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KEY FIGURES from "MONTE GRANDE: what is life?"
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Jean-Pierre Dupuy
Professor of Social and Political Philosophy, école Polytechnique, Paris. Director of research at the C.N.R.S. (Philosophy). Former Director of C.R.E.A. (Centre de Recherche en épistémologie Appliquée), the philosophical research group of the école Polytechnique, which he founded in 1982. Director of GRISé (Groupe de Recherche et d'Intervention sur la Science et l'Ethique), école Polytechnique. Full Professor (1/3rd time), Stanford University [French and Political Science]. C. S. L. I. (Center for the Study of Language and Information) Researcher, Stanford University. Science-Technology-Society Program Affiliate, Stanford University. Member of Académie Française des Technologies, Paris; of Conseil Général des Mines; Paris; and of COMEPRA (Comité d'Ethique et de Précaution) of INRA, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris.

Heinz von Foerster
Together with Warren McCulloch, Norbert Wiener, John von Neumann, and others, Heinz von Foerster was the architect of cybernetics.

Heinz von Foerster was born 1911 in Vienna, Austria, where he studied physics at the Vienna Technical University. 1944 he received a Ph.D. in physics at the University Breslau. After World War II he taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he hold the professorship for signal engineering from 1951 to 1975. From 1962 to 1975 he also was professor for biophysics and 1958-75 director of the Biological Computer Laboratory. Additionally, 1956-57 and 1963-64 he was Guggenheim-Fellow; 1963-65 president of the Wenner-Gren-Foundation for anthropological research; 1971-72 secretary of the Josiah-Macy-Foundation of the cybernetic program. H. von Foerster wrote a large number of scientific publications.

Heinz von Foerster died on 2 October 2002 in Pescadero, California.

Joan Halifax
Joan Halifax Roshi is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has worked in the area of death and dying for over thirty years and is Director of the Project on Being with Dying. She is Founder and Director of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. For the past twenty-five years, she has been active in environmental work. She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn and was a teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School. She received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman. A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, her work and practice for more than three decades has focussed on engaged Buddhism.

Anne Harrington
Anne Harrington is Loeb Harvard College Professor for the History of Science at Harvard University; and currently also Visiting Professor in the History of Medicine at the London School of Economics. For six years (through 2002), she was Co-Director of the Harvard University Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative, that aimed to bring together the tools and insights of the neurosciences with understandings from the humanities and social sciences. She also was a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mind-Body Interactions, where she focused particularly on the placebo effect, and currently serves on the Board of the organization Mind and Life (co-founded by Francisco Varela), that facilitates dialogue between the sciences and relevant aspects of Buddhism. In this latter capacity, she helped to edit two of the publications to emerge from the Mind and Life dialogues, including the proceedings from a larger public conference with the Dalai Lama held at MIT in the fall of2003. She is also the author of several books: Medicine, Mind and the Double Brain (1987) Reenchanted Science (1997); and Stories under the Skin (in final preparation), of numerous articles and of three further edited collections.

Antoine Lutz
is a post-doctoral fellow at the Keck laboratory, University of Wisconsin-Madison. His researchinterests focus on the relationship between brain integrative mechanisms, such as neural synchrony, and high-order cognitive and emotional activities, including consciousness. He currently do research with Dr. Richard Davidson on the neuro-functional and neuro-dynamical characterization of meditative states of long-time Buddhist practitioners. Engineer in Telecommunication and Computer Science (INT), he also received a BA in Philosophy at the Sorbonne University, Paris. He worked during his doctoral research in cognitive neuroscience with Dr. Francisco Varela at Paris University on the use of first-person methods to study the relationship between large-scale brain dynamics and subjective experience (neurophenomenology approach).

Hans Ulrich Obrist
Hans Ulrich Obrist was born in May 1968 in Zurich, Switzerland, and currently lives and works inParis. In 1993, he founded the Museum Robert Walser and began to run the Migrateurs program at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris where he now serves as a curator for contemporary art. He is editor in chief of the hybrid artist pages Point d'Ironie, published by agnès b and begun in collaboration with her in 1997. He has been a frequent curator for the museum in progress, Vienna and lecturer at Facolta delle Arti, IUAV in Venice. From 1991 to the present he has curated or co-curated numerous exhibitions.

Ral Varela Rodríguez
Born in La Serena Chile on November 30, 1914
Married to Corina García Tapia. Two sons: Andrés and Francisco; one daughter: Corina.
Degree: Civil Engineer, graduated from the University of Chile on December 1937.
In 1943 starts his construction entrepreneur activity with the Architectural Department of the Public Works Ministry: The Housing Corporation Social Prevision Institute; and other private constructions in Concepción and Talcahuano. 1948-1995 begins contracting activities for Public Works in Santiago and other important cities of Chile, from La Serena to Osorno. This activity has continued as a Public Works Contractor and through his different Construction Companies, having built a great number of public and private buildings. In 1995 he left the Construction Company in the hands of his descendants. 1963-1969 Professor of Construction 5th year at the engineering School of the Catholic University of Chile.

Evan Thompson
Canada Research Chair, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, York University Toronto --

Author of:

  • with Francisco J. Varela and Eleanor Rosch, THE EMBODIED MIND: COGNITIVE




William Irwin Thompson
In 1972, Thompson founded the Lindisfarne Association as an alternative way for thehumanities to develop in a scientific and technical civilization. Lindisfarne became an association of scientists, artists, scholars, and contemplatives devoted to the study and realization of a new planetary culture. Lindisfarne began its activities in Southampton, New York in 1973, moved to Manhattan in 1976, and, finally, to Crestone, Colorado in 1979 where today the Lindisfarne Fellows House and the Lindisfarne Chapel are located in association with the Crestone Mountain Zen Center. In 1997, Thompson retired from the presidency of the Lindisfarne Association.

Christian Valdez
Born in 1947. 1970-1975: Studies of Cinematography and Photography at the State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow (VGIK) 1980-1989: Cameraman of the finnish TV in Moscow. 19891991: Cameraman of the finnish Tv in France. 1991-2004: Cameraman of the spanish TV in France.

Amy Cohen Varela
Was born in the United States (Boston). After persuing undergraduate and graduate studies in Comparative Literature (Brown and Columbia Universities), she completed a degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Paris (Paris VII, Jussieu). She is currently persuing work initiated with Francisco Varela at the interface between psychoanalysis and neurophenomenology. Amy and Francisco have a son, Gabriel, born in Paris in 1992. His principal interest is archeology.

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