Here is a little
information about some of the people who have contributed to the
theory of memes. Probably the most influential have been Richard
Dawkins, who invented the term "meme" and Daniel Dennett who
used the idea of memes in developing theories about consciousness and
evolution. There are many influential people missing from this list
and I shall add to it in due course (suggestions welcome).
Aunger, Robert is
Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Public Health Hygiene Centre at
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is author of
The Electric Meme, and editor of Darwinizing Culture. He has
conducted ethnographic research on meme transmission in central
Blackmore, Susan is author of The
Meme Machine, and of many papers
on memes. She maintains this site.
is one of the original authors of Microsoft Word, and author of Virus of the Mind. He maintains the Memes
Bryson, Joanna is a
Reader in computer science at Bath University. Her research on
artificial and natural intelligence includes imitation, language and
Richard is a zoologist, and the Charles Simonyi Professor of the
Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He invented the
term "meme" in his 1976 book The
Selfish Gene (see my Don's
Delight in the Guardian) and gave a slightly different
interpretation of it in The Extended Phenotype (1982). He
refers to religions as "viruses of the mind". His
(unofficial but thorough and up to date) website includes a useful
page on memetics.
Daniel. is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for
Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, Medford, MA. and one of the
best known of contemporary philosophers.
His 1991 book Consciousness Explained suggests
that human consciousness is a huge complex of memes, a person is an ape
infested with memes, and “A scholar
is just a library’s way of making another library” (1991, p 202).
His 1995 book Darwin's Dangerous Idea explores the importance
of replicator power, and the notion of the meme as replicator. He
claims that “... a human
mind is itself an artefact created when memes restructure a human brain in order
to make it a better habitat for memes.” (1995, p 365).
Distin, Kate is author of
The Selfish Meme.
Farncombe, Martin is a business consultant and creator of the
is a research professor at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), and
an editor of the Principia
Cybernetica Project. His main focus of research is the evolution
of complexity but he has written many papers about memes, as well as
on the emerging intelligent
web, or "global
Holland, Owen is
Professor at the University of Essex, where he is researching
machine consciousness, and building anthropoid robots and robot
Hull, David is Emeritus Professor in the Humanities at Indiana
University, and author of Science as a Process
Jouxtel, Pascal works as a consultant
on behavioural change and evolutionary approaches to
complex problem solving. He is co-founder of the Société
Francophone de Mémétique (2002) and author of
Comment les systèmes pondent : Une introduction à la mémétique.
is author of Thought Contagion
and of several technical papers about memes.
Paul Paul (@marsattacks) works as a consumer psychologist to
brands and advertisers. Using ideas in The Meme Machine, Paul
co-founded Brainjuicer PLC (LON:BJU) - an online service for testing
ads and optimising their ‘infectiousness’.
Speel, Hans-Cees is an IT
professional working with Linux and Unix and lives in Nijmegen, in the
Netherlands. He is (ex-managing) editor of JoM
and has written papers on memes. He was the first to use the term
Wilkins, John is
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the
Biohumanities Project at the University of Queensland, and
author of several papers on memetics.
is Professor of Electronic Engineering at the University of the West
of England, Bristol. His research is on swarm intelligence, imitation in robots
and the possibility of