Wiener was awarded a Naval Reserve Officer's Training Course scholarship for study at Harvard College. He graduated magna cum laude with a summa thesis in economics and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. While at Harvard, he was president of the University Chess Club. Between his years at Harvard College (1953–1957) and Harvard Law School (1960–1963) he spent three years of sea duty as an Ensign/Lieutenant JG in the United States Navy (1957–1960).
Wiener was the founder and CEO of The Millburn Corporation, The Millburn Ridgefield Corporation, CommInVest (1977-1997) and ShareInVest (1982-1997). The Center for Social Policy of the Harvard Kennedy School, created at his recommendation to encompass programs in health, criminal justice, housing, education and inequality, is named in his honor. In 1982 he founded the Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP) and in 1984 the Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Foundation. He served from 1995 to 2010 as a Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and from 1985 to 2016 as a Trustee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the last five years as Chair of the Board. At the American School he proposed and funded the Wiener Laboratory for Archaeological Science.
Wiener is the author of numerous works on Aegean prehistory and the eastern Mediterranean in the Bronze Age. Several works have focused on the chronology of the Bronze Age Mediterranean world. His publication (2014) on “The Interaction of Climate Change and Agency in the Collapse of Civilizations ca. 2300–2000 B.C.” has attracted notice for its contribution to the history of climate change episodes in world history.
Wiener is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he chaired and authored the report of a CFR Independent Task Force on the subject of non-lethal technologies in point and crowd control and other missions. He also endowed the CFR Annual Lecture on Science and Technology.
Wiener has received seven honorary doctorates: Litt.D., University of Sheffield, 1997; Ph.D., Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, 1998; D., University of Athens, 1998; Dr. of Humane Letters, University of Cincinnati, 2007; D.Sc., University College London, 2009; D. Archaeology, Dickinson College, 2013; D.Sc., University of Arizona, 2014.
Wiener is a Fellow or Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Austrian Archaeological Institute, the German Archaeological Institute, the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, and the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. He has also received the Ring of Honour of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz, Germany. Additionally, he received the Bandelier Award for Public Service to Archaeology from the Archaeological Institute of America. In 2014, the Greek government bestowed upon him the Gold Cross of the Order of Honor.
“Crete and the Cyclades in LM I: The Tale of the Conical Cups”, The Minoan Thalassocracy: Myth and Reality, 1984
“Trade and Rule in Palatial Crete”, The Function of the Minoan Palaces, 1987
“The Isles of Crete? The Minoan Thalassocracy Revisited”, Thera and the Aegean World III, Vol. 1, Archaeology, 1990
“Round-Table Comments”, Aegean Seals, Sealings and Administration, Aegaeum 5, 1990
“The Nature and Control of Minoan Foreign Trade”, Bronze Age Trade in the Mediterranean, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology 90, 1991
Co-author (with James M. Allen), “Separate Lives: The Ahmose Tempest Stela and the Theran Eruption”, Journal of Near Eastern Studies Vol. 57, No. 1, January 1998
“The Absolute Chronology of Late Helladic IIIA2”, Sardinian and Aegean Chronology, 1998
“Present Arms / Oars / Ingots: Searching for Evidence of Military or Maritime Administration in LM IB”, POLEMOS: Le contexte guerrier en égée à l’âge du bronze, Aegaeum 19, 1999
“The White Slip I of Tell el-Dab‘a and Thera: Critical Challenge for the Aegean Long Chronology”, The White Slip Ware of Late Bronze Age Cyprus, Proceedings of an International Conference Organized by the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation, Nicosia in Honour of Malcolm H. Wiener, 2001
“Report on the Final General Discussion: Introductory Remarks”, LH III C Chronology and Synchronisms, 2003
“Time Out: The Current Impasse in Bronze Age Archaeological Dating”, METRON: Measuring the Aegean Bronze Age, Aegaeum 24, 2003
“The Absolute Chronology of the Late Helladic IIIA2 Revisited,” BSA 98, 2003
“Chronology Going Forward (With a Query about 1525/4 B.C.)”, Timelines: Studies in Honour of Manfred Bietak, 2006
