A historian and philosopher of science, George Dyson takes a clear-eyed and deeply researched view of our recent scientific past -- while showing where it may lead us.
A member of the fabulous Dyson clan, George Dyson is sometimes defined as a son-of and a brother-of, but he has found his own voice as a chronicler and a philosopher of science and the future. The son of physicist Freeman Dyson, George grew up inside one of the most fervid hotbeds of scientific research in the Atomic Age. He spent his early adulthood living in a treehouse, and designing and building Aleutian kayaks (chronicled in his book Baidarka: The Kayak). While he maintains his kayak business now, his parallel interest in science and the future has brought him to the fore.
His 1997 book Darwin Among the Machines made a case for the Internet as a growing organism, an evolving life force. In 2002, he published a story from his extraordinary childhood, Project Orion, about the drive to build a nuclear-powered rocket aimed at Saturn. He's currently writing and researching on the history and future of computing -- speaking recently on von Neumann -- and he continues to build and design kayaks.
“It’s better to have dangerous things in the open than think you’re going to keep them secret.”
“I’m starting the story with the first atomic bomb at Trinity, which was the Manhattan Project. It was a little bit like TED: it brought a whole lot of very smart people together.”