Biogenesis – the generation of a life form from nonliving material – was among the first topics of interest at SFI. Manfred Eigen and Peter Schuster were early consultants. Their 1978 paper on “The Emergence of Hypercycles,” which postulated the self-reinforcing linkage of reaction cycles as an explanation for the self-organization of prebiotic systems, was the kind of big-question research envisioned for Santa Fe, and the paper was widely acclaimed for its potential to advance the study of life’s origin. Over SFI’s 30-year history, these two leading scientists have served on the Institute’s Science Board, as journal editors, and as external faculty and visitors, and they continue to serve today. By 1987, the explosion of computer studies in biology led to the call for a summer workshop on what we called the “Matrix of Biological Knowledge.” Having obtained modest support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Sloan Foundation, the workshop’s organizing committee – made up of representatives chosen by the funding organizations – was looking for an institution that could supply housing and flexible work space, and that would not eat up our limited funds in overhead. George Bell of Los Alamos National Lab (LANL), who was a consultant to the group, told the planning committee about the newly born Santa Fe Institute, the Institute’s cooperative arrangement for meeting space with St. John’s College, and his perception of a willingness on SFI’s part to negotiate overhead with programs that fit their vision.