• David Edwards

    Inventor, and Harvard University Professor of the Practice of Idea Translation in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. 

    David Edwards explores new ways of delivering human health and wellness, often through the air, in drug, vaccine, food and scent forms, and with environmental sustainability, as in his edible packaging. His inventions have led to several companies and nonprofits, including Advanced Inhalation Research (purchased by Alkermes in 1999), Pulmatrix, Medicine in Need, AeroDesigns, WikiFood (now Incredible Foods), Quantum Designs, LabStore, Cafe ArtScience, Le Laboratoire. His latest companies are Sensory Cloud and oNotes, and RetrO.

    David’s ideas are often developed with artists, designers, chefs, perfumers, and students at Harvard University, where he teaches a special class How to Create Things & Have Them Matter in the Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences as Professor of the Practice of Ideas Translation.  David also writes fiction and nonfiction in English and French. His new book Creating Things That Matter will appear in October 2018 with Henry Holt.

    David is a founder of the World Frontiers Forum and the Frontier Art Prize. He has won many international awards including being honored as a Chevalier of Arts & Letters by the French Ministry of Culture, is a member of the National Academies of Engineering in the USA and France, and a member of the National Academy of Inventors (USA). His work has been covered in major international media including The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Le Figaro, Le Monde, The Times, The Independent, CBS News, ABC News, CNN, The New Yorker, and USA Today.

Related Video Conversations

  • Completed: June 5, 2018 EST

    The New Technologies of Scent and the Future of Food & Health

    Of all our senses, the sense of smell is probably the least studied and appreciated. However, in recent years our scientific understanding of how we perceive scents and what they do to our brains and immune systems has deepened. It turns out that scent accounts for around 80% of the experience of flavor, a dominant force in the experience and enjoyment of eating. We also are learning how scents clearly and directly affect our emotions. Some scents (even when you hardly perceive them) will pick you up and give you energy while others will help calm you down or take you to a remembered experience. Our deepening understanding has reached the point where a new wave of technologies is being developed by a new crop of startup companies that promise to make an impact on a range of industries from food and restaurants to health and wellness.

    Participants: David Edwards