly thrust her into the beauty products industry as an innovator and entrepreneur

An early example of stylish appeal: the 1940 Chevrolet 
half-ton.

The Rugged History of the Pickup Truck

At first, it was all about hauling things we needed. Then the vehicle itself became the thing we wanted

The most recent additions to the scimitar-horned oryx herd at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are two calves borne from an improved artificial insemination method.

Future of Conservation

Two New Scimitar-Horned Oryx Calves Born Through Improved Methods of Artificial Insemination

The assisted reproduction method will help with population management efforts of these critically endangered species and their rewilding

Butler is not just a talented writer, says curator Monica Montgomery. She is “this magnifying, visionary author and was and is a social justice warrior for our times.”

Futures

The Pioneering Sci-Fi Writer Octavia E. Butler Joins a Pantheon of Celebrated Futurists

The author’s career is honored by a newly commissioned work by digital artist Nettrice Gaskins

Team USA Stamps

Smithsonian Voices

The Science Behind a Faster, Higher, Stronger Team U.S.A.

The unsung heroes behind the Summer Olympics are the scientists and engineers whose inventions and innovations help athletes

Oluwaseyi at a Movie screening hosted by her organization in commemoration of Global Recycling Day 2021.

Smithsonian Voices

How Nigeria's Oluwaseyi Moejoh's Conservation Activism Is Spreading Across Africa and Beyond

The founder of U-recycle Initiative Africa, current law student, and all-around force for positive change is a powerful advocate for a sustainable planet

Raşit Bağzıbağlı (b. London, 1985) for Modanisa (Turkey, est. 2011)

The Vibrant Fashion World in Muslim-Majority Countries Is a Billion-Dollar Business

These exquisite designs are a must-see at the Cooper Hewitt, but hurry, the show closes July 11

Orange scalefin anthias fish swarm in front of a fire coral in the Red Sea's Ras Mohammed Marine Park, Egypt.

Smithsonian Voices

Will the Oceans of 2030 Brim With Reef Robots and Other Fancy Stuff?

Imagine a world where an Indigenous fisher can get forecasts of local marine life from a smartphone, or robots offer real-time data on coral reef health

“The shape of the Spitfire's wing and all of the compound curves on the airplane made it beautiful,” says the Smithsonian's Alex Spencer, curator of British and European military aircraft at the National Air and Space Museum.

Remembering the Supermarine Spitfire, Iconic Fighter Plane of World War II

'Spit' pilots flew their first combat missions over Dunkirk during the Battle of France

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