John Madden was born in Vancouver, B.C. in 1939 and, after an absence of about 20 years, has lived in Vancouver since 1980. He studied physics at the University of British Columbia, and completed a D. Phil., also in physics, at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. His working life has included technical research and development and research and development management at a senior level in industry and in the Canadian government.

He is a co-author (with Alphonse Oimet, Dave Godfrey and Doug Parkhill) of Gutenberg Two – The New Electronics and Social Change, Press Porcepic. [First Edition, 1979, through to a Fourth Edition in 1985]. In most editions, his two chapters came first, one of which was fictional (Julia’s Dilemma), the other an explanation and technical forecast (Simple Notes on a Complex Future). This book was a Canadian best-seller and was a prescribed text in some university courses in both Canada and the United States.

In 2013, John Madden published The Davey Dialogues to provide an easy-to-understand history and background to key scientific discoveries which have altered our perception of our universe and of ourselves, couched as a dialogue between the writer and a mysterious extra-terrestial being.

Amongst the questions discussed are:
• What do we know about our universe and how did we find out?
• How do we know how old it is, and, for that matter, how far away individual stars and galaxies are?
• How might life have originated?
• How does life replicate and change over time?
• How did religion evolve and why?
• To what extent do our brains resemble computers?
• How do we remember faces, facts and figures, and how do we think laterally?
• Do we have a free will?
• What is happiness and how can we maximize it?

Madden, who has now largely retired from active business, is a past President of Science World and of the Vancouver Institute, and a past board member of a number of companies and organizations, including Simon Fraser University, the National Research Council (Canada), Discovery Enterprises Inc. (a venture capital company), ISE Research Ltd., the B.C. Advanced Systems Institute, the Science Council of B.C., and Microtel Pacific Research Ltd. (of which he was the founding President). For over a decade he served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.


Gutenberg Two – The New Electronics and Social Change, Press Porcepic. [First Edition, 1979, through to a Fourth Edition in 1985]. Co-author with Alphonse Oimet, Dave Godfrey and Doug Parkhill

The Davey Dialogues: An Exploration of the Scientific Foundations of Human Culture (Vancouver: STC Enterprises 2012) $24.95 978-0-9917675-1-9

[BCBW 2013]