“Pots and Polities”, Pottery and Society: The Impact of Recent Studies in Minoan Pottery, Gold Medal Colloquium in Honor of Philip P. Betancourt, 2006
“Egypt and Time”, Egypt and the Levant 16, 2006; Malcolm H. Wiener et al. (eds.), Pottery and Society, The Impact of Recent Studies in Minoan Pottery, Gold Medal Colloquium in Honor of Philip P. Betancourt, 104th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, New Orleans, Louisiana (5 January 2003), 2006
“Palatial Potters in Mycenaean Greece”, ΣΤΕΦΑΝΟΣ ΑΡΙΣΤΕΙΟΣ: Archäologische Forschungen zwischen Nil und Istros. Festschrift für Stefan Hiller zum 65. Geburtstag, 2007
“Times Change: The Current State of the Debate in Old World Chronology”, Proceedings of the 2nd EuroConference of “SCIEM 2000", 2007
“Homer and History: Old Questions, New Evidence”, EPOS: Reconsidering Greek Epic and Aegean Bronze Age Archaeology, Aegaeum 28, 2007
“Neopalatial Knossos: Rule and Role”, Krinoi kai Limenes: Studies in Honor of Joseph and Maria Shaw, 2007
“The State of the Debate about the Date of the Theran Eruption”, Time’s Up: Dating the Minoan Eruption of Santorini, 2009
“Cold Fusion: The Uneasy Alliance of History and Science” and Thera Discussion: “M.H. Wiener’s Reply to the Papers by Manning et al. and Friedrich et al.” and “M.H. Wiener’s Response to the Friedrich et al. and Manning et al. Responses”, Tree-Rings, Kings, and Old World Archaeology and Environment: Papers Presented in Honor of Peter Ian Kuniholm, 2009
“Locating Ahhiyawa”, ΔΩΡΟΝ: Τιμητικοσ Τομοσ για τον Καθηγητη Σπυρο Ιακωβιδη, 2009
“A Point in Time”, Cretan Offerings: Studies in Honour of Peter Warren (BSA Suppl. 18), 2010
“Carl William Blegen (1887–1971)”, “Sir Arthur John Evans (1851–1941)”, and “Mycenae”, Homer Encyclopedia, 2011
“Conical Cups: From Mystery to History”, Our Cups Are Full: Pottery and Society in the Aegean Bronze Age. Studies in Honor of Jeremy B. Rutter, 2011
“Problems in the Measurement, Calibration, Analysis and Communication of Radiocarbon Dates (with Special Reference to the Prehistory of the Aegean World)”, Proceedings of the 6th Radiocarbon and Archaeology International Symposium, Pafos, Cyprus, April 10-15, 2011, Radiocarbon 54, 2012
“ ‘Minding the Gap’ Gaps, Destructions and Migrations in the Early Bronze Age Aegean: Causes and Consequences”, AJA 117, 2013
“Realities of Power: The Minoan Thalassocracy in Historical Perspective”, AMILLA: The Quest for Excellence. Studies in honor of Guenter Kopcke, 2013
“Contacts: Crete, Egypt, and the Near East circa 2000 B.C.”, Cultures in Contact: From Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C., 2013
Co-author (with Jason W. Earle), “Radiocarbon Dating of the Theran Eruption”, Proceedings of the 38th International Symposium on Archaeometry, May 10th–14th 2010, Tampa, Florida. Open Journal of Archaeometry Vol. 2:5265, 2014
“The Interaction of Climate Change and Agency in the Collapse of Civilizations ca. 2300-2000 BC“, Radiocarbon 56(4) / Tree-Ring Research 70(3), 2014, S1-16
“Dating the Emergence of Historical Israel in Light of Recent Developments in Egyptian Chronology”, Tel Aviv 41, 2014
“Dating the Theran Eruption: Archaeological Science Versus Nonsense Science”, Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective, 2015, pp. 131-143
“The Mycenaean Conquest of Minoan Crete”, The Great Islands: Studies of Crete and Cyprus Presented to Gerald Cadogan, 2015, pp. 131-142
“Aegean Warfare at the Opening of the Late Bronze Age in Image and Reality”, METAPHYSIS. Ritual, Myth and Symbolism in the Aegean Bronze Age, Aegaeum 39, 2016, pp. 139-146
“Picasso and the Cuban Missile Crisis”, Apollo, October 2001
“The Antitrust and Opinions of Judge Learned Hand: the Court as Economist” (Harvard University Thesis, privately printed)
“Oh, No—Not Another Chronology!”, The Art and Culture of Ancient Egypt: Studies in Honor of Dorothea Arnold, Bulletin of the Egyptological Seminar, Vol. 19, 2015
“Il Mondo Miceneo e Omero”, Manuale di epigrafia micenea, Introduzione allo studio dei testi in lineare B, Vol. 1, 2016, pp. 23-50
“Helladic Pairs of Cups”, Studies in Aegean Art and Culture, A New York Aegean Bronze Age Colloquium in Memory of Ellen N. Davis, 2016, pp. 11-26
“Causes of Complex Systems Collapse at the End of the Bronze Age”, “Sea Peoples” Up-to-Date, New Research on Transformation in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 13th-11th Centuries BCE, Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2017
“The Depopulation of Late Minoan Crete: Contexts and Causes”
“Beyond the Versailles Effect: Mycenaean Greece and Minoan Crete”