Stuart Firestein joins Fractal Faculty

Stuart Firestein, a neuroscientist who specializes in the olfactory system and who is obsessed with the history, evolution, and future of science, joins SFI's Fractal Faculty.

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Virtual topical meeting takes stock of market risk and social media

In an age where it's easier to get on social media than off of it, we still know shockingly little about how the scope, speed, and structure of online communication forums impacts beliefs about stock market investing. This October, SFI partners with UBS to host a virtual topical meeting titled “Technology and Risk: Will Speedier and Deliberate Communication Bring Higher Levels of Risk?”

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Orit Peleg: Living Orbs of Light (Aeon)

“In the still of the Tennessee night, my colleagues and I are watching thousands of dim little orbs of light, moving peacefully in the forest around us. We try to guess where the next flash will appear, but the movements seem erratic, even ephemeral,” writes SFI External Professor Orit Peleg in an op-ed about her research on firefly synchrony for Aeon

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Seth Blumsack: Long power outages aren't inevitable (The Conversation)

Power outages aren’t something we must simply accept in the face of increasingly strong and erratic weather, write SFI External Professor Seth Blumsack in The Conversation, but rather, something utility systems can prepare for. However, this will require different approaches thinking about resilience and different kinds of redundancy.

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Research brief: Social science for algorithmic societies

In a new perspective piece for Nature, SFI External Professor Tina Eliassi-Rad and her co-authors ask how social scientists can investigate algorithmically infused societies, which may require very different methodologies than social sciences have traditionally deployed. 

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Van Savage and Geoffrey West: Why do we sleep? (Aeon)

Much of modern sleep research has focused on the hormones, cells, and enzymes that regulate how we sleep, and what goes wrong when we can't sleep. But “all of this leaves unanswered the more fundamental question of why we need to sleep in the first place. What, in fact, is sleep’s function?” ask SFI's Van Savage and Geoffrey West in an essay for Aeon magazine.

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A statistical fix for archaeology's dating problem

Archaeologists have long had a dating problem. The radiocarbon analysis typically used to reconstruct past human demographic changes relies on a method easily skewed by radiocarbon calibration curves and measurement uncertainty. And there’s never been a statistical fix that works — until now.

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In memoriam: Douglas White

Anthropologist Douglas White, who was widely regarded for his research into human relationships as dynamic, complex networks, passed away on August 22, 2021. 

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New Complexity Explorer tutorial teaches Open Science

To solve our most intractable and pressing scientific problems, humanity needs the best possible science to innovate solutions. The best possible science is science that is open, reproducible, replicable, transparent, and inclusive, says Open Science advocate and SFI Complexity Postdoctoral Fellow Helena Miton.

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