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Scientist in Residence

Samuel Arbesman

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The most exciting phrase to hear in science is not ‘Eureka’ but ‘That’s funny...’


Samuel Arbesman is a complexity scientist. He is passionate about bringing together seemingly unrelated ideas from science and technology. Samuel works with companies and founders that recognize the future happens at these boundaries, in such areas as open science, managing massive technological complexity, artificial intelligence, and infusing computation into everything from biology to manufacturing.

Samuel’s scientific research examines such areas as scientific discovery and network science. His writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic, and he was a contributing writer for Wired. Sam is the author of the new book Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension. He is also the author of the award-winning The Half-Life of Facts, which explores how knowledge changes over time.

In addition, Samuel is a Senior Fellow of The Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at The University of Colorado, and a Research Fellow at The Long Now Foundation. He is also a mentor for Techstars.

Previously, Samuel was a Senior Scholar in Research and Policy 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 and earned a BA in computer science and biology at Brandeis University.

Key Facts

  • Named an asteroid after George Plimpton

  • Coined a word ("mesofact")

  • One degree from Kevin Bacon

The most exciting phrase to hear in science is not ‘Eureka’ but ‘That’s funny...’ Attributed to Isaac Asimov