Esther Dyson

Esther Dyson

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Esther Dyson is a former journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

 and Wall Street
Wall Street
Wall Street refers to the financial district of New York City, named after and centered on the eight-block-long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, or...

 technology analyst who is a leading angel investor
Angel investor
An angel investor or angel is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity...

, entrepreneur
An entrepreneur is an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative.The term was originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to a person who is willing to...

, philanthropist
A philanthropist is someone who engages in philanthropy; that is, someone who donates his or her time, money, and/or reputation to charitable causes...

, and commentator focused on breakthrough innovation in healthcare, government transparency, digital technology, biotechnology, and space. Dyson is currently focusing her career on preemptive healthcare and continues to invest in health technology.

On 7 October 2008, Space Adventures
Space Adventures
Space Adventures, Ltd. is a Virginia, USA-based space tourism company founded in 1998 by Eric C. Anderson. , offerings include zero-gravity atmospheric flights, orbital spaceflights , and other spaceflight-related experiences including cosmonaut training, spacewalk training, and launch tours...

 announced that Dyson had paid to train as a back-up spaceflight participant
Spaceflight participant
Spaceflight participant is the term used by National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Russian Federal Space Agency for people who travel aboard space missions coordinated by those agencies who are not part of the crew...

 for Charles Simonyi
Charles Simonyi
Charles Simonyi is a Hungarian-American computer software executive who, as head of Microsoft's application software group, oversaw the creation of Microsoft's flagship Office suite of applications. He now heads his own company, Intentional Software, with the aim of developing and marketing his...

's trip to the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

 aboard the Soyuz TMA-14
Soyuz TMA-14
The Soyuz TMA-14 was a Soyuz flight to the International Space Station, which launched on 26 March 2009. It transported two members of the Expedition 19 crew as well as spaceflight participant Charles Simonyi on his second self-funded flight to the space station...

 mission which took place in 2009.


Dyson's father is the physicist Freeman Dyson
Freeman Dyson
Freeman John Dyson FRS is a British-born American theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum field theory, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering. Dyson is a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists...

; her mother is mathematician Verena Huber-Dyson; and her brother is digital technology historian George Dyson
George Dyson (science historian)
George Dyson is a scientific historian, the son of Freeman Dyson and Verena Huber-Dyson, brother of Esther Dyson, and the grandson of Sir George Dyson. He is the father of Lauren Dyson. When he was sixteen he went to live in British Columbia in Canada to pursue his interest in kayaking and...

. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, she joined Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

 as a fact-checker and quickly rose to reporter. In 1977, she joined New Court Securities as "the research department", following Federal Express
FedEx Corporation , originally known as FDX Corporation, is a logistics services company, based in the United States with headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee...

 and other start-ups. After a stint at Oppenheimer Holdings
Oppenheimer Holdings
Oppenheimer Holdings is an investment bank and full-service investment firm offering investment banking, financial advisory services, capital markets services, asset management, wealth management, and related products and services worldwide...

 covering software companies, she moved to Rosen Research and in 1983 bought the company from her employer Ben Rosen, renaming it EDventure Holdings
EdVenture is the largest children's museum in the Southeast, located in Columbia, South Carolina. EdVenture opened to the public in 2003. It has 8 galleries covering , plus hands-on exhibits, 2 resource centers, and a 200-seat theater. of the total is devoted to exhibit galleries, laboratories...

. She sold EDventure Holdings to CNET Networks in 2004, but left CNET in January 2007 after CNET declined to continue her PC Forum conference.

Publications and business ventures

Currently, Dyson is a board member and active investor in a variety of start-ups, mostly in online services, health care/genetics, and space travel.

Previously, Dyson and her company EDventure specialized in analyzing the impact of emerging technologies and markets on economies and societies. She created the following publications on technology:
  • Release 1.0, her monthly technology-industry newsletter, published by EDventure Holdings. Until 2006, Dyson wrote several issues herself and edited the others. When she left CNET, the newsletter was picked up by O'Reilly Media
    O'Reilly Media
    O'Reilly Media is an American media company established by Tim O'Reilly that publishes books and Web sites and produces conferences on computer technology topics...

    , which appointed Jimmy Guterman to edit it and renamed the newsletter Release 2.0.
  • Release 2.0, her 1997 book on how the Internet
    The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

     affects individuals' lives. Its full title is Release 2.0: A design for living in the digital age. The revision Release 2.1 was published in 1998.
  • Release 3.0, her bimonthly column for the New York Times, distributed via its syndicate and reprinted in Release 1.0 (now defunct).
  • Release 4.0, her weblog. On March 4, 2005, that weblog moved to Dyson's Flickr
    Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community that was created by Ludicorp in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers to...


She is an occasional contributor and sits on the advisory board of a new Open Access, Open Source, Open Peer Review journal, the Journal of Participatory Medicine.

