2017-present – Jo Handelsman (permanent)

Handelsman has a long history with UW–Madison, having earned her Ph.D. from the university in molecular biology in 1984. She has held several positions at UW–Madison, first as assistant professor in the Department of Plant Pathology from 1985 to 1991, then associate professor in the department from 1991 to 1995, and professor in the department from 1995 to 2007.

She became professor and chair of the UW–Madison Bacteriology Department in 2007 and served in that role until 2009.  She was co-founder of the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute at UW–Madison and co-director from 2001 to 2007 and founded the Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching. more…

2015-2017 – Christopher Bradfield (interim)

Bradfield’s research focuses on a family of proteins known as PAS proteins, which sense and respond to either environmental signals like pollutants or physiological cues such as circadian rhythm, and can be implicated in diseases like cancer. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 research publications, book chapters and invited reviews. He also holds seven patents.

On the UW-Madison campus, Bradfield has held administrative posts as director of the Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center beginning in 2006, and as director of the Office of Graduate Support for the UW School of Medicine and Public Health since 2013.

2011-2015 –  David Krakauer (permanent)

An evolutionary theorist, his vision for WID paralleled an experimental “greenhouse” that nourished hybrid approaches to science, new disciplines and unexpected partnerships.

Krakauer also co-directed the Center for Complexity and Collective Computation (C4) at the Institute and served 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. He is currently President of the Santa Fe Institute.

2008-2011 – John Wiley (interim)

Wiley was the former UW-Madison Chancellor.


Hybrid Zone X (2013-2015)

Center for Complexity and Collective Computation (2011-2015)

Games+Learning+Society (2012-2016)

Field Day Lab (2014-2016)


Collision Labs

Counterfactual Campus

Humanities Hackathon

Hybrid Cinema


C4 Lecture Series


Distinguished Scholars @ Discovery

Frontier Fellows

Emerging Interfaces Award