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Change Leaders Directory

Science and Research
Including: Models of accelerating change in cosmology, biology, human history, and technology. Growth metrics in computation, communication, and systems theory.

These distinguished thought- and change-leaders are not affiliated with ASF, but where we have contact information, they are all formally invited to attend our annual conference, Accelerating Change. Others to suggest? Please let us know. Potential candidates should have published work that deals uniquely, incisively and pragmatically with some scientific, technological, business, or social dimension of accelerating change.

Female and underrepresented minority leaders are listed in green, and international leaders in orange. Accompanying each individual's entry are sample publications, and occasional ASF comments regarding topics of interest for future Accelerating Change or Acceleration Studies conferences. Each leader has been categorized on the basis of our subjective assessment, from a small sample of their work. All may contact us to edit, recategorize, multiply categorize, or delist their entries at any time.

Comment on "Intelligent Design." A few of the individuals listed below have been cited as working in the area of "Intelligent Design (ID)." Unfortunately this term has been coopted by groups (like FTE and Mere Creation), who are seeking to advance Christian religious agendas, and can no longer be used to describe the promising but early post-Darwinian models of several of the researchers below. Scientific efforts to understand the nonrandom "intelligence" of the universe originally grew out of anthropic cosmology theory, models posited by Fred Hoyle, Martin Rees, Lee Smolin, Frank Tipler, and many others to better characterize the apparent uniqueness of the initial conditions and emergent laws at the origin of our universe. Such models put boundaries or constraints on the random Darwinian paradigm in explaining macroscopic change, both in biology and other complex systems. They are important early attempts to describe the "bounded randomness" that we observe in all complex systems. They are within the domain of science as they are increasingly testable and falsifiable by our emerging sciences of simulation. Emergent developments that appear to be coded in the genes of an evolutionary developmental universe can from some perspectives be called "design". But the word design may also connote the idea of an embodied, supernatural designer, even though we have good evidence that all our splendid biological "design" was self-organized, over multiple successive cyclings, within an evolutionary developmental environment. In summary, given the current social context, we think it best to avoid using the words "design" and "intelligent design" when discussing post-Darwinian models of change. We prefer the phrases evolution and development, and the phrase "evolutionary development" to describe the synthesis of these two perspectives on change. The phrase "self-organization" is also often seen in the literature, and seems useful when defined as cyclicly tuned development within an evolutionary developmental environment.

Ralph Abraham (1996)
            Evolution and morphogenesis of the world wide web.
Fred Adams, The Five Ages of the Universe, 1999; Origins of Existence, 2002
Reka Albert
            Power laws and internet growth
Wallace Arthur, Evolutionary Devel. Biologist, U. Sunderland, UNITED KINGDOM. Homepage.
            The Origin of Animal Body Plans, 2000
Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Physics, University of Notre Dame. Network Theory.
            Fractal Concepts in Surface Growth, 1995; Linked: The New Science of Networks, 2003
John Barrow, Applied Math and Theor. Physics, U. Cambridge, UNITED KINGDOM. Homepage.
            The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, 1986; Pi in the Sky, 1993;
            Impossibility: The Science of Limits, 1999;
            The Book of Nothing, 2002; The Constants of Nature, 2003
            The Universe that Discovered Itself, 2000
Bela Balazs, Physicist, Eotvos Lorand U, HUNGARY. Homepage
           Dynamical Astronomy, 1986
           "The Role of Life in the Cosmological Replication Cycle", 2001
Stafford Beer [Deceased 2002], Management Science/Operations Research; Cybernetics Theorist.
            Decision and Control, 1966 (Classic); Management Science, 1967; Cybernetics and Management, 1967;
            Automaton Theory and Learning Systems, D.J. Stewart (Ed.), 1967;
            VSM Trilogy: Brain of the Firm, 1994; The Heart of Enterprise, 1995; Diagnosing the System for Organizations, 1995
            Platform for Change, 1995; Beyond Dispute, 1994; Designing Freedom, 1995
            Viable System Model, Raul Espejo, 1989;
Susan Blackmore, The Meme Machine, 1999
Daniel R. Brooks (Evolution as Entropy, 1988)
            The relation between energy, information flow, and entropy
Otavio Bueno. Philosophy, USC. Old homepage. New homepage.
            Logical and mathematical indeterminacy. Constraints on self-reproducing automata.
