George Dyson (science historian)
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012)|
George Dyson at The Long Now Foundation, San Francisco, 2005
|Born||1953 (age 59–60)
Ithaca, New York
|Nationality||American and Canadian|
|Occupation||science historian, writer, boat designer, builder|
George Dyson (born 1953) is an author and historian of technology whose publications broadly cover the evolution of technology in relation to the physical environment and the direction of society. He has written on a wide range of topics including the history of computing, the development of algorithms and intelligence, communication systems, space exploration, and the design of water craft.
Lecturing widely at academic institutions, corporations, and tech conferences, Dyson gives a historical context to the evolution of technology in modern society and provides thought-provoking ideas on the directions in which technology and the Internet might develop.
George Dyson is the son of the theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson and mathematician Verena Huber-Dyson, the brother of Esther Dyson, and the grandson of the British composer Sir George Dyson. Dyson's early life is described in Kenneth Brower's book The Starship and the Canoe. When he was sixteen he went to live in British Columbia to pursue his interest in kayaking. From 1972-1975, he lived in a treehouse at a height of 30 metres that he built from salvaged materials on the shore of Burrard Inlet. Dyson became a Canadian citizen and spent 20 years in British Columbia, designing kayaks, researching historic voyages and native peoples, and exploring the Inside Passage.
He is the author of Project Orion: The Atomic Spaceship 1957-1965 and Darwin Among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence, in which he expands upon the premise of Samuel Butler's 1863 article of the same name and suggests that the Internet is a living, sentient being. His book Turing's Cathedral (2012) has been described as "a creation myth of the digital universe" and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times 2012 Book Prize in the science and technology category.
Dyson was a visiting lecturer and research associate at Western Washington University's Fairhaven College and was Director’s Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, in 2002-03. He is a frequent contributor to the Edge Foundation.
He lives and works in Bellingham, Washington and is the father of Lauren Dyson.
- Baidarka the Kayak, 1986, Alaska Northwest Books, ISBN 0-88240-315-X
- Darwin Among the Machines, 1997, Basic Books (USA) & Allan Lane Science (UK), ISBN 0-7382-0030-1
- Project Orion: The Atomic Spaceship 1957-1965, 2002, Allan Lane Science, ISBN 0-7139-9267-0
- Turing's Cathedral, 2012, Pantheon, ISBN 0-375-42277-3
- Brower, K. (1978) The Starship and the Canoe, ISBN 978-0-03-039196-5. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
- Maslin, Janet (June 10, 2012). "The summer's books offer good reads for just about every taste". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- Kellogg, Carolyn (February 20, 2013). "Announcing the 2012 L.A. Times Book Prize finalists". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
- George Dyson discusses Turing's Cathedral at Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA, 2012
- Biography and articles from Edge.org
- George Dyson's Flickr Photostream
- Dyson, Baidarka & Company (Flickr Photostream by Thomas Gotchy)
- George Dyson's Mother, Verena Huber-Dyson
- A lecture by George Dyson on "von Neumann's universe"
- Engineers' Dreams
- TED Talks: George Dyson at the birth of the computer at TED
- TED Talks: George Dyson on Project Orion at TED