Piet Hut

Piet Hut

Professor Emeritus

Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Until 2023, Piet Hut was head of the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies at IAS. Hut's main research theme is “the Nature of Reality,” as seen through the lenses of Math, Matter, and Mind. Some subthemes are: for Math, “Algorithms and Foundations”; for Matter, “Physics and Biology”; and for Mind, “Phenomenology and Contemplation.” Hut’s main research background is in computational astrophysics, with asteroid “17031 Piethut” named in his honor. He is one of the co-founders of the Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. His current book projects include a Typology of Novelty, a study of origins, starting with the origin of the biosphere as the archetype for the origin of a self-organizing complex system, in collaboration with Eric Smith, and a comparative study of European science and philosophy with empirical studies of the mind in other cultures, in collaboration with Alex Englert.

Dates at IAS

Program in Interdisciplinary Studies
School of Natural Sciences
School of Natural Sciences


University of Amsterdam
Utrecht University


Appointments: Trustee of John von Neumann Supercomputer Center, Princeton, NJ, 1985 - 1990; Research Affiliate for the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, MIT, Cambridge, MA, 1992--1993; Research Associate to the Department of Astronomy at the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History, in New York city, 1997 - 2004; Editorial Board of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1998 -; Fellow of the World Economic Forum, Davos, 2000; B612 Foundation, Member of the Board 2002–2013, Strategic Advisor, 2014-- ; Kira Institute, President 1997–; Advisory Board of the Centre for Subjectivity Research, Copenhagen, 2002--2006; International Advisory Council of the Foreign Policy Association, New York, 2000 - 2003; Advisory Board of the Helix Center for Interdisciplinary Investigation, 2012--; Principle Investigator and Councilor, Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Tech, 2012 -- 2022; Director of the ELSI Origins Network, 2015 -- 2018
Awards: Petaflops Point Design Studies Award 1996; Sloan Fellowship 1994–96, 1985–87
Honor: Asteroid 17031 Piethut was named after me
Memberships: Lindisfarne Association; Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences; Husserl Circle; International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life and Astrobiology Society; International Society for Artificial Life; Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness


University of California, Berkeley
Assistant Professor
Astronomical Institute, University of Amsterdam
Research Assistant