Society & Environment

The Future of Human Nature: A Symposium on the Promises and Challenges of the Revolutions in Genomics and Computer Science (Conference): Participants’ Biographies and Contact Information


Series: Pardee Center Conference Series
Dates: April 10, 11, and 12, 2003
Location: Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Boston University, Boston, MA

Participants’ Biographies and Contact Information

George Annas

Edward R. Utley Professor and Chair, Department of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights,
Boston University School of Public Health
Professor of Sociomedical Science and Community Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law
Boston University School of Public Health
715 Albany Street
Boston, MA 02215

George Annas is the cofounder of Global Lawyers and Physicians, a transnational professional association of lawyers and physicians working together to promote human rights and health. He has degrees from Harvard College (AB, economics ’67), Harvard Law School (JD ’70), and Harvard School of Public Health (MPH ’72). He is the author or editor of twelve books on health law, the most recent being Some Choice: Law, Medicine & the Market (1998), and Health and Human Rights (1999, coedited). Professor Annas has appeared on 60 Minutes, Nightline, Frontline, Today, and Good Morning America as well as the nightly news programs of NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox.

Professor Annas is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the Institute of Medicine, co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Medical Practice and Medical Research (Science and Technology Section) and the Committee on Health Rights and Bioethics (Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section), and an honorary fellow of the American College of Legal Medicine. For five years, he was the director of the Boston University School of Law’s Center for Law and Health Sciences. Professor Annas teaches bioethics.

Robert C. Berwick

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Professor of Computational Linguistics;
Vinton Hayes Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dept of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02138

Professor Berwick conducts research in computational and systems biology at MIT.

His goal is to use applied mathematical and modeling principles to develop abstract models for complex biological systems. He is working towards understanding the relationship among genotype, environment, and phenotype, and developing a synthetic approach to modeling biological systems. He holds a PhD in computer science from MIT.

David Campbell

Provost ad interim; Dean, College of Engineering, Boston University
Boston University
One Sherborn Street
Boston, MA 02215

Professor Campbell was appointed Provost ad interim of Boston University in July 2004 and he is also Dean of the College of Engineering.

Professor Campbell received his bachelor’s degree in physics and chemistry from Harvard College in 1966, Part III Mathematics Tripos, with distinction, from Cambridge University (England) in 1967, and his PhD in theoretical physics and applied mathematics from Cambridge in 1970. He has pioneered the systematic study of inherently nonlinear phenomena throughout physics. The central theme of his work is the role of nonlinear excitations—solitons—in novel states of matter. Professor Campbell is a leader in the emerging field of nonlinear science. His influential overview articles and his direction of the flagship journal, Chaos, of which he was the founding editor, have established key interdisciplinary organizing principles—the paradigms of solitons, chaos, and patterns—and have played a seminal role in defining the research agenda in nonlinear science.

Charles Cantor

Professor, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, Boston University
Professor of Pharmacology, Boston University School of Medicine
ENG Biomedical Engineering
Boston University
36 Cummington Street
Boston, MA 02215

Charles Cantor is one of the pioneers of the Human Genome Project. He is a bioterrorism expert, Chairman of Sequenom, Inc.’s Scientific Advisory Board, and was appointed Chief Scientific Officer in June 1998. Dr. Cantor was previously the chair and professor of the department of biomedical engineering and biophysics, and director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology at Boston University, and his research laboratory here remains active. Prior to this Dr. Cantor was chairman at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, and Professor of Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley. He was also director of the Human Genome Center Project of the Department of Energy at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Dr. Cantor is a consultant to more than 16 biotech firms, has published more than 325 peer reviewed articles, been granted 26 U.S. patents, and co-authored a three-volume textbook on biophysical chemistry. He recently completed the first genomics textbook, Genomics: The Science and Technology of the Human Genome Project.

Dr. Cantor’s research is focused on identifying biological problems that are resistant to conventional analytical approaches and then developing new methodologies or techniques for solving these problems. His current interests include the development of new methods for faster DNA sequencing, the development of new variations and analogs of the polymerase chain reaction, the development of bacterial strains suitable for environmental detoxification, and the discovery of human genes associated with sense and taste. He is also interested in exploring the possible use of biological molecules for applications in nanoengineering and microrobotics, and in making detectors capable of recognizing specific single molecules.

