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Posted By Peter Bentley
While work activities have slowed down during the Christmas break I've taken the opportunity to wrap up the new eBook edition of my first popular science book Digital Biology and release it to the online stores. This is a new revised edition with a new preface and footnotes which bring the reader up to date with research since this book was first written ten years ago. I also adjusted the text here and there - for example I can no longer refer to "cream coloured computers" any more - the days of IBM PCs and their single colour scheme are long gone! It was a lot of fun revisiting this book again, and it made me realise how my writing style has matured over the years. It also made me realise just how much (and in some cases, how little) progress we have made in the research areas of digital biology in the last ten years.

You can find this new edition of Digital Biology online here: ebook/dp/B006RBGMUI

and here:

Posted By Peter Bentley
I recently came across the video of the talk I gave for Ars Eectronica in 2003. Not much to see - just me on stage with a microphone and a few slides, but the (slightly fuzzy) audio is now online. My audience was a bunch of computational artists who as usual I managed to insult (always a good trick to make 'em listen). One tried to be a bit rude at the end with her question, but you'll note the admirable patience I showed :) I talk about code, and how programming computers and biological systems relate to each other. Those who know where my research went in the following 5 years will find many of the concepts I describe familiar. You can listen to the 40 minute talk, including questions, here: y/arstalk.mp3

Posted By Peter Bentley
I'm a collaborating Prof in KAIST, Korea so I go over there now and again. At the beginning of this month I was in Jeju, Korea giving a talk for some high school children. The organisers just sent me some photos. Although in this picture I look like I'm teaching karate, I was talking about evolutionary computation and showing some of the videos from my first book Evolutionary Design by Computers (and also gave them a Korean version of Digital Biology). The school specialised in science education, and you could tell. Not only did the kids cope with a talk in English, but they asked detailed technical questions on genetic algorithms. I've had less intelligent questions from fellow scientists in academic conferences! I'm afraid they put British school children to shame...

Posted By Peter Bentley
I gave a talk for TESLA (our arts-science group at UCL) in November 2007. The topic is a common one for me - the nature of computation in biological or natural systems. If I ever get around to writing a sequel to Digital Biology it'll be on this kind of stuff. At the end I also talk a little about science communication in general. They've recently put a rather noisy recording of the talk online here:


Posted By Peter Bentley
On July 9, 2007 I played "Dimbleby" to a debate in the Great Hall of the Natural History Museum. We'd invited Richard Dawkins, Steve Jones and Lewis Wolpert. (Richard did the foreword for my first book, Steve suggested I use his literary agent when I was writing Digital Biology- which I did, and Lewis collaborated with one of my PhD students). It was great fun, with our voices echoing out and reaching the ears of 600 people in the audience. The topic was evolution of compexity, and we covered a good range of topics. The occasion formed the keynote event for the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference that I helped run at UCL at the same time. You can still download the audio or video of the whole event from here: aff/p. bentley/evodebate.html