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The 3rd Annual Buddhism, Science and Future conference hosted by Woodenfish Foundation is set to be held this May on the beautiful campus of the University of Washington.

Nestled in the intellectual heart of Seattle in the beautiful Kane Hall, progressive talks and demonstrations will be shared.

This cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary conference will convene an international meeting of scholastic, philosophical, and practical minds to explore the intersections of Buddhism, Science and the Future.


Following the tremendous success of our second Buddhism, Science and Future conference in Shenzhen, China, the third annual Conference will be hosted May 4-5, 2019. This is an independent conference run exclusively by Woodenfish Foundation without other affiliations.






Conference overview:

Neuroscience, genetics, artificial intelligence, and other new technologies are expanding the scope of our collective knowledge and revolutionizing our world. Meanwhile, these changes are shaping our personal and spiritual lives: our happiness, our well-being, our enlightenment. Buddhism’s long advocacy of “technologies of awareness” makes it instinctive to embrace these emerging technologies and incorporating them as an aid to attain greater wisdom.

Indeed, the interchange among them—especially psychology, neuroscience, biotechnology—has gone from a trickle to a virtual flood. Beginning millennia ago when Śākyamuni Buddha developed meditation techniques to foster the awakening that he had sought—and that are today known throughout the world—this conversation is more important than ever in today’s turbulent world. Tantric practices, visualization exercises, aesthetic practices, and a vast number of other contemplative technologies have been continuously developed, refined, and practiced over the thousands of years of Buddhist history. Genetic sequencing, brain imaging, in vitro fertilization have physicalized the mystical code of life, yet controversies arise when humans are attempting to manipulate life—and the mind—with scientific methods. In other words, are we ready to think about the era of “meditating like a Zen master at the push of a button”?

There are many products and plans that promise to duplicate the contemplative experiences, which Buddhists have been pursuing for millennia. We think that it will be interesting and even fun to think about these things a little more systematically. Is it really possible to skip the thirty years meditating in a cave? What are the risks and ethical implications of the “science of happiness,” the neurophysiology of the “lama in the lab”? If your genetics encoding for greater happiness and higher intelligence can be modified, would you go for it? To avoid suffering?

Cyborgs to meditation apps to wearable computers to pharmaceuticals to genetics to ethics, all in the service of awakening. These are the topics for our symposium. Neuroscience or neuro-phrenology? Buddhism or Buddhism-lite? Hollywood? Business? Join us and find out.


For more information, please contact







Oren Etzioni
Keynote Speaker

Dr. Oren Etzioni has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence since its inception in 2014. He has been a Professor at the University of Washington's Computer Science department since 1991, and a Venture Partner at the Madrona Venture Group since 2000. He has garnered several awards including Seattle's Geek of the Year (2013), the Robert Engelmore Memorial Award (2007), the IJCAI Distinguished Paper Award (2005), AAAI Fellow (2003), and a National Young Investigator Award (1993). He has been the founder or co-founder of several companies, including Farecast (sold to Microsoft in 2008) and Decide (sold to eBay in 2013). He has written commentary on AI for The New York Times, Nature, Wired, and the MIT Technology Review. He helped to pioneer meta-search (1994), online comparison shopping (1996), machine reading (2006), and Open Information Extraction (2007). He has authored over 100 technical papers that have garnered over 2,000 highly influential citations on Semantic Scholar. He received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon in 1991 and his B.A. from Harvard in 1986. (AI2 Bio)

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