Caleb Harper is a Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Director of the Open Agriculture (OpenAg) Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. He leads a diverse team of hardware and software engineers, plant scientists, dietitians and educators in the exploration and development of future food systems. Harper's lab is developing an open-source agricultural hardware, software and data common with the goal of creating a more distributed, transparent and collaborative food system.
Harper's academic research interests are in the areas of computationally based approaches to resource and biologic optimization in agricultural systems and products, and citizen science and project based STEM and STEAM education programs.
Harper is a National Geographic Explorer, a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) New Vision for Agriculture working group, a member of the Annenberg Foundation working group on food security, a board member of the open-source cellular agriculture non-profit New Harvest and an advisory board member of the USDA Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP) Smartpath.
Harper has been an invited lecturer at the Nobel Foundation, The Royal Society, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations World Food Program, and TED among others.
Harper's work has been featured on 60 Minutes, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, WIRED, Forbes, Popular Science, etc and has been published, exhibited or recognized with distinction by SCIENCE magazine, The Smithsonian Design Museum, The Buckminster Fuller Institute, The Aspen Institute, National Geographic, etc.