I’m a complexity scientist exploring the future of knowledge. I’m currently Scientist in Residence at Lux Capital, a venture capital firm focused on startups at the frontier of science and technology. I use the ideas of complex systems to examine how science and technology change over time and what this means for society. In particular, I am obsessed with promoting generalist thinking in our age of specialization, seeing the most hopeful future in the unexpected collisions between disparate ideas.
I’m the author of Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension and The Half-Life of Facts.
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Samuel Arbesman is a complexity scientist, whose work focuses on the nature of scientific and technological change. He is currently Scientist in Residence at Lux Capital, a venture capital firm focused on ideas at the frontier of science and technology. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado and Research Fellow at the Long Now Foundation.
Arbesman’s training is in complexity science, computational biology, and applied mathematics. His scientific research has been cited widely and has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His essays about science, mathematics, and technology have appeared in such places as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. Arbesman is the author of the new book Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension (Current/Penguin, 2016). He is also the author of the award-winning The Half-Life of Facts (Current/Penguin, 2012), which explores how knowledge changes over time.
Previously, Arbesman was a Senior Scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and a Research Fellow in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. He completed a PhD in computational biology at Cornell University in 2008, and earned a BA in computer science and biology at Brandeis University in 2004.
My Erdos number is 4, due to my coauthorship with Jon Kleinberg, and my Bacon number is 1, due to my appearance as an extra in the documentary Connected: The Power of Six Degree, which features Kevin Bacon.
This means my Erdos-Bacon number is 5, one of the lower such numbers in the world of science.