Santa Fe Institute

SFI News

July 6, 2015, 12:19 p.m.

Working group: What T cells have in common with ants

A working group at SFI this week aims to further the linkages between experiment and theory in immune cell motility, or movement.

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July 22, 2015, 9:16 a.m.

SFI’s Krakauer, McCarthy’s new work to be featured in August 5 art event

A singular conversation between artist James Drake and incoming SFI President David Krakauer will unfold August 5 in Santa Fe, in conjunction with the first public reading from SFI Trustee Cormac McCarthy’s new novel The Passenger.

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July 24, 2015, 10:22 a.m.

Evolution of digital images offers insights into creativity and inspiration


In a FiveThirtyEight article, SFI Journalism Fellow Christie Aschwanden draws creative inspiration from the blind evolution of digital images.

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July 17, 2015, 8:54 a.m.

Paper: Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

When coinfection is a risk, isolated social groups act as catalysts for disease epidemics.

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July 15, 2015, 9:17 a.m.

Murray Gell-Mann on quarks, pentaquarks, and what's next for particle physics

Murray Gell-Mann responds to CERN’s discovery of a never-before-seen subatomic particle, with hypotheses for future experimental discoveries.

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July 17, 2015, 10:20 a.m.

Paper: Evolutionary trees reveal patterns of microbial diversification

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

A paper by Omidyar Fellow James O'Dwyer reveals microbial family trees with distinct evolutionary patterns.

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July 9, 2015, 3:34 p.m.

SFI to co-host Systems Analysis 2015 conference

In November SFI will co-host the 2015 Systems Analysis conference in Austria.

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July 7, 2015, 12:28 p.m.

Citizen science opportunity: Help us track these wildebeests

SFI Omidyar Fellow Andrew Berdahl and his colleagues need help mapping wildebeest migration. Can you spare a few minutes to interpret their movements in images from an array of camera traps in the Serengeti?

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July 6, 2015, 12:51 p.m.

Charity Navigator awards SFI 4 stars for transparency and accountability

SFI has earned the highest possible rating from the independent charity evaluator Charity Navigator, recognizing the Institute’s governance, fiscal management, and commitment to accountability and transparency.

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June 19, 2015, 10:49 a.m.

Study: Is the whooping cough resurgence due to vaccinated people not knowing they’re infectious?

BMC Medicine

The dramatic resurgence of whooping cough is due, in large part, to vaccinated people who are infectious but who do not display the symptoms, suggests a new study by two SFI researchers in BMC Medicine.

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April 20, 2015, 12:22 p.m.

Working group: Instabilities and control of networked networks

SFI External Professors Jim Crutchfield and Raissa D’Souza are coordinating a working group at SFI this week that is considering the special problems of interconnected networks – in other words, networks of networks.

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April 20, 2015, 12:27 p.m.

Information engines: Computing & communication on the nanoscale

SFI External Professors Jim Crutchfield and Raissa D’Souza are coordinating a working group at SFI this week to explore information processing on the nanoscale using recent innovations in nonequilibrium thermodynamics.

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June 3, 2015, 11:45 a.m.

Study: Social learning, not range of environments, best explains span of human behavior

Proceedings of the Royal Society B

SFI Omidyar Fellow alum Charles Perreault seeks the origins of the "vast and unmatched" behavioral variation exhibited by the human species in a new paper appearing in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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June 12, 2015, 11:46 a.m.

Can’t sort complex from complicated? Check out SFI’s MaxEnt tutorial

Complexity Explorer

A new offering from SFI’s online education resource, Complexity Explorer, gives complexity enthusiasts quantitative tools for distinguishing the "complex" aspects of a system from the merely "complicated."

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June 10, 2015, 10:16 a.m.

A Mayan, a Roman, and a New Yorker walk into a bar…

A diverse collection of social and natural scientists, archeologists, and historians are at SFI to share data and techniques for quantitatively comparing ancient and pre-modern cities.

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April 29, 2015, 11:02 a.m.

Watch Alan Lightman's SFI lecture on 'The World You Thought You Knew'

In an SFI Community Lecture on May 6, novelist and physicist Alan Lightman offered his perspective on timeless topics such as God, science, the universe, and religious experiences. Watch his talk.

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May 3, 2015, 10:15 a.m.

David Krakauer on how ideas and culture co-evolve

In Nautilus, incoming SFI president David Krakauer explores how science and culture co-evolve, using five short accounts of some of the surprising ways scientific thought progresses.

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Public Events

All Events

“Where brilliant, creative people gather to ask big questions, move beyond conventional thought, develop and test general theory, and come up with insightful solutions to hard problems.”

– SFI Vice President for Science Jennifer Dunne
“SFI offers a unique intellectual environment that constantly seeks to dismantle boundaries of any kind.”

– SFI Vice President for Science Jennifer Dunne
“At SFI, economists, biologists, archaeologists, and physicists all not only talk to one another but actually collaborate.”

– Mary-Charlotte Domandi, host and producer of the Santa Fe Radio Cafe
“When I think about the world of science, when everything is going down the tubes and when ignorance is on the rise, if you could save one place that might start discursive thinking all over again, it would be the Santa Fe Institute.”

– SFI donor Eugene Thaw
“SFI’s theoretical insights will lead us to solutions to some of the most difficult problems facing our species and our planet today.”

– SFI President Jeremy (Jerry) Sabloff
“SFI understands the right question is just as important as the right answer.”

– Russell Gonnering, MD
“SFI will change the world by changing the way people think. We bring to people an entire landscape of problems that people haven’t considered before.”

– David Krakauer, incoming SFI President
“Scientific work at SFI is always pushing creativity to its practical limits. We always court a high risk of failure. Above all we have more fun than should be legal.”

– Author and SFI Trustee Cormac McCarthy
“Big-idea boot camp.”

– Newsweek
“A sort of Justice League of renegade geeks, where teams of scientists from disparate fields study the Big Questions.”

– Rolling Stone
“An eclectic collection of intellectual firepower gathered on a hillside above Santa Fe.”

– The Albuquerque Journal
“I’m here because I like science, and this is a fun place to spend time. There’s good craic [Gaelic for 'lively conversation'].”

– Author and SFI Trustee Cormac McCarthy
“America’s smartest lunch”

– The Daily Beast
"You don't come here to get an answer to something. You come here to understand things in a different way."

– SFI Chair Emeritus Bill Miller in the Wall Street Journal
“The environment creates a certain electricity…Part of the interest is not knowing where the borders are.”

– Actor, author, and playwright Sam Shepard
“Pure bliss. Everything I hoped academia would be as a graduate student.”

– Novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein
“It’s a spa for the brain, because you treat your brain like you have never treated it before.”

– Hamid Benbrahim of TD Ameritrade
“The coming together of the physical beauty outdoors and the intellectual excitement indoors made an indelible impression on me.”

– Michael Mauboussin, Managing Director, Global Investment Strategies, Credit Suisse, and Chairman, SFI Board of Trustees
“A transdisciplinary think tank that aspires to be a kind of intellectual utopia.”

– Newsweek
“SFI is one of the world’s most unique think tanks, famous for pioneering and popularizing the science of complexity.”

– Science writer David Kushner
“It’s impossible to do what we do without an environment so rich and diverse and haphazard.”

– SFI Professor Luis Bettencourt
“SFI is an aberration on the intellectual landscape, a modern version of Plato's academy.”

– Arizona State University President Michael Crow
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