George Church

Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University
Director, Lipper Center for Computational Genetics
Genetics NRB Room 238
Harvard Medical School
77 Ave. Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115

George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Lipper Center for Computational Genetics. He began research at Duke University during and after his BA in chemistry and zoology, co-authoring research on 3D-structural software and tRNA with Sung-Hou Kim. He completed his PhD at Harvard in biochemistry and molecular biology with Walter Gilbert, developing the first direct genomic sequencing method in 1984. In that year he helped initiate the Human Genome Project. He was then a Research Scientist at newly formed Biogen Inc. and a Monsanto Life Sciences Research Fellow at UCSF. Dr. Church later helped found the Stanford, MIT, and Waltham Genome Centers. He invented the broadly applied concepts of molecular multiplexing and tags, homologous recombination methods, and array DNA synthesizers. Technology transfer of automated sequencing and annotation software to Genome Therapeutics Corp. resulted in the first genome sequence sold commercially (the human pathogen, H. pylori). He is on advisory boards including Caliper Technologies, Genome Pharmaceuticals, Beyond-Genomics, and various scientific journals. Professor Church’s research focuses on integrating biosystems-modeling with high-throughput data for haplotypes, RNA arrays, proteomics, and metabolites. The goal is more accurate and automated genomic biomedical and ecological engineering.

Charles DeLisi

Senior Associate Provost for Biosciences; Arthur G. B. Metcalf Professor of Science and Engineering;
and Dean Emeritus, College of Engineering, Boston University
Boston University
48 Cummington Street
Boston, MA 02215

Charles DeLisi has made seminal computational and mathematical contributions to immunology, genomics, and macromolecular structure. He was Dean of the College of Engineering at Boston University from 1999 to 2000 and is currently Senior Associate Provost for Biosciences and Director of the All-University Doctoral Program in Bioinformatics. Before moving to Boston, he was Professor and Chair of Biomathematical Sciences at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Director of the Department of Energy’s Health and Environmental Research Programs, and Chief of Theoretical Immunology at NIH. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Presidential Citizens

Medal from President Clinton for initiating the Human Genome Project.

David Fromkin

Director, Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future
Frederick S. Pardee Professor of the Longer-Range Future; University Professor; Professor of International Relations, History, and Law, Boston University
Boston University
67 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215

Professor Fromkin served for three years as a First Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Army, stationed in Verdun, France, where he was a trial observer in French courts pursuant to the NATO Status of Forces Agreement. As prosecutor and defense counsel, he fought more than one hundred contested courts martial. He began his civilian career as an associate of the Wall Street law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett. After a varied career in law, business, and politics, he turned to writing works of history and studies of world politics. His shorter pieces have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, and other publications. He is the author of seven books, including the national bestseller A Peace to End All Peace (1989), chosen by the editors of the New York Times Book Review as one of the dozen best books of the year and shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent book, published in March 2004, is Europe’s Last Summer: Who Started the Great War in 1914? He has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1976.

Professor Fromkin is also the Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and the Center’s first Frederick S. Pardee Professor of Future Studies. In addition, Professor Fromkin holds appointments as a University Professor and Professor of International Relations, History, and Law. He served three years as the director of the Center for International Relations and chairman of the Department of International Relations at Boston University.

Anthony Gottlieb

Executive Editor of The Economist and Editor of
The Economist
111 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

Anthony Gottlieb joined The Economist in 1984, and became executive editor of the magazine and editor of in 1997. He studied philosophy at Cambridge University and University College London, has been a visiting fellow at Harvard, and writes regularly on philosophy for the New York Times Book Review. He has been Britain Correspondent, Science Correspondent, Science and Technology Editor, Surveys Editor, and Editor of Economist TV. Gottlieb is author of The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance (2001).

Evelyn Fox Keller

Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Room E51-185
Cambridge, MA 02139

Evelyn Fox Keller received her PhD in theoretical physics at Harvard University. She came to MIT from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric, History, and Women’s Studies (1988–1992). She is now Professor of History and Philosophy of Science in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT and serves on the editorial boards of various journals including the Journal of the History of Biology and Biology and Philosophy. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and numerous honorary degrees. She is best known as a feminist critic of science.

