American Ingenuity Awards

Gary Steinberg

A Neurosurgeon's Remarkable Plan to Treat Stroke Victims With Stem Cells

Gary Steinberg defied convention when he began implanting living cells inside the brains of patients who had suffered from a stroke

Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay's Visionary Filmmaking Is Reshaping Hollywood

Her eye for American history puts her in the vanguard. Her passion for justice makes her a hero

Sesame Street & Julia

Why the Team Behind Sesame Street Created a Character With Autism

The bravest new face on television is a Muppet that doesn’t say much. But she speaks volumes about life on the spectrum

Natalie Batalha

Meet Natalie Batalha, the Explorer Who's Searching for Planets Across the Universe

The Kepler mission's project scientist, she has guided the discovery of thousands of planets

Dave Malloy & Rachel Chavkin

These Shooting Stars of Broadway Staged the Impossible: A Musical About 'War and Peace'

Dave Malloy and Rachel Chavkin brought the Tolstoy epic to life with <em>Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812</em>

John Legend

What Makes John Legend America's Most Versatile Artist

Songwriter, singer, actor, producer, virtual reality maven. John Legend is an entertainment all-star

Marley Dias

Marley Dias' Inspirational Goal to Collect Books About Girls of Color

What can we learn from a 12-year-old who’s turning the literary world upside down? Everything

Read the Letter Written by John Glenn to Honor Jeff Bezos for Blue Origin

Two weeks before he died, the legendary astronaut wrote a letter in recognition of the 2016 American Ingenuity Awards


The 2016 Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Awards

This year's recipients range from a popular actor and comedian to a tech-savvy archaeologist

Sarah Parcak

Space Archaeologist Sarah Parcak Uses Satellites to Uncover Ancient Egyptian Ruins

The Indiana Jones of low Earth orbit harnesses 21st-century technology to uncover long-buried treasures

David Lynch

Director David Lynch Wants Schools to Teach Transcendental Meditation to Reduce Stress

The acclaimed filmmaker has become the champion of the practice that's now been adopted by thousands of kids

LIGO's founding fathers, from left: Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish. Not pictured: Ronald Drever

Meet the Team of Scientists Who Discovered Gravitational Waves

This year, the geniuses behind LIGO announced that they had finally found what Albert Einstein had predicted a century ago

OK Go for launch: Andy Ross, Tim Nordwind, Damian Kulash Jr. and Dan Konopka

How OK Go Has Revolutionized the Music Video

To pull off one of their most daring videos, they needed a borrowed Russian transport jet, spreadsheets and calculus, and a lot of motion-sickness medicine

Marc Edwards and LeeAnne Walters

Without These Whistleblowers, We May Never Have Known the Full Extent of the Flint Water Crisis

A concerned mother and a renowned scientist spearheaded the investigation that exposed the dangers lurking in the water supply of the Michigan city

"You have students drowning in debt and scholarships that go unawarded. The system is broken," says Christopher Gray.

Christopher Gray's Scholly App Is Bringing Millions of Dollars to College Students in Need

The entrepreneur's new digital platform has helped applicants land $50 million in scholarships

Anthony Antala

Need a New Organ? Surgeon Anthony Atala Sees a Future Where You Can Simply Print It Out

When you can order a new body part online, you’ll have this doctor to thank

"I try to go into the personal stuff because I really believe that’s the most universal," says Aziz Ansari.

With "Master of None," Aziz Ansari Has Created a True American Original

The star of the breakout television series brings the voice of his generation to the masses

Jeff Bezos

Is Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin the Future of Space Exploration?

No one had ever launched, landed and relaunched a rocket into space until the company's historic achievement

Meet Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Genius Behind "Hamilton," Broadway's Newest Hit

Composer, lyricist and performer, Miranda wows audiences and upends U.S. history with his dazzlingly fresh hip-hop musical

Doo Yeon Kim, left, and Rudolph Tanzi

The Two Brains at the Forefront of the Fight Against Alzheimer's

Rudolph Tanzi and Doo Yeon Kim have invented a revolutionary new tool to study the mysteries of the disease and counter the coming epidemic of dementia

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