Full CV

Career summary                              



Cyberlife Research Ltd., Somerset

Independent scientist, consultant and science writer. Currently back in the computer games business for a while to generate some income.


NESTA Fellow
National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts

One-year fellowship to allow me to build an improved version of my research robot. Followed by a NESTA Collaboration Grant to help develop some a-life educational software.


Co-founder and Technical Director
Cyberlife Technology Ltd., Cambridge (later Creature Labs Ltd.)

Company of approx. 80 people founded to exploit my artificial life technology in both entertainment and industry. Industrial clients included Lockheed-Martin, British Aerospace, NCR, BT, etc. In 1999 it became clear that the company was no longer going in a direction of which I approved, and so I left to pursue my own interests.


Senior Programmer
Millennium Interactive Ltd., Cambridge

Author of three computer games, including Creatures, a million-selling game based on my earlier Artificial Life ideas.


Educational software developer
Logotron Ltd., Cambridge

Developed and exploited a novel engine for creating emergent, multi-agent educational simulations (for the BBC). Also designed and developed several business packages.


House-husband (bringing up my son) and freelance educational programmer

Developed the first ever word processor for infants and first integrated ‘office’ package for young children. Spare time research into evolutionary systems, new types of neural network, etc.


Laboratory technician, Robinson & Sons Ltd., Chesterfield


Honorary affiliations


Hon. Graduate & upcoming research fellow, Open University


Visiting research fellow, Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University


Hon. research fellow, School of Psychology, University of Cardiff


Hon. research fellow, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath


Hon. research fellow, Dept. of Cognitive Science, University of Sussex


Awards and distinctions

Awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire, a royal order of knighthood) for services to the British computer industry, Jan 1st 2000

Honorary Doctorate, Open University, May 2008

KPMG-Anglia Business Award for innovation, 1998

Awards for Creatures: two International EMMA awards; two BAFTA nominations; Design Council ‘Millennium Product’ status

Shortlisted for the Aventis Literary Prize 2001. Book of the Year nominee in the Guardian and the Telegraph.

Nominated by the Sunday Times as one of the eighteen scientists ‘most likely to revolutionise our lives in the coming century’, 2000

Invited to reception at Buckingham Palace to honour British pioneers, 2003


Books (popular science)

Growing up with Lucy: how to build an android in twenty easy steps. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004

Creation: life and how to make it. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000; Harvard University Press, 2001


Independent scientists like me lack the usual ‘political’ imperative to write papers and have little motivation to commit time and budget to it, but here are a few examples:

Effing the Ineffable: an engineering approach to consciousness. Technoetic Arts Journal. Ed. R. Ascott. Intellect Books, 2003

The Emergence of Personality: How to Create Souls from Cells. Human Cognition and Social Agent Technology. Ed. K. Daughtenhahn. John Benjamin, 2000

Creatures: Artificial Life autonomous software agents for home entertainment. S.Grand, D.Cliff, A.Malhotra. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Autonomous Agents. Ed. W. Lewis Johnson, ACM Press, 1997

Bubbles in cyberspace: a cellular approach to virtual environments and intelligent synthetic life forms. S.Grand. Symposium on Intelligent Virtual Environments, ECAI 1998


Some of my Guardian columns and magazine articles are available here.


1976 – 1978, Matlock College of Education

1969 – 1976, Midsomer Norton Grammar School

I’m almost entirely self-taught. I think of this as a considerable advantage!

Main skill areas

Artificial life; artificial intelligence; cognitive science; robotics; self-organising systems; computer science; programming; electronics; virtual reality; public understanding of science.

Media coverage

My research attracts lot of unsolicited media attention, and has generated a large number of feature articles, personal profiles, documentaries and interviews over the past ten years, both in Britain and abroad.

Recent keynotes, public lectures, seminars, etc.

Conference keynotes: After the Genome (genomics); Simulation of Adaptive Behaviour (a-life); NAACE (education); NetFinance (banking); NESTA (funding); Anglo-French Double Helix celebrations (biology).

Invited conference talks: Autonomous Agents; AKRI; Artificial Stupidity; Digital Biota I & II; ECAI; Passionate Machines; Virtual Humans; The Whole Iguana; Consciousness Reframed; AGIRI.

Public lectures: Harvard; Cardiff Law School; Café Scientifique; Institute of Contemporary Arts; Edinburgh Science Festival; Edinburgh National Museum; Nottingham High School; University of Washington; Cheltenham Science Festival; Oxford BCS Christmas lecture; Oxford Literary Festival.

Seminars/lectures: Microsoft; Bath; Birmingham; Sussex; Hewlett Packard; Imperial; MIT; UWCN; Plymouth; Newton Institute; Oxford; OU; Zurich; British Telecom; Reading; Salford; Cambridge; Southampton

Miscellaneous activities

Advisory board member, Technoetic Arts journal

External supervisor to two PhD students (architecture and new media)

Referee for Framework 5/6; member of EPSRC Referees’ College

Contributor to design of Framework 5 FET programme “Beyond the made and born”

Member of the Reality Club (www.edge.org)

Organiser, Digital Biota II conference, Magdalene College Cambridge, 1998

Private pilot’s licence


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