The Dysons

Ken AshfordRandom Musings, Science & TechnologyLeave a Comment

Geeks are very excited about this lecture — now sold out — in which three members of Freeman Dyson’s family (including Freeman himself) are giving a joint lecture. 

SphrlcarsI have a special connection to this event — I dated one of Professor Dyson’s daughters many years ago, and met him briefly a few times.  I consider myself a reasonably smarty man, but I felt like a gnat in his presence.  Professor Dyson teaches at the Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Studies — he was once an assistant to Einstein.  You can read his wikipedia entry here, but techno-geeks may know him for the concept he dreamed now known as the "Dyson Sphere" — a man-made planet built around, and fueled by, a star. (In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Scotty from the original series was found still alive, his shuttlecraft having crash-landed on a "Dyson Sphere").

His daughter, Esther Dyson (not the one I dated) is pseudo-famous in the geek world, making her mark as a digitial age philosopher and consultant.  Often refered to as "the most powerful woman in the computer industry", she writes a column for the New York Times on digitial technology and its impact on society.  Her wikipedia entry is here.

I don’t know the third speaker, Peter Dyson.  He is apparently a scientific historian.

Anyway, it is an extemely interesting family, and for anyone who happens to see this lecture, I am envious.

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