In a new opinion piece for Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, SFI External Professor Jürgen Jost tours some of the major philosophical and scientific debates around consciousness, including whether a human or animal brain automatically becomes conscious when it crosses a certain threshold of complexity.
In an editorial for Nautilus, SFI President David Krakauer looks at the double-edged sword of doubt. Drawing insights from the history of science, he explores how to tell the difference between the scientific and conspiratorial skepticism that define our present experience.
From small committees to national elections, group decision-making can be complicated — and it may not always settle on the best choice. A new mathematical framework shows that’s partly because some members of the group do research on their own, and others take their cues from the people around them.
In an essay for the online magazine SAPIENS, SFI Complexity Postdoctoral Fellow Helena Miton argues that errors and innovations are central to the story of human culture.
On average, people in larger cities are better off economically. But a new study published in the Royal Society Interface builds on previous research that says, that’s not necessarily true for the individual city-dweller. It turns out, bigger cities also produce more income inequality.
What if life evolved not just once, but multiple times independently?
In a new paper, published in the Journal of Molecular Evolution, Santa Fe Institute researchers Chris Kempes and David Krakauer argue that in order to recognize life’s full range of forms, we must develop a new theoretical frame.
The Graduate Workshop in Computational Social Science (GWCSS) has been a core feature of summers at SFI for a quarter-century. This year, in response to the ongoing pandemic, the 26th GWCSS was condensed into two intensive and productive days online, and students completed a homework problem centered around a question of contemporary significance.
The newest volume from SFI Press provides researchers—both novice and experienced—who study the human past the necessary background, discussion of modeling techniques and traps, references, and algorithms to use agent-based modeling in their own work.
The external faculty are central to SFI’s identity as a world-class research institute. They enrich our networks of interactions, help us push the boundaries of complex systems science, and connect us to over 70 institutions around the globe.
This year, nine new researchers join SFI’s external faculty.
The Santa Fe Institute is looking for creative, early-career scientists for the SFI Complexity Postdoctoral Fellowships. Apply before October 24.
Does the universe follow patterns, or do we humans just see them wherever we look? In a new paper for the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, SFI Program Postdoctoral Fellow Tyler Millhouse proposes a criterion evaluating just how real a pattern is likely to be.
If chemical reactions can be “programmed” like other types of computing machines, they might be exploited for applications in many areas, including intelligent drug delivery, neural networks, or even artificial cells, write SFI External Professor Juan Pérez-Mercader and Marta Dueñas-Díez in a review article for Frontiers in Chemistry.
We at SFI are often asked for reading recommendations, so we feel it is time to make our responses more broadly available to the public. Beginning with this first installment, future issues of our newsletter, Parallax, will feature three new recommendations on a specific theme, each from a different member of our community.
In which SFI President David Krakauer contemplates the trade-offs inherent in exchanging ideas online vs in person.