Bruce Frederick Damer is a Canadian-American multi-disciplinary scientist, designer, and speaker. He works in evolutionary biology researching the question of the origin of life and the exploration and economic development of space. He also has a practice in the design of innovative software systems interfaces and a passion for collecting and curating historical archives in computing history and leading figures of the counter-culture.
Dr. Damer performs as a storyteller on a range of subjects under the moniker science + vision = hope. He began performing in 2003 and is featured at venues such as Burning Man, and the Esalen Institute. He also performs at music and art festivals worldwide including Buddhafield, Symbiosis, Rainbow Serpent, Earth Frequency, and Lightning in a Bottle, covering topics ranging through science, space, deep evolutionary history, questions of origins, and the meaning and future of the human enterprise. Many of these talks many be found online through podcasts such as the Joe Rogan Experience, the Psychedelic Salon, the Biota Podcast, the Space Show, the Dr. Future Show, the C-Realm, the Midwest Real Podcast, and the Tink Tink Club. A good selection of Dr. Damer's talks and philosophy as well as conversations and featured guest speakers are collected together in his own Levity Zone podcast.
In the late 1990s, Dr. Damer met the American philosopher and storyteller Terence McKenna and formed a collaboration investigating the connection between computer virtual worlds and the inner worlds experienced through alternative states of consciousness. Following McKenna's death in 2000 he worked with Lorenzo Hagerty to digitally remaster McKenna's talks and collect his last remaining papers. In 2006 he became an agent for the estate of Dr.Timothy Leary and received the remaining books, news archive, record collection, and ephemera from Leary's archives. Working with the Internet Archive he established several online libraries of historical materials: Psychedelia, which contains unique materials from counter-cultural figures and Archiving Virtual Worlds focused on the early history of virtual worlds, and games, built in collaboration with Dr. Henry Lowood of Stanford University.
Dr. Damer is a follower of a scientific version of the philosophy of liminality occupying a liminal boundary between rational, reductionist, materialist approaches to reality but open to inspiration from alternative states of consciousness. He has built a practice of intentionally seeking visionary experiences through meditative states that can be grounded in scientific insights or guiding stories. He has refined this philosophy since childhood when he occupied himself entering imaginal worlds and expressing those worlds through his artwork. Dr. Damer is currently researching a book based on interviews with other practitioners of what he terms the "endo way", meaning insights sourced through endogenous methods who then pragmatically apply their insights to real world applications.
Some of Dr. Damer's scientific articles are listed on ResearchGate