Dyson is an adviser to the First Monday
First Monday (journal)
First Monday is an open-access electronic peer-reviewed scientific journal for articles about the Internet.-Publication:First Monday is sponsored and hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago...

journal, and an occasional contributor to Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington is a Greek American author and syndicated columnist. She is best known as co-founder of the news website The Huffington Post. A popular conservative commentator in the mid-1990s, she adopted more liberal political beliefs in the late 1990s...

's online Huffington Post as Release 0.9.

Dyson has also been a board member or early investor in several tech startups, among them TrustedID, Cygnus Solutions
Cygnus Solutions
Cygnus Solutions, originally Cygnus Support, was founded in 1989 by John Gilmore, Michael Tiemann and David Henkel-Wallace to provide commercial support for free software...

, Flickr
Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community that was created by Ludicorp in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers to...

Delicious is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks. The site was founded by Joshua Schachter in 2003 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005, and by the end of 2008, the service claimed more than 5.3 million users and 180 million unique bookmarked URLs...

, Eventful
Eventful is a web service which aims to help users search for, track, and share information about events. Eventful is a service of Eventful, Inc. from San Diego, California...

, Netbeans
NetBeans refers to both a platform framework for Java desktop applications, and an integrated development environment for developing with Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Groovy, C, C++, Scala, Clojure, and others...

, Powerset, Systinet, ZEDO
Zedo is a privately-held company founded in 1999 by Roy de Souza, which provides several online advertising products and services to websites, ad networks and direct publishers. The company works with publishers who sell space on their web pages to online advertisers. Zedo builds software...

, CV-Online, Medscape
Medscape is a web resource for physicians and other health professionals. It features peer-reviewed original medical journal articles, CME , a customized version of the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE database, daily medical news, major conference coverage, and drug information—including a...

, Medstory, Meetup, Valkee and Vurve.

As of early 2007, Dyson describes herself as "spending more and more time on private aviation and commercial space startups" and also in health care and genetics. She has invested in XCOR, Constellation Services, Zero-G, Icon Aircraft
Icon Aircraft
ICON Aircraft is a privately-held American aircraft design and production company. It is currently focusing on the refinement and development of the ICON A5, an amphibious light sport aircraft that is scheduled to begin production in late 2012....

, and Space Adventures
Space Adventures
Space Adventures, Ltd. is a Virginia, USA-based space tourism company founded in 1998 by Eric C. Anderson. , offerings include zero-gravity atmospheric flights, orbital spaceflights , and other spaceflight-related experiences including cosmonaut training, spacewalk training, and launch tours...

. Since 2005, she has hosted the Flight School conference in Aspen. She is currently on the board of directors of 23andMe
23andMe is a privately held personal genomics and biotechnology company based in Mountain View, California that is developing new methods and technologies that will enable consumers to understand their own genetic information...

, and is one of the first ten volunteers in the Personal Genome Project
Personal Genome Project
The Personal Genome Project is a long term, large cohort study which aims to sequence and publicize the complete genomes and medical records of 100,000 volunteers, in order to enable research into personalized medicine. It was initiated by Harvard University's George Church and announced in...



Dyson is an active member of a number of non-profit and advisory organizations. From 1998 to 2000, she was the founding chairman of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. As of 2004, she sat on its "reform" committee, dedicated to defining a role for individuals in ICANN's decision-making and governance structures. She has followed closely the post-Soviet transition of Eastern Europe, and is a member of the Bulgarian President's IT Advisory Council, along with Vint Cerf
Vint Cerf
Vinton Gray "Vint" Cerf is an American computer scientist, who is recognized as one of "the fathers of the Internet", sharing this title with American computer scientist Bob Kahn...

, George Sadowsky
George Sadowsky
George Sadowsky is an American computer scientist who has worked in a number of entities, related to promotion of the Internet worldwide....

, and Veni Markovski
Veni Markovski
Veni Markovski is a Bulgarian Internet pioneer , he is founder and CEO of , one of the leading ISPs in Bulgaria.- Biography :Veni Markovski is a graduate of the Sofia University “St...

, among others. She has served as a trustee of, and helped fund, emerging organizations such as Glasses for Humanity,, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the Eurasia Foundation
Eurasia Foundation
Eurasia Foundation is a publicly funded, privately managed grantmaker and program implementer working to strengthen civil society, advance private enterprise and promote public policy and administration in the successor states of the former Soviet Union—Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia,...

. She is a member of the Board of Directors of The After-School Corporation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding educational opportunities for all students. She is also a member of the boards of the Sunlight Foundation
Sunlight Foundation
The Sunlight Foundation is a 501 educational organization founded in April 2006 with the goal of increasing transparency and accountability in the United States government....

, StopBadware
StopBadware is a consumer-oriented nonprofit organization aimed at fighting malicious software, or "badware". It is the successor to, a project started in 2006 at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. It spun off to become a standalone organization, and...

, The Long Now Foundation, and a trustee of the Santa Fe Institute
Santa Fe Institute
The Santa Fe Institute is an independent, nonprofit theoretical research institute located in Santa Fe and dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of the fundamental principles of complex adaptive systems, including physical, computational, biological, and social systems.The Institute houses a...


External links