Advisory Board

Professor Richard Doyle

Richard Doyle, Ph.D. is Professor of Rhetoric at Penn State.
Rich earned his Ph.D. in Rhetoric at UC Berkeley. He was the Mellon Post Doctoral Fellow in History and Social Science of the Life Sciences at MIT in 1993. He holds appointments in English, Science Technology & Society, and the College of Information Science and Technology at Penn State University and was Visiting Associate Professor at UC Berkeley, Department of Rhetoric in 2003.
He teaches courses in the history and rhetoric of emerging technosciences — sustainability, space colonization, biotechnology, nanotechnology, psychedelic science, information technologies, biometrics — and the cultural and literary contexts from which they sprout.
Rich published the books On Beyond Living: Rhetorical Transformations of the Life Sciences (Stanford, 1997) and Wetwares: Experiments In Postvital Living (Minnesota, 2003) — in a putative trilogy about emerging transhuman knowledges. These knowledges and practices, linked to molecular biology, artificial life, nanotechnology, psychedelic and information technologies render the experiential distinctions between living systems and machines frequently dubious and often indiscernible. This excited and confused rhetorical membrane between humans and an informational universe nonetheless broadcasts a clear message: humans, in co-evolution with the technical matrices transforming the planet, find themselves in an evolutionary ecology that is as urgent as it is experimental.
Continuing his collaborative work on the “transhuman imperative”, Rich (aka mobius) has now completed the trilogy with a scholarly book about archaic and contemporary psychedelic media technologies and the evolution of mind: Darwin’s Pharmacy: Sex, Plants, and the Evolution of the Noöphere has been published by the University of Washington Press in 2011. Other current projects include a book, Admixtures: Dialogues After Genomics with anthropologist Mark Shriver. With Mark, Rich founded The Penn State Center for Altered Consciousness, investigating the genetics and phenomenology of legally altered consciousness with the help of a flotation tank.
Rich directed the Penn State Composition Program from 2004–2006, and serves as Expert, Wetwares and Human/Machine interaction for international organizations and a volunteer to the Penn State Center for Sustainability More about mobius’ work and teaching can be found by browsing his website.
Watch TEDxPSU – Richard Doyle – Scaling the Noösphere. Read An Ecstatic Dialogue with Richard Doyle, Just Say Yes to the Noöphere!, Williams S. Burroughs, Life Scientist, and Hyperbolic: Divining Ayahuasca.