Santa Fe Institute


Research Themes

Interest Areas

  • Complexity and Social Theory
  • Ecological anthropology
  • Ethnology of Indonesia
  • Robustness of Coupled Human-Natural Systems
  • Social structure, language and genetics

Steve Lansing

External Professor

Visiting Professor, Nanyang University, Complexity Institute

Curriculum Vitae


J. Stephen Lansing was formerly a professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona, with a joint appointment in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He is also a Professor at the Santa Fe Institute (on leave 2007), and director of Yayasan Somia Pretiwi, an Indonesian foundation promoting collaborative research on environmental problems in the tropics. Lansing chaired the anthropology department of the University of Southern California for five years and later became a professor in the School of Natural Resources & Environment and Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He has been a Fulbright Fellow, a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a lecturer at Udayana University and a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Lansing is the author of Evil in the Morning of the World: Phenomenological Approaches to a Balinese Community (1974), The Three Worlds of Bali (1983), Priests and Programmers: Technologies of Power in the Engineered Landscape of Bali (2nd revised edition 2007 [1991]), The Balinese (1994) and Perfect Order: Recognizing Complexity in Bali (2006) Documentary films include The Three Worlds of Bali (1981), The Goddess and the Computer (1988), and a segment of The Sacred Balance (2003). Recent publications are available at