IEET > Fellows > William Sims Bainbridge
William Sims Bainbridge accepts appointment as first IEET Senior Fellow
Dec 4, 2006  

J. Hughes: The very first sociology essay I ever read, back as a college freshmen in 1979, hooked me. It was an analysis by William Sims Bainbridge and Rodney Stark of the steps used by Mormon missionaries to reel in converts. I saw in that essay that the sciences of human behavior would be the passionate and fascinating pursuit that they in fact turned out to be.

When I got a chance to meet Bill Bainbridge in the 21st century I discovered to my delight that he was the co-mastermind of the very cool NBIC initiative, had written major studies of science fiction, was interested in the project of uploading human personalities into silicon (albeit through the process of endless personality surveys, which sounds even more painful than having your head microtomed off into a laser scanner), was doing research in and on virtual worlds, and had written much more fascinating studies of the religious life. Bill gave keynote addresses at both the 2003 Transvision conference I organized at Yale University, and at the August 2006 Transvision conference in Helsinki Finland.

Bill has now accepted our invitation to be the IEET’s first Senior Fellow, and we are very excited to help make more people aware of his work, and weave his insights into the tapestry of technoprogressive thought and policy.

William Sims Bainbridge Ph.D. is prolific and influential sociologist of religion, science and popular culture. Dr. Bainbridge serves as co-director of Human-Centered Computing at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and teaches sociology as a part-time professor at George Mason University. In 1976 he published his first book The Spaceflight Revolution, which examined the push for space exploration in the 1960s. He then went onto publish Satan’s Power, which described several years of infiltration of the Process Church, a religious cult related to Scientology. In the last thirty years, Bainbridge has published more than a dozen more books dealing with space, religion, and psychology. Dr. Bainbridge’s long-standing interest in “personality capture,” using extensive personality surveys to record individual personalities in software, is reflected in works such as Experiments in Psychology (1986) which included cutting-edge psychology experimentation software written by Bainbridge.

Dr. Bainbridge was instrumental in creating the NSF-funded NBIC Converging Technologies program, and in producing its widely read reports:

Dr. Bainbridge’s two most recent books are God from the Machine (2006) and The Secular Abyss (2007).  Dr. Bainbridge has published over 200 articles and essays for various journals and encyclopedias.

Dr. Bainbridge’s CV.

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