Santa Fe Institute

SFI News

July 10, 2015, 11:08 a.m.

SFI's 2015 Ulam Lectures: Jennifer Dunne on the web of life and the ecological human

In a series of two lectures over two nights in Santa Fe, SFI's Jennifer Dunne will reveal new ways to understand the sustainability of ecosystems past, present, and future.

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Aug. 25, 2015, 8:45 a.m.

In memoriam: Joseph Traub

Joseph Traub, a leading figure in developing the field of computational complexity, passed away Monday in Santa Fe.

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Aug. 12, 2015, 11:39 a.m.

Paper: Does our understanding of food web structure change with the spatial scale at which we observe it?

In a new paper in Ecology and Evolution, SFI VP for Science Jennifer Dunne and colleagues ask whether our understanding of how food webs are organized changes with the spatial dimension at which we observe them.

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July 7, 2015, 10:21 a.m.

Scholars seek a lingua franca for linguistics research

This week at SFI, a group of scholars is meeting at SFI to develop a common language for combining vast and varied stores of linguistics data.

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Aug. 18, 2015, 11:17 a.m.

The 'new economic synthesis' (revolution?) is under way: Will Homo economicus topple?

New Scientist

A "new economic synthesis" is under way that might help topple long-held notions in neoclassical economics, according to a feature article in New Scientist that quotes a number of SFI researchers.

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Aug. 17, 2015, 12:43 p.m.

Newsweek features recent Drake, Krakauer, McCarthy, & McCarthy art-meets-science event


An article in Newsweek magazine features the recent, and unusual, Santa Fe Institute-Lannan Foundation event in Santa Fe during which art, music, math, and science collided.

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Aug. 12, 2015, 10:35 a.m.

SFI’s Rockmore, Krakauer on Turing tests and singularities

The Chronicle of Higher Education

In The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dan Rockmore and David Krakauer propose a “Terminator test” to gauge not whether an intelligence is a convincing likeness of a human’s, but whether it replaces or surpasses a human’s.

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July 22, 2015, 9:16 a.m.

SFI’s Krakauer, McCarthy’s new work featured in August 5 art event

A singular conversation between artist James Drake and incoming SFI President David Krakauer unfolded August 5 in Santa Fe, in conjunction with the first public reading from SFI Trustee Cormac McCarthy’s new novel The Passenger.

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Aug. 14, 2015, 10:23 a.m.

SFI commemorates WWII encryption achievement on Navajo Code Talkers Day

On August 14, National Navajo Code Talkers Day, SFI commemorates the World War II Code Talkers' remarkable achievement in using an evolved human language to create the most advanced encryption algorithms of the day.

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Aug. 10, 2015, 12:07 p.m.

Santa Fe Institute’s main building named after legendary scientist Murray Gell-Mann

The Santa Fe Institute this week renamed its main building after legendary physicist and complex systems pioneer Murray Gell-Mann.

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Aug. 10, 2015, 8:08 a.m.

Complexity science giant John Holland passes away at 86

John Holland, a pioneer in the study of complex adaptive systems and the leading figure in what became known as genetic algorithms, passed away Sunday morning in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Dec. 10, 2014, 1:13 p.m.

David Krakauer becomes SFI's new president

In interviews with Santa Fe-area reporters this month, new SFI President David Krakauer asks what the Institute's unique role in science should be and what questions the Institute might be asking.

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Dec. 10, 2014, 1:31 p.m.

Jessica Flack rejoins SFI's resident faculty

Jessica Flack rejoined the Santa Fe Institute's resident faculty this week as a professor.

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July 31, 2015, 1:53 p.m.

Collaborative book receives design award

The Design Observer Group

A book containing a written piece by SFI President David Krakauer has been recognized as one of the 50 most pleasing books of 2014 by The Design Observer Group.

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July 31, 2015, 11:01 a.m.

2014 SFI meeting central to national report on creativity research

National Endowment for the Arts

A new report from the National Endowment for the Arts provides perspective on the science of creativity, basing many of its findings on an SFI working group held in July 2014.

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July 1, 2015, 12:48 p.m.

A Turing test for creative intelligence

Computer algorithms that make human-quality short fiction, poetry, and dance music is the objective of a new Turing test-style competition and prize in creative intelligence.

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July 6, 2015, 12:19 p.m.

