Living and Intelligent Technology

Mission Statement

Living technology will soon have a huge impact on society. We should start thinking through the implications today! Living technology is technology that is useful because it shares the fundamental properties of living systems. The fundamental properties of living systems include self-assembly, self-organization, metabolism, growth and division, purposeful action, adaptive complexity, evolution, and intelligence. Our technology is becoming increasingly life-like, because this makes it especially powerful. Three examples of living technology are synthetic biology attempts to make living systems from scratch in the laboratory, ICT systems exhibiting collective and swarm intelligence distributed across the world wide web, and robots currently cleaning our households, providing companions for the autistic, and the like. The ISSP’s project on living and intelligent technology aims to take stock of the state of the art in living technology and recommend priorities for the socially responsible scientific pursuit of living technology.

Steen Rasmussen

Steen Rasmussen

Leader of LIT

Steen Rasmussen is leading the ISSP Living and Intelligent Technology group. Steen is a physicist mainly working in the areas of artificial life and complex systems. He is currently a professor in physics and a center director at University of Southern Denmark as well as an external research professor at the Santa Fe Institute. His formal training was at the Technical University of Denmark (1985 PhD in physics of complex systems) and University of Copenhagen (philosophy). He spent 20 years as a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory (1988-2007) the last five years as a leader of the Self-Organized Systems team. He has been part of the Santa Fe Institute since 1988. The main scientific effort of Steen Rasmussen over the last ten years has been to explore, understand and construct a transition from nonliving to living materials. Bridging this gap requires an interdisciplinary scientific effort, which is why he has assembled, sponsored and lead research teams in the US, across Europe and in Denmark. He became a scientific team leader in 2002 at Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA, and he has since held research leadership positions at the Santa Fe Institute, University of Copenhagen and University of Southern Denmark. Since late 2007 he has been the director of the Center for Fundamental Living Technology at University of Southern Denmark. Steen Rasmussen has for many years been actively engaged in the public discourse regarding science and society and on this background he founded the Initiative for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP) in 2009.

Mark Bedau

Prof. Mark A. Bedau (Ph.D. Philosophy, UC Berkeley, 1985) is an internationally recognized leader in the interdisciplinary study of complex adaptive systems.

Rachel Armstrong

Rachel Armstrong is an interdisciplinary practitioner with a background in medicine. She collaborates with scientists, architects and artists to create a new experimental space to explore scientific concepts and re-engage with the fundamental creativity of science.

Rinie Van Est

Rinie van Est joined the Rathenau Institute in August 1997, where he is responsible for identifying new developments at the convergence of science, technology, politics and society, with a particular focus on the emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science.

Robin Pierce

Is a Senior Law and Ethics Associate at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics, Harvard Law School, USA. Previously she was at Delft University in the Netherlands and at Oxford University in the UK. She obtained her PhD at Harvard University in Health Policy in 2007. Her current interests are the long term societal impacts of synthetic biology and living technology.

Lene Rachel Andersen

is an economist, futurist and philosopher. She has written several books on human evolution, society, democracy, science, and technological development. She is a research associate at University of Southern Denmark and owner of Next Scandinavia.



Lene Rachel Andersen and Steen Rasmussen The BINC Manifesto

Lene Rachel Andersen and Steen Rasmussen Tomorrow’s technology will lead to sweeping changes in society – it must, for all our sakes

Lene Rachel Andersen and Steen Rasmussen Teknologiudviklingen trækker os mod et globalt gearskifte

Den digitale økonomi er fundamentalt anderledes end den industrielle

Middelklassen og demokratiet er under pres

Ingen nationalstat kan tage hånd om sine borgere alene

Et teknologisk globalt gearskifte kræver nye, globale fortællinger

Posts about LIT activities

ISSP at Forskningens Døgn

Members of the ISSP Living Technology theme group were present at Forskningens Døgn. Forskningens Døgn is an annual researcher festival in Denmark, with numerous lectures and events, that anyone can attend.   At the 2015 installment of the festival, ISSP was...

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