In a perspective piece published in Nature Machine Intelligence in January 2021, SFI External Professor Stephanie Forrest and co-author describe how evolutionary computation compares to biological evolution — and how it diverges in three key ways.
If we understand city laws, SFI's Chris Kempes and Geoffrey West argue in their op-ed at The Bridge, they can help us navigate the pitfalls of our rapidly urbanizing world — including planning for pandemics like COVID-19.
Studying ancient food webs can help scientists reconstruct communities of species, many long extinct, and even use those insights to figure out how modern-day communities might change in the future. There’s just one problem: only some species left enough of a trace for scientists to find eons later, leaving large gaps in the fossil record — and researchers’ ability to piece together the food webs from the past.
A new paper by paleoecologist Jack Shaw, SFI's Jennifer Dunne, and other researchers shines a light on those gaps and points the way to how to account for them.
New research finds that human conflict exhibits remarkable regularity despite substantial geographic and cultural differences.
What makes an explanation good enough? As a personal matter, people have different answers to this question, and not all of them agree, says a new paper in Trends in Cognitive Sciences by Simon DeDeo and Zachary Wojtowicz. The authors use Bayes’ Rule, a famous theorem in probability and statistics, to investigate what we value in scientific and moral explanations.
When a great mathematician dies, we lose direct access to a rare and brilliant mind. In 2020, three great mathematicians died: John Conway, Ronald Graham, and Freeman Dyson. In a beautiful memorial published in The New Yorker, SFI External Professor Dan Rockmore helps us recollect the wonders of each man’s singular genius.
SFI External Professor Sara Walker (Arizona State University) is leading one of the eight teams exploring specific outstanding questions in astrobiology for NASA’s Astrobiology Program's new Interdisciplinary Consortia for Astrobiology Research. With SFI Professor Chris Kempes and other collaborators, the team will address the question: What detectable universal patterns distinguish living chemistries across diverse planetary environments?
A new working group, “The Birth and Death of Individuals,” which plans to develop a new interdisciplinary theory of birth, aging, and death, explored questions about death, from the individual to community scales to what it means to consider an idea or form of governance "dead" during a small planning meeting in November 2020.
The Santa Fe Institute has always been defined by its ability to bring diverse, leading thinkers into the same room to tackle important research questions. So for SFI, 2020 has been something like stepping into that red chamber in the Fortress of Solitude. Jennifer Dunne, SFI’s Vice President for Science, jokes that the pandemic, with its necessary restrictions on in-person gatherings, “took away our superpower.” In this Q&A, Dunne talks about which aspects of SFI science can and cannot be replicated in a virtual environment, and what this means going into 2021.
Co-sponsored by SFI and the Institute for Advanced Studies of Aix-Marseille University, France (IMéRA), a virtual forum brought together network and complexity scientists, musicologists, music theorists, composers, performers, and neuroscientists to trade licks about the intersections of music and complexity from as many angles as possible.
SFI’s InterPlanetary Project has found a new way to celebrate the mutual influence of sci-fi and science. In a podcast interview series that launched November 18, host Caitlin McShea, SFI’s InterPlanetary Festival Director, asks artists, authors, athletes, and scientists to imagine one alien technology that could change the trajectory of human advancement.
Parts of the planet that are diverse biologically and culturally are even more diverse than you’d expect. A group of SFI collaborators developed a theory to show why richer environments are also more complex environments, where you tend to find more species and languages.
The use and spread of disinformation has quickly eroded trust in institutions that serve as the bedrocks of our society, such as science, the media, and government.
In a white paper for the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), a group of researchers including SFI's Joshua Garland and Elizabeth Bradley outline steps to begin dealing with the disinformation problem.
SFI Professors Chris Kempes and Michael Lachmann were both among the 50 awardees of this year’s John Templeton Foundation Ideas Challenge.
SFI External Professor André de Roos was named the King Carl XVI Gustaf Professor in Environmental Science for 2021-22.
Transmission T-036: Ramanan Laxminarayan, Susan Fitzpatrick & Simon Levin on building trust in COVID vaccines
How to build trust in COVID-19 vaccines: Why people distrust vaccines and how they can be convinced otherwise.
It’s widely assumed within the evolutionary biology field that weak selection provides an advantage to an organism’s ability to evolve. But new research, published in the journal Science, may offer the first experimental proof that strong selection pressure enhances an organism's evolvability, by boosting robustness.