Professor Keller’s research focuses on the history and philosophy of modern biology and on gender and science. She is the author of numerous articles, and her books include A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock (1983), Reflections on Gender and Science (1985), Secrets of Life/Secrets of Death: Essays on Language, Gender and Science (1992), and Refiguring Life: Metaphors of Twentieth-century Biology (1995). Her book The Century of the Gene was published in October 2000, and her most recent manuscript, Making Sense of Life: Explaining Biological Development with Models, Metaphors and Machines, appeared in April 2002.

Daniel Kevles

Stanley Woodward Professor of History, Department of History, Yale University
Yale University
P.O. Box 208324
New Haven, CT 06520-8324

Daniel Kevles works at the intersection of the history of science and American history since the mid-nineteenth century. His current research interests include the interplay of science and society past and present, the history of science in America, the history of modern physics, the history of modern biology, and scientific fraud and misconduct. His courses include science and technology in American society, nuclear America, biology and society, and the engineering and ownership of life. He is the author of The Physicists (1978); In the Name of Eugenics (1985); and The Baltimore Case (1998); a coeditor of The Code of Codes (1992); and a coauthor of Inventing America: A History of the United States (2002). He is Director of Graduate Studies for History of Science and is currently writing a history of intellectual property in living organisms. Professor Kevles holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a PhD in history from Princeton University. He also studied European history at Oxford.

Kenneth Lewes

Psychoanalyst and Author

Dr. Lewes is an independent scholar who maintains a private psychoanalytic practice in New York City. He was educated at Cornell University and later received a PhD in Renaissance English literature from Harvard University and another PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. He taught for several years in the English Department of Rutgers University.

Dr. Lewes is the author of The Psychoanalytic Theory of Male Homosexuality (1988), which is still in print, having been republished as part of Jason Aronson’s “Masterworks Series” under the title Psychoanalysis and Male Homosexuality. The book has won several awards. He sits on the board of editors of several psychoanalytic journals and is a frequent reviewer of books on psychoanalysis, literary history, homosexuality, and gender representation. He is the author of numerous articles and reviews. His particular interests include psychoanalysis and creativity, homosexuality, and literary history.

Lynn Margulis

Distinguished University Professor, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts
Member, National Academy of Sciences
Department of Geosciences
University of Massachusetts
233 Morrill Science Center
611 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-9297

Professor Margulis began her undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago and went on to earn her PhD at the University of California at Berkeley. By 1970 she was an associate professor at Boston University. It was then that she wrote the most comprehensive account of her ideas: The Origin of Eukaryotic Cells. In 1981, Margulis published Symbiosis in Cell Evolution, a new version of the thesis in her first book. It marked a definite turning point in the acceptance of the symbiotic theory. Over the years her activities have spanned from original contributions to cell biology and microbial evolution to developing science teaching materials and hands-on garbage and trash projects in elementary schools. From 1977 to 1980, she chaired the National Academy of Sciences’ Space Science Board Committee on Planetary Biology and Chemical Evolution to aid in developing research strategies for NASA. Extremely interested in Archean and Proterozoic evolution, her research now focuses on the serial endosymbiotic theory of the origin of cells, study of life cycles and sediment impact of the inhabitants of microbial mats, and theoretical aspects of James E. Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis. Professor Margulis was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1983. The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., announced in 1998 that it will permanently archive her papers. Her publications, which span a range of scientific topics, include original contributions to cell biology and microbial evolution. She is best known for her theory of symbiogenesis, which challenges a central tenet of neodarwinism. At present she works on the possible origin of cilia from spirochetes.

Marvin Minsky

Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Media Laboratory
Building E15
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

A philosopher and scientist, Marvin Minsky is universally regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities in the field of artificial intelligence, having made fundamental contributions in the sectors of robotics and computer-aided learning technologies. In recent years he has worked chiefly on imparting to machines the human capacity for common-sense reasoning. His book Society of Mind is considered a basic text for exploring intellectual structure and function, and for understanding the diversity of the mechanisms interacting in intelligence and thought.

