In a commentary this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences, SFI colleagues Simon DeDeo and Elizabeth Hobson* discuss the science of social hierarchy — what rank is, what it does, and where it comes from.
A BEYOND BORDERS column by David Krakauer, President of the Santa Fe Institute.
By all accounts Plato was a zealot for geometry. In The Republic he wrote: “We must order in the strongest possible terms that the men of your Ideal City shall in no way neglect geometry.” The source of Plato's advocacy relates to his use of geometry — in particular ideas bearing on the indivisibility of lines — as a metaphor for the parts and the whole that define Being. . . .
Jessika Trancik on how technology innovation gives government leverage to drive down emissions fast (The Conversation)
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has raised difficult questions about the institutions, principles, and practices that underlie our economic systems. We would do well to respond to these questions by taking a more direct look at how well our current economic models respond to the empirical realities we face, write SFI Professor Sam Bowles and External Professor Wendy Carlin in an op-ed for The Financial Express.
In an op-ed for The Conversation, SFI External Professor Seth Blumsack explains how the deregulated Texas power system actually combines deregulation and regulation.
Scientists must learn how effectively to enter the policy arena, argue SFI External Professor Manfred Laubichler and colleagues in a recent perspective piece for Science & Diplomacy.
Rajiv Sethi and Brendan O’Flaherty argue that successful police reform begins when we grasp the complex systems that underly current departments, in their latest op-ed in The Bridge.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
In their op-ed for Nautilus, SFI External Professor Melanie Moses (University of New Mexico) and her colleague Kathy L. Powers (University of New Mexico), argue that if scientists are to help public health policymakers meet their stated goal of protecting the most vulnerable, they must refine their methods to focus on the complex systems that govern communities that are most at risk.