Lawrence Lessig (b. 1961)

Director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University and professor at Harvard Law School. Lessig is committed to what he calls “free culture,” in which ideas and creative notions freely circulate so that everyone can borrow from and build upon them—particularly in regard to emerging technologies. In The Future of Ideas (2001), Lessig argued that antiquated notions of intellectual property are a hindrance to technological innovation and the free exchange of ideas, a claim that won him a place on Scientific American’s list of the world’s top fifty visionaries in 2002.