He received the BA and PhD in mathematics at Harvard and Princeton. In 1951 he built the SNARC, the first neural network simulator. His other inventions include mechanical hands and other robotic devices, the confocal scanning microscope, the “Muse” synthesizer for musical variations (with E. Fredkin), and the first LOGO “turtle” (with S. Papert). A member of the NAS, NAE, and Argentine NAS, he has received the ACM Turing Award, the MIT Killian Award, the Japan Prize, the IJCAI Research Excellence Award, the Rank Prize and the Robert Wood Prize for Optoelectronics, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal.

Christine Peterson

Foresight Institute
P.O. Box 61058
Palo Alto, CA 94306 USA

Christine Peterson writes, lectures, and briefs the media on coming powerful technologies, especially nanotechnology. She is cofounder and president of Foresight Institute, a nonprofit which educates the public, technical community, and policymakers on nanotechnology and its long-term effects.

She directs the Foresight Conferences on Molecular Nanotechnology, organizes the Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes, and chairs the Foresight Gatherings.

She lectures on nanotechnology to a wide variety of audiences, focusing on making this complex field understandable, and on clarifying the difference between near-term commercial advances and the “Next Industrial Revolution” arriving in the next few decades.

Her work is motivated by a desire to help Earth’s environment and traditional human communities avoid harm and instead benefit from expected dramatic advances in technology. This goal of spreading benefits led to an interest in new varieties of intellectual property, including open source software, a term she is credited with originating.

Wearing her for-profit hat, she works with Freedom Technology Ventures LLC to advise investors on evaluating startups in nanotech and other key technologies and to help entrepreneurs improve their plans and locate funding. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Alameda Capital.

Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from MIT.

Steven Pinker

Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
Harvard University
William James Hall
33 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist who is interested in all aspects of language and mind.

For the past fifteen years his research has focused on the distinction between irregular verbs like bring-brought and regular verbs like walk-walked.

Professor Pinker received his bachelor’s degree from McGill University in 1976 and his PhD in psychology from Harvard in 1979. After teaching at MIT for 21 years, he returned to Harvard in 2003 as the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology. Pinker’s experimental research on cognition and language won the Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences and two prizes from the American Psychological Association. Professor Pinker also serves on numerous editorial and advisory boards, including the Usage Panel of The American Heritage Dictionary and the scientific advisory board for “The Decade of Behavior.” He has appeared in many television documentaries and writes frequently in the popular press, including in The New York Times, Time, and Slate, and is also a Humanist Laureate and the recipient of three honorary doctorates.

Stanley Rosen

Borden Parker Bowne Professor of Philosophy; University Professor, Boston University
College of Arts and Sciences, Philosophy Department
Boston University
745 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Professor Rosen specializes in the history of philosophy, metaphysics, social and political philosophy, and contemporary thought. Prior to coming to Boston University in the fall of 1994, Stanley Rosen was Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University. He has also taught as a visiting professor at the University of California in San Diego, the University of Nice, and the Scuola Superiore in Pisa.

Professor Rosen has published fourteen books, the first a volume of poems, the others on subjects ranging from Plato to Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and analytical philosophy, postmodern hermeneutics, and the problem of nihilism. In addition, Professor Rosen has published over thirty papers in books and over sixty articles in professional journals, many in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbian, and Hebrew translations. He has held a variety of fellowships and honorary positions, including the Companys Professorship at the University of Barcelona and the presidency of the Metaphysical Society of America. He was a Fulbright research professor at the University of Paris, a postdoctoral fellow of the Humanities Research Institute of the University of Wisconsin, and pursued his research at Tübingen and Heidelberg Universities and the London School of Economics. Dr. Rosen is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Lisbon (1997). In 1999 he was chosen to be the recipient of the Neu Family Award for Excellence in Teaching from the College of Arts and Sciences.

In November 2001, there was a colloquium on his work at the University of Paris, and in April 2002, there was another at Boston University.

Richard Schacht

Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
105 Gregory Hall, MC-468
810 South Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801

Professor Schacht’s interests include post-Kantian continental philosophy (especially Nietzsche and Hegel), philosophical anthropology, social theory, and value theory. He has been a professor of philosophy at UIUC since 1980 and a Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 1990. Professor Schacht also serves as Senate Council Chair for the UIUC Faculty-Student Senate, is the executive director of the North American Nietzsche Society, and is affiliated with the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and earned his master’s and PhD from Princeton. He also studied at Tübingen University in Germany.