William Calvin (The Cerebral Code, How Brains Think, The River that Flows Uphill
            The Throwing Madonna)
John Casti, Mathematician, SFI. Homepage.
            Connectivity, Complexity, and Catastrophe in Large-Scale Systems, 1979
            Paradigms Lost, 1990; Complexification, 1995; Would-Be Worlds, 1996;
            Five Golden Rules, 1997; Five More Golden Rules, 2000; Paradigms Regained, 2001
Edward Castronova, Virtual Worlds Economist, Indiana U. Homepage. Arden Institute.
            Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games, 2005.
Eric Chaisson, Physicist, Tufts U. Homepage.
            The Life Era
, 1987; Cosmic Dawn, 2000; Astronomy Today, 2001
           Cosmic Evolution: The Rise of Complexity in Nature
, 2001
            Free Energy Rate Density as a Driver of Universal Change
Don Chamberlin, IBM Almaden, and ACM Fellow. Workpage.
            "Sharing Our Planet" from Beyond Calculation: The Next 50 Years of Computing, 1997
Peter Cheeseman, NASA Ames Computational Sciences Division Automated Learning Group.
            Collective intelligence, unsupervised baysian classification, and other automated learning tools
Jack Cohen
            The Collapse of Chaos, 1995
            Parochials vs. universals; Evolution vs. development
John Collier (AUSTRALIA)
           Autonomy, Hierarchical Systems Theory.
Ramon Compano (BELGIUM)
            Nanoforecasting with science and technology indicators, Nanotechnology 13, 2002
Richard Coren
            The Evolutionary Trajectory, 1998
Gregory Chaitin, Mathematician, IBM Research. Homepage.
            Information, Randomness, and Incompleteness, 1987; The Unknowable, 1999;
            Exploring Randomness, 2001
            The Limits of Mathematics, 1997
Paul Davies, Philosophy, Macquarie U, AUSTRALIA. Homepage.
            God and the New Physics, 1984; The Cosmic Blueprint, 1989; The New Physics, 1992;
            The Mind of God, 1993; The Fifth Miracle/The Origin of Life, 1999;
Christian deDuve (Vital Dust: Life as Cosmic Imperative, 1995)
            Arguments for the statistical inevitability of life in the universe
Daniel Dennett (Brain Children, Consciousness Explained)
Michael Denton, Evolution, 1996; Nature's Destiny, 1998
            Understanding developmentalism: moving beyond the orthodox Darwinist paradigm
D.J. Depew (and B.H. Weber)
(Entropy, Information, & Evolution, 1988; Darwinism Evolving, 1995;)
            Beyond darwinism: developmental self-organization
David Deutsch, ENGLAND. The Fabric of Reality, 1998
            Ensemble theory and the quantum multiverse
Keith Devlin, CSLI, Stanford U. Homepage.
            Goodbye, Descartes, 1998; Life by the Numbers, 1999; Mathematics, 2001;
            The Math Gene, 2001; InfoSense, 2001; The Millennium Problems, 2002
            Data, information, knowledge, and meaning; Non-cartesian intelligence.
Dan Fiscus. Homepage.
            Ecosystemics, interdependence, and intelligence
Ed Fredkin.
            Digital physics and the limits of computation
Ronald F. Fox (Energy and the Evolution of Life, 1988) Homepage.
            Energetics and evolution; Biogenesis.
James Gardner
            Biocosm, 2003; The Intelligent Universe, 2007
            The Selfish Biocosm Hypothesis (SBH).
Susantha Goonatilake, New School for Soc. Research. Homepage.
            The Evolution of Information, 1992; Merged Evolution, 1999; Toward a Global Science, 2000
            The evolution of information; Infotech and biotech convergence.
John Gribbin, Cosmic Coincidences (with Martin Rees), 1989; In the Beginning, 1994;
            Hyperspace, 2001
F.J. Hahne (1983)
            Phase transitions and critical phenomena
Herman Haken (Synergetics, 1978)
            Cooperative phenomena and self-organization
Charles Hall (after Howard Odum, U. Florida. (Deceased 9.2002)). Homepage.
            H. Odum: Energy Basis for Man and Nature, 1981; Ecological and General Systems, 1994;
            Modeling for All Scales
, 2000; The Prosperous Way Down, 2001; The Wealth of Nature, 2003
            Charles Hall: Ecosystem Modeling in Theory and Practice, 1990
            Maximum Power: The Ideas of H.T.Odum,1995; Quantifying Sustainable Development, 2000
            Lotka's maximum power principle: evidence and validation challenges
Robin Hanson
            Long term growth as series of exponential modes
Edward Harrison, Physicist, U. Mass (ret).
