Key Individuals

Terrence Deacon received a Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology in 1984. After holding faculty positions at Harvard and Boston University, he joined the UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology faculty in 2002, and is currently Department Chair. Prof. Deacon’s research has combined human evolutionary biology and neuroscience, with the aim of investigating the evolution of human cognition. His theoretical interests include the study of evolution-like processes at many levels, and are currently focused on the problem of explaining “emergent” phenomena, such as the origin of life, the evolution of language, and the generation of conscious experience by brains. In 2012, Prof. Deacon published Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter (W.W. Norton & Co.), in which he explored the relationship between thermodynamic, self-organizing, evolutionary and semiotic processes.


Michael Lissack was formerly a managing director of a Wall Street municipal bond department.  In 1998, the SEC issued an order finding that “Lissack willfully violated” federal securities laws and “that he undertook such conduct with an intent to deceive.” According to the New York Times, later that year, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office charged Lissack “with using the Internet to harass executives at his old firm.”  Media reports indicated that Lissack subsequently pled guilty to second-degree harassment. Lissack’s web site identifies him as the founder and executive director of the Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence (ISCE), as well as “the ISCE Professor of Meaning in Organizations, and a serial entrepreneur.”  His posted CV states that he received a BA from Williams College, an MBA from Yale School of Management, and a Doctorate of Business Administration from Henley Management College.


Alicia Juarrero, according to her web site , received her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D degrees from the University of Miami (Florida) and is a Professor Emerita of Philosophy at Prince George’s Community College.  The web site of the Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence lists her among its Faculty and Fellows.   In 1999, Juarrero published Dynamics in Action: Intentional Behavior as a Complex System (MIT).


Carl A. Rubino, according to the Hamilton College web site, is the Winslow Professor of Classics at Hamilton.  He received A.B. and M.A. degrees from Fordham University, a Ph.L. degree in Philosophy from Loyola Seminary-Woodstock College, and a Ph.D in Classics from University at Buffalo. Before Hamilton, he held faculty positions at the University of Texas, Austin.  In 2008 he was an editor, with Alicia Juarrero, of Emergence, Complexity, and Self-Organization: Precursors and Prototypes.