Working group: What T cells have in common with ants

A working group at SFI this week aims to further the linkages between experiment and theory in immune cell motility, or movement.

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July 17, 2015, 8:54 a.m.

Paper: Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

When coinfection is a risk, isolated social groups act as catalysts for disease epidemics.

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July 15, 2015, 9:17 a.m.

Murray Gell-Mann on quarks, pentaquarks, and what's next for particle physics

Murray Gell-Mann responds to CERN’s discovery of a never-before-seen subatomic particle, with hypotheses for future experimental discoveries.

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July 9, 2015, 3:34 p.m.

SFI to co-host Systems Analysis 2015 conference

In November SFI will co-host the 2015 Systems Analysis conference in Austria.

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July 6, 2015, 12:51 p.m.

Charity Navigator awards SFI 4 stars for transparency and accountability

SFI has earned the highest possible rating from the independent charity evaluator Charity Navigator, recognizing the Institute’s governance, fiscal management, and commitment to accountability and transparency.

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May 3, 2015, 10:15 a.m.

David Krakauer on how ideas and culture co-evolve

In Nautilus, incoming SFI president David Krakauer explores how science and culture co-evolve, using five short accounts of some of the surprising ways scientific thought progresses.

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Public Events

All Events

“Where brilliant, creative people gather to ask big questions, move beyond conventional thought, develop and test general theory, and come up with insightful solutions to hard problems.”

– SFI Vice President for Science Jennifer Dunne
“SFI offers a unique intellectual environment that constantly seeks to dismantle boundaries of any kind.”

– SFI Vice President for Science Jennifer Dunne
“At SFI, economists, biologists, archaeologists, and physicists all not only talk to one another but actually collaborate.”

– Mary-Charlotte Domandi, host and producer of the Santa Fe Radio Cafe
“When I think about the world of science, when everything is going down the tubes and when ignorance is on the rise, if you could save one place that might start discursive thinking all over again, it would be the Santa Fe Institute.”

– SFI donor Eugene Thaw
“SFI’s theoretical insights will lead us to solutions to some of the most difficult problems facing our species and our planet today.”

– Jeremy (Jerry) Sabloff, past SFI President
“SFI understands the right question is just as important as the right answer.”

– Russell Gonnering, MD
“SFI will change the world by changing the way people think. We bring to people an entire landscape of problems that people haven’t considered before.”

– SFI President David Krakauer
“Scientific work at SFI is always pushing creativity to its practical limits. We always court a high risk of failure. Above all we have more fun than should be legal.”

– Author and SFI Trustee Cormac McCarthy
“Big-idea boot camp.”

– Newsweek
“A sort of Justice League of renegade geeks, where teams of scientists from disparate fields study the Big Questions.”

– Rolling Stone
“An eclectic collection of intellectual firepower gathered on a hillside above Santa Fe.”

– The Albuquerque Journal
“I’m here because I like science, and this is a fun place to spend time. There’s good craic [Gaelic for 'lively conversation'].”

– Author and SFI Trustee Cormac McCarthy
“America’s smartest lunch”

– The Daily Beast
"You don't come here to get an answer to something. You come here to understand things in a different way."

– SFI Chair Emeritus Bill Miller in the Wall Street Journal
“The environment creates a certain electricity…Part of the interest is not knowing where the borders are.”

– Actor, author, and playwright Sam Shepard
“Pure bliss. Everything I hoped academia would be as a graduate student.”

– Novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein
“It’s a spa for the brain, because you treat your brain like you have never treated it before.”

– Hamid Benbrahim of TD Ameritrade
“The coming together of the physical beauty outdoors and the intellectual excitement indoors made an indelible impression on me.”

– Michael Mauboussin, Managing Director, Global Investment Strategies, Credit Suisse, and Chairman, SFI Board of Trustees
“A transdisciplinary think tank that aspires to be a kind of intellectual utopia.”

– Newsweek
“SFI is one of the world’s most unique think tanks, famous for pioneering and popularizing the science of complexity.”

– Science writer David Kushner
“It’s impossible to do what we do without an environment so rich and diverse and haphazard.”

– SFI Professor Luis Bettencourt
“SFI is an aberration on the intellectual landscape, a modern version of Plato's academy.”

– Arizona State University President Michael Crow
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