Evan S. Michelson

Program Director

  • Evan S. Michelson, Ph.D. is a Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Dr. Michelson is responsible for overseeing the Foundation’s Energy and Environment program, which seeks to inform the societal transition toward low-carbon energy systems in the United States by investigating economic, environmental, technological, and distributional issues. The Energy and Environment program is unique for its focus on supporting influential, interdisciplinary research, training, networking, and dissemination efforts. He also manages the Foundation’s grantmaking to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a transformational international astrophysics research collaboration focused on exploring the evolution and structure of the universe, the formation of stars and galaxies, the history of the Milky Way, and the science behind black holes and dark matter.

    Dr. Michelson has experience designing trend monitoring, horizon scanning, and strategic foresight processes throughout the social sector. Previously, Dr. Michelson was a Director at the Markle Foundation, overseeing research activities and the systemic collection, analysis, and dissemination of forward-looking information covering a wide range of technology, economic, and policy issues. Dr. Michelson was also an Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he co-created and implemented a global network of horizon scanning organizations and guided the Foundation’s early stage idea generation efforts. Dr. Michelson also served as a Research Associate for the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and worked as a visiting researcher in the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation. He also developed public science and technology outreach and education programs as a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow at The National Academy of Sciences.

    Dr. Michelson is the author of Philanthropy and the Future of Science and Technology (2020), the first-of-its-kind book that provides a detailed assessment of the current state of science philanthropy and explores opportunities to further enhance the societal responsibility of these institutions going forward. He has also authored the book Assessing the Societal Implications of Emerging Technologies (2016), along with publishing numerous articles and book chapters in Nature Nanotechnology, Review of Policy Research, Science and Public Policy, Technology in Society, Public Administration Review, International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, Development, Foresight, Journal of Industrial Ecology, and The Innovation Imperative.

    Dr. Michelson received his Ph.D. from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. He also received a M.A. in international science and technology policy from The George Washington University, a M.A. in the philosophical foundations of physics from Columbia University, and a B.A. in philosophy of science from Brown University.

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