1 Jan 2003

George Dyson

author, designer, historian

George Dyson is an author, designer, and historian of technology whose interests have ranged from the history and prehistory of the Aleut kayak (Baidarka, 1986) to the evolution of digital computing and telecommunications (Darwin Among the Machines, 1997) and, most recently, nuclear bomb-propelled space exploration (Project Orion, 2002).

His early life and work, contrasted with that of his father, physicist Freeman Dyson, was the subject of Kenneth Brower's The Starship and the Canoe, published in 1978.

Dyson avoided formal education, and, during the 1970s spent three winters in a treehouse 95 feet up in a Douglas fir on the coast of British Columbia. His kayak designs, resurrecting the Aleut/Russian baidarka, have been built by thousands of followers and his books have been well received.

Dyson, a research associate at Western Washington University, usually lives and works in a converted tavern on the industrial waterfront in Bellingham, Washington. He was recently appointed Director's Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey for 2002-2003.

source: www.ted.com