What does ecological thinking look like? For SFI Science Board Member Simon A. Levin, adopting an ecological perspective involves thinking about the interplay between interdependence and adaptation. His op-ed appears in the Winter 2020 issue of The Bridge.
The Santa Fe Institute is accepting applications for Complexity Interactive (SFI-CI) — an advanced, guided online course in complex systems. Graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and research professionals are encouraged to apply by March 31.
Science is slowly shifting away from equations toward algorithms, writes W. Brian Arthur in an essay published by the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics. Thinking algorithmically, he says, gives researchers a way to study ideas like unpredictability and emergence.
What types of infrastructure improvements will it take to speed the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs)? In a Nature Energy paper published January 21, SFI External Professor Jessika Trancik and her co-authors at MIT report a new methodology designed to identify which locations for vehicle charging stations could be prioritized
Scientists rarely have the historical data they need to see exactly how nodes in a network became connected. But a new paper by SFI's George Cantwell offers hope for reconstructing the missing information, using a new method to evaluate the rules that generate network models.
Academic publishing rarely attracts praise for aesthetics, affordability, or alacrity, but all three have defined the SFI Press since its founding in 2017. Supported by Bill Miller and the Miller Omega Program, it aims to bring new research from submission to publication within a year, at trade-book prices and in unique, collectible style.
In his quarterly column for the Parallax newsletter, SFI President David Krakauer reflects on games as "a microcosm for exploring analytical, aesthetic, moral, and practical matters."
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.