Professor Schacht’s publications include: Alienation (1970), Hegel and After (1975), Nietzsche (1983), Classical Modern Philosophers (1984), Classical Modern Philosophers: Descartes to Kant (1984), The Future of Alienation (1994), and Making Sense of Nietzsche (1995). In addition, he has published more than forty essays and over thirty articles and has edited several books.

Roger Shattuck

Professor Emeritus of French; University Professor Emeritus, Boston University
Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures
Boston University
718 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Professor Shattuck is a distinguished literary critic and one of the world’s foremost authorities on the works of Marcel Proust. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Yale and was appointed to the Society of Fellows at Harvard. He has been a recipient of both a Fulbright and a Guggenheim grant and was a professor of romance languages at the University of Texas. He has served on the Advisory Board of the National Translation Center and has held the title of Provéditeur Général du Collège de Palaphysique. He has also served as President of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics. His publications include Proust’s Way: A Field Guide to In Search of Lost Time (2000), Forbidden Knowledge: A Brilliant Exploration of the Dark Side of Human Ingenuity and Imagination (1996), Marcel Proust (1974); and The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War One (1961).

Lee Silver

Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs, Department of Molecular Biology, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Princeton University
404 Robertson Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1013

Professor Silver received his PhD at Harvard University. He is an internationally renowned molecular biologist and expert on biomedical ethics, legal issues, and the societal challenges posed by advances in biotechnology. Professor Silver is a member of the Program in Science, Technology & Environmental Policy, the Center for Health and Well-being, and the Office of Population Research, at the Woodrow Wilson School. He is the author of Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family published in 15 languages. His research interests include social and political analysis of the influence of popular belief systems and religion on the acceptance of biotechnology, and the influence of biotechnology on popular belief systems concerning humanity, life, and soul. His forthcoming book on these issues is called Challenging Mother Nature: Biotechnology in a Spiritual World. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and was a member of the New Jersey Bioethics Commission Task Force, formed to recommend reproductive policy positions for the New Jersey State Legislature. He has testified on reproductive and genetic technologies before U.S. Congressional and New York State Senate committees.

Alfred Tauber

Professor of Philosophy; Professor of Medicine; Director, Center for Philosophy and History of Science; Affiliate Faculty, Law, Medicine and Ethics Program, Boston University
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
Boston University
745 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Alfred Tauber is a hematologist and biochemist by training. From his interest in basic immunology, he began a critical examination of modern biology and medicine. These studies have focused on scientific epistemology: positivism, reductionism, and the relationship of facts and values. As the Zoltan Kohn Professor of Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Tauber teaches ethics at the Boston Medical Center and was appointed director of the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University in 1993. Before joining Boston University School of Medicine in 1982, he spent four years on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, and also served an internship and residency at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals, followed by advanced training at Tufts-New England Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, and the Robert B. Brigham Hospital.

Dr. Tauber is the author of five books, the most recent being Henry David Thoreau and the Moral Agency of Knowing (2001) and Confessions of a Medicine Man: An Essay in Popular Philosophy (1999). He is also the editor of numerous works, and has published more than sixty papers on ethics and on the history and philosophy of science and medicine.

Dr. Tauber earned a BS from Tufts University and an MD from Tufts University School of Medicine.

He was elected to the Tufts Board of Trustees in 2003 and currently serves on the Academic Affairs Committee.

Tommaso Toffoli

Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University
Boston University
8 St. Mary’s Street
Boston, MA 02215

Tommaso Toffoli is professor of electrical and computer engineering at Boston University, where he also heads the Programmable Matter Group. His primary research interests are the fundamental connections between Physics and Computation. He is the author, with Norman Margolus, of Cellular Automata Machines: A New Environment for Modeling (1987) and has published numerous papers.

Professor Toffoli holds a PhD in computer and communication sciences from the University of Michigan and a Doctor of Physics from the University of Rome (Italy).



This is a chapter from The Future of Human Nature: A Symposium on the Promises and Challenges of the Revolutions in Genomics and Computer Science (Conference).
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Longer-Range, F. (2014). The Future of Human Nature: A Symposium on the Promises and Challenges of the Revolutions in Genomics and Computer Science (Conference): Participants’ Biographies and Contact Information. Retrieved from


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