WID Director David Krakauer


As the first permanent Director of WID, David Krakauer is an evolutionary theorist, a self-proclaimed sci-fi junkie and champion of collaboration and ideas. His vision for WID parallels an experimental “greenhouse” that nourishes hybrid approaches to science, new disciplines and unexpected partnerships.

Also a professor of genetics at UW–Madison, Krakauer co-directs the Center for Complexity and Collective Computation (C4) at the Institute and serves as an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. A graduate of the University of London and Oxford University, he became a Wellcome Research Fellow in mathematical biology and lecturer at Pembroke College. Krakauer served as a visiting professor at Princeton University and later became faculty chair at the Santa Fe Insitute in 2009. He’s served as a visiting fellow at the Genomics Frontiers Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and a Sage Fellow at the Sage Center for the Study of the Mind at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Krakauer has authored and been featured in numerous mainstream articles, podcasts and videos. His unorthodox but rigorous approach to science and collaboration earned him a spot on Wired UK’s 2012 Smart List as one of 50 people “who will change the world.”

Former UW–Madison Chancellor and Interim WID Director John Wiley led the Institute from 2008 to November 2011.