A taxonomy of my public material: what goes where and why

Published by


When someone asks me “what do you do?”, it’s hard to give a short but accurate answer. Maybe “natural philosophy” comes closest, hearkening back to a time where there were fewer artificial boundaries between lines of inquiry. On the one hand, I am a professor of biology. But I do research and writing across disciplines including biology, computer science, and behavioral sciences and philosophy. Most of my work is targeted for academics and researchers, but some of it is for the science-interested general public and I’ve done presentations for kids as well as for folks in the business sector. I don’t yet have any full-length books, but I’m working on the first and there are two more planned after that. I hope to make impact in health and biomedicine, but also in some foundational issues that are very far from practical applications. Some of what I put out is carefully calculated for specific kinds of (hoped-for) impact – with readers in mind, curated in specific ways to change opinion or practice; other material is just as I intend it, with no editing for appeal to any particular audience or purpose (i.e., just writing for myself, expressing whatever comes out at the time). I try to keep a balance, believing that the deep future will include radically different hybrid, augmented, and artificial beings who will consume our work product and use it in ways we cannot predict now. My time is apportioned by an ever-changing strategy that tries to balance specific deliverables and progress with more generic attempts to move young minds toward the most fascinating, life-positive aspects of science and philosophy. So, here’s a breakdown of where you will find the public-facing components of the work:

My main lab website is here. This contains information and links to our academic work. Think of it as our material that I beleive is rigorous, hopefully useful to others, and peer-reviewed. On this site, I represent my laboratory’s collective intelligence – the findings we’ve made, and ideas that I think we now have solid evidence for. The contents of this site are work products that are meant to have impact in the scientific community. Dig around and follow the links on the top bar and the left navigation panels – it has a pretty deep structure with a lot of material.

This blog is more personal. It hosts photography, writing, discussions, and other material that isn’t peer-reviewed, and represents only me and my opinions (not my lab people, not my university, not my collaborators). The contents here are just things I feel like sharing, and may be speculations that I’m not at all certain about, links to others’ material that has moved me, or artwork of different kinds. When I feel that something needs to be said or shown, but don’t yet know why or who it’s for, this is where it likely ends up.

The Youtube channel is a place where I keep videos of some of my talks (ones that aren’t already hosted elsewhere, as itemized here), as well as others’ lectures given in our lab’s and Center’s various group meetings, and recordings of select working meetings with some of my collaborators. I keep the Comments turned off there; if you want to see the extra materials and have discussions on the content, most of these will also appear here on this blog site.

The Allen Discovery Center at Tufts site hosts the work of my Center, including papers from other members (not just my lab).

The TCRDB site is a subset of our academic work focused on applications to regenerative medicine and biotech. The TCRDB also includes a few labs outside of mine.

The ICDO site is the content of a Center I co-run with Joshua Bongard at the University of Vermont. The content here is specifically focused on our work in AI-designed biorobotics.

I sometimes Tweet here (mostly for notifications of our lab’s papers and sometimes short commentary or a nature photo), and occasionally at Mastodon and Bluesky.

The left panel of the main lab website contains a few other links of organizations, companies, and consortia to which I belong.

Happy browsing and thank you for your interest!

5 responses to “A taxonomy of my public material: what goes where and why”

  1. Thomas Tsagklas Avatar
    Thomas Tsagklas

    Excited about the upcoming book(s)!! Is there an estimate for a publication date yet?

    1. Mike Levin Avatar
      Mike Levin

      The first one will be at the end of 2024 or early 2025. Possibly earlier, if I get to it sooner… I’ll be posting more details about it soon.

      1. Thomas Tsagklas Avatar
        Thomas Tsagklas

        Amazing stuff! We can’t wait 🙂

  2. Alberto Molano Avatar
    Alberto Molano

    Have you seen this paper?
    “The evolution of gastrulation morphologies” Development (2023) 150, dev200885. doi:10.1242/dev.200885 (Guillermo Serrano Nájera, and Cornelis J. Weijer).

    Each time you quote William James (“Intelligence is a fixed goal with variable means of achieving it.”), I remember this paper: If you perturb gastrulation, even dramatically, cells just take a different road.

    “In the aggregates, the embryonic geometry has been altered from a hollow sphere with polarised endoderm to a compact ball in which endoderm and ectoderm are mixed. Surprisingly, instead of using the coherent invagination of the endoderm at one pole, the embryos use
    ingression from distinct sites (multipolar ingression) and cavitation (Fig. 2A), a gastrulation mode typical of other cnidarians (Kirillova et al., 2018), demonstrating that N. vectensis can access alternative developmental trajectories when thepatterning and the topology of the embryo are altered.”

    1. Mike Levin Avatar
      Mike Levin

      Superb example – I will add it to my list! thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: