To see Stuart Kauffman's CV, click here.
13.7: Cosmos and Culture
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Stuart Kauffman studies the origin of life and the origins of molecular organization. Thirty-five years ago, he developed the Kauffman models, which are random networks exhibiting a kind of self-organization that he terms "order for free." He asks a question that goes beyond those asked by other evolutionary theorists: if selection is operating all the time, how do we build a theory that combines self-organization (order for free) and selection? The answer lies in a "new" biology. more
Dr. Kauffman graduated from Dartmouth in 1960, was awarded the BA (Hons) by Oxford University in 1963, and completed a medical degree (M.D.) at the University of California, San Francisco in 1968. After completing his residency in Emergency Medicine, he moved into developmental genetics of the fruitfly, holding appointments first at the University of Chicago, then at the University of Pennsylvania from 1975 to 1995, where he rose to Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Kauffman held a MacArthur Fellowship, 1987-1992.
Kauffman rose to prominence through his association with the Santa Fe Institute (a non-profit research institute dedicated to the study of complex systems), where he was faculty in residence from 1986 to 1997 and where he continues to be an external professor. He is also well known for his work on models in various areas of biology, including autocatalytic sets in origin of life research, gene regulatory networks in developmental biology, and fitness landscapes in evolutionary biology. Kauffman holds the founding broad biotechnology patents in combinatorial chemistry and applied molecular evolution.
In 1996 Kauffman started BiosGroup, a Santa Fe-based, for-profit company that employed complex systems methodology to attempt to solve business problems. BiosGroup was acquired by NuTech Solutions in early 2003. NuTech was bought by Netezza in 2008.
From 2004 to 2009 Kauffman held a joint appointment at the University of Calgary in Biological Sciences and Physics and Astronomy. He was also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. He was an iCORE (Informatics Research Circle of Excellence) chair and the director of the Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics from February 2005 to January 2010.
In January of 2009 Kauffman became a Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) at Tampere University of Technology, Department of Signal Processing. The appointment is until the end of 2012. The subject of the FiDiPro research project is the development of delayed stochastic models of genetic regulatory networks based on gene expression data at the single molecule level.
In January of 2010 Kauffman joined the University of Vermont faculty where he is continuing his work with UVM's Complex Systems Center.