            Cosmology, 2000; Masks of the Universe, 2003
            "The Natural Selection of Universes Containing Intelligent Life," QJRAS, 36:193, 1995
Francis Heylighen
            Metasystems transition theory; Emergence of a global brain
Douglas Hofstadter, Godel, Escher, & Bach, 1980/99; Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies, 1996
            Metamagical Themas, 1996; The Mind's I, 1981/2001
            Fluidity of Self, Consciousness and the Perception of Time
Wolfgang Hofkirchner (The Quest for a Unified Theory of Information, 1999)
            Toward an integrated understanding of the information sciences
John Holland, Adaptation in Natural and Artificial Systems, 1976/92; Hidden Order, 1995;
            Emergence, 1998
R. Jervis (System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life, 1997)
            Complexity in political and social life
Norman Johnson (
            Diversity, symbiotic intelligence, and the web
Michio Kaku (Hyperspace, Visions)
Stuart Kauffman (Origins of Order, At Home in the Universe, Investigations)
            The Biocosmology Hypothesis (PDF)
John Koza, Exec. Board, ISGEC. Homepage.
            (Genetic Programming: On the Programming of Computers by Means of Nat. Selection,1992;
            Genetic Programming II: Automatic Discovery of Reusable Programs, 1994;
            Genetic Programming III: Automatic Programming and Automatic Circuit Synthesis, 1999;
            coming: Genetic Programming IV: Routine Human-Competitive Machine Intelligence, 2003)
            Biologically-inspired computing; Evolutionary computation, genetic algorithms, ev. hardware.
Greg Laughlin, The Five Ages of the Universe, 1999
Christopher Leidich, NASA Ames Computational Science Division, Autonomy & Robotics.
            Autonomy trends in robotics; Model-based diagnosis, planning, and spacecraft.
Andrei Linde, Particle Physics and Inflationary Cosmology, 1990;
            Science and Religion in Search of Cosmic Purpose, 2000
            Inflation and the multiverse
Mario Livio, The Accelerating Universe, 2000; The Golden Ratio, 2003
            Acceleration cosmology; The Kerrigan problem
Seth Lloyd,
            "Moore's Law and the Ultimate Laptop,", July, 2000
            "Ultimate Physical Limits to Computation" Nature, 31 August, 2000
            Universal limits of computation
William Lowenstein (The Touchstone of Life, 1999)
            Molecular, cellular, and organismic communication; Information flow in living systems
Klaus Mainzer (Thinking in Complexity, 1994)
            Microscopic nonlinear interactions; Macroscopic emergent phenomena
Lynn Margulis (Symbiotic Planet, 1998)
            Symbiosis and competition
Wil McCarthy, Engineer; Sci-Fi and Non-Fiction Author. Homepage.
            Hacking Matter: Levitating Chairs, Quantum Mirages, and the Infinite Weirdness of Programmable Atoms, 2003
Daniel McShea, Homepage. Review of Chaisson's Cosmic Evolution
            Empirical approaches to organismic complexity
Stephen Meyer, The Cambrian Information Explosion: Evidence for Evolutionary Development (ED)
            Developmental body plans and the Cambrian explosion: beyond neo-Darwinism
Comment: ED is a new paradigm for macroscopic change that is also increasingly a testable theory, through our emerging sciences of simulation. Classical neo-Darwinists presently have no good models for why only 35 body plans emerged during the Cambrian Explosion, and more importantly, why no new body plans have emerged in the 500 million years since. Evolutionary developmental biologists and theorists, on the other hand, can offer valuable insights into this saturation of innovation, by explaining it as an inevitable process of developmental path dependency.
Marvin Minsky, Computer Scientist, MIT (Emeritus)
Society of Mind, 1988
            "Will Robots Inherit the Earth?," Scientific American, 1994
            Universals vs. parochials
Simon Morris (Crucible of Creation, 1998)
            Convergent evolution
Paul Nelson, On Common Descent, 2003
            Ontogenetic depth as a complexity metric for the Cambrian explosion
Clifford Pickover, Author in Science, Computer Science, Math, Culture, and Science Fiction. Homepage.
            Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction [actually, Divination], 2001
            Surfing through Hyperspace, 1999
            And approximately 30 other mind-stretching books on the above topics.
Rudolf Raff, Evolutionary Developmental Biologist, Indiana U. Homepage.
            Time, Space, and Pattern in Embryonic Development, 1983;
            Development as an Evolutionary Process, 1987; Embryos, Genes, and Evolution, 1991;
            The Shape of Life, 1996
Michel Rascle, Mathematician, Nice U., FRANCE. Homepage.
            "Finite-time Blowup in Some Models of Chemotaxis," J. Math. Biol.(33), 1995
Martin Rees, Physicist, Cambridge U., UNITED KINGDOM.
            Our Cosmic Habitat, 2003
Before the Beginning, 1998; Just Six Numbers, 2000
Rudy Rucker, Mathematician and Computer Scientist, SJSU. Homepage.
Mind Tools, 1988; Infinity and the Mind, 1995; The Fourth Dimension, 1985; Seek!, 1999;
            Software Engineering and Computer Games, 2002
            Geometry, Relativity, and the Fourth Dimension, 1977
Stanley Salthe, Evolutionary Developmental Biologist, CUNY Brooklyn. Homepage.
Evolving Hierarchical Systems, 1985;
            Development and Evolution, 1993; Evolutionary Systems, 1998
            Developmentalism and infodynamics: a new paradigm of universal change
Terrence Sejnowski, Neural Network Models, 1987;
            Neural Codes and Distributed Representations, 1999; Liars, Lovers and Heroes, 2002
Cosma Shalizi, SFI and U Michigan. Homepage.
            Self-organization, complexity, automata, and computational mechanics
Seth Shostak, Sharing the Universe, 1998; Life in the Universe, 2002
            SETI and astrobiology
Tom Siegfried, Science Writer (Information Theory, M-Theory)
            (Bit and the Pendulum; Strange Matters)
John Smart,
            Accelerating change; Evolutionary development
Vaclav Smil (General Energetics, 1991; Energies, 1999; Cycles of Life, 2000;
            The Earth's Biosphere, 2002. Homepage.
            Relative energy comparisons; Energy as a change metric.
Lee Smolin, Theoretical Physicist, Perimeter Institute.
            Three Roads to Quantum Gravity, 2001
            The Life of the Cosmos, 1997
            Cosmological natural selection: an evolutionary developmental model
Didier Sornette
  Critical Phenomena in Natural Sciences, 2000;Why Stock Markets Crash, 2002;
            Singularities and critical phenomena in complex systems
Julian Clinton (Clint) Sprott, Physicist, Complex Systems Theorist. Homepage.
            Chaos and Time Series Analysis, 2003
Ian StewartMathematician, Warwick U, UNITED KINGDOM. Homepage.
Life's Other Secret, 1999
            Figments of Reality, 1997
            Parochials vs. universals, Evolution vs. development
Leonard Susskind, Theoretical Physicist, Stanford University
            An Introduction to Black Holes, Information, and the String Theory Revolution, 2004; The Cosmic Landscape, 2005
            Comment: Discoverer of string theory, the string theory of black hole entropy, the principle of "black hole complementarity", the holographic principle, the matrix description of M-theory, the introduction of holographic entropy bounds in cosmology, and the idea of an anthropic string theory landscape.
Rod Swenson
            Maximum entropy production (MEP) principle
            (Maximum energy gradient destruction principle of Schneider and Kay)
Frank Tipler, The Physics of Immortality, 1995
            Anthropic cosmology; the 'Omega computer.'
A.F.J. van Raan (2000)
            Growth, ageing, and fractal differentiation of science.
Duncan Watts, Small Worlds, 1999; Six Degrees, 2003
Jeffrey Wicken
            Evolution, Thermodynamics, & Information: Extending the Darwinian Program, 1987)
            Physical mechanisms of information production
E.O. Wilson, Sociobiology, 1978/2000; Biophilia, 1986; Consilience, 1999
            Pioneering conservationist, sociobiologist, and integral thinker with regard to the value of biodiversity and sustainability to the human future.
Stephen Wolfram, Founder and CEO, Wolfram Research (Mathematica). Complexity Scholar.
            Author, Cellular Automata and Complexity, 1994; A New Kind of Science, 2002
            Simulation; Universal cellular automata as a developmental framework

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