Lisa Ruth Rand is a historian of science, technology, and the environment, with a primary interest in discarded and decaying things. During her 2019–2021 postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute, she worked on 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. Before arriving at